Thursday, November 06, 2008

Barack Obama: The 44th President of the United States of America

"Barack Hussein Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States on Tuesday, sweeping away the last racial barrier in American politics with ease as the country chose him as its first black chief executive.
Mr. Obama’s election amounted to a national catharsis — a repudiation of a historically unpopular Republican president and his economic and foreign policies, and an embrace of Mr. Obama’s call for a change in the direction and the tone of the country. But it was just as much a strikingly symbolic moment in the evolution of the nation’s fraught racial history, a breakthrough that would have seemed unthinkable just two years ago.

Mr. Obama, 47, a first-term Democratic senator from Illinois, defeated Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, a former prisoner of war who was making his second bid for the presidency.

The day shimmered with history as voters began lining up before dark — hours before polls opened — to take part in the culmination of a campaign that, over the course of two years, commanded an extraordinary amount of attention from the American public.

As the returns became known, and Mr. Obama passed milestone after milestone, winning Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Iowa and New Mexico — many Americans rolled into the streets to celebrate what many described, with perhaps overstated if understandable exhilaration, a new era in a country where just 143 years ago, Mr. Obama, as a black man, could have been owned as a slave.

For Republicans, especially the conservatives who have dominated the party for nearly three decades, the night represented a bitter setback and left them contemplating where they now stand in American politics.

Mr. Obama led his party in a decisive sweep of Congress, putting Democrats in control of both the House and the Senate — by overwhelming numbers — and the White House for the first time since 1995, when Bill Clinton was president. The president-elect and his expanded Democratic majority now faces the task of governing the country through a difficult period: the likelihood of a deep and prolonged recession.

Mr. Obama will come into office after an election in which he laid out a number of clear promises: to cut taxes for most Americans, to get the United States out of Iraq in a fast ifand? orderly fashion, and to expand health care. In a recognition of the difficult transition he faces, given the economic crisis, Mr. Obama is expected to begin filling White House jobs as early as this week." - New York Times

Obama win: Malaysia hopeful for improved relations with US


PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia looks forward to enhanced relations with the United States following Barrack Obama’s success in clinching the presidential elections.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim said Kuala Lumpur hoped there would be “new possibilities” in enhancing ties with Washington following Obama’s victory.

“His victory is not only meaningful for the Americans but also for mankind. It signifies changes. He is perceived to be the latest beacon of hope in fulfilling the demands of democracy.

“Malaysia would like to contratulate Obama for winning the presidential election and we look forward to enhancing the present good relations and promoting new initiatives that can further boost these relations,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

Rais said Obama’s victory was proof that Americans could choose their leader looking beyond the person’s race, colour or creed.

He said Malaysia also expressed hope that President Obama’s administration would give deserving attention towards developing nations in the context of humanity, development and various bilateral relations.

“We also hope that the Obama administration will be more concerned and sensitive towards the sovereignty of smaller nations and will not use power as a tool to solve problems that are plaguing the world,” he said.

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