Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton clashed repeatedly during the Democratic Party
nomination, most observers thought they would never see eye to eye any more.
But the moment Obama emerged as the party's standard-bearer in the historic presidential
election, the Clintons threw their weight
behind Obama's candidacy, rooting for him as though they had never been
political opponents. They stood for him throughout his battle with the
Republican candidate John McCain who was finally routed at the November 4
both Obama and Clinton were political opponents, they nonetheless recognise
each other's strengths and weaknesses. According to a biography of Barack Obama
written by journalist David Mendell, Senator Hillary Clinton is one of the several
people who paved the way to the US Senate for Obama. Because in politics there
are no permanent friends, nor permanent enemies, it was necessary for both
friends to slug it out for their party's nomination and then patch up their
differences after the gruel and get on with the task in hand.
got the greatest job in the world, President-elect Barack Obama realises he
cannot do it all by himself; he realises he needs a result-oriented team to
help him revitalise America - and give hope to the
rest of the world. And to him, it does not matter what your political
affiliations are, or whether he had sparred with you before. What matters is
capability and patriotism.
recognises that Hillary Clinton has the drive needed to make the requisite
change that America badly needs, so he has
just given her the influential job of secretary of state. "She's [Senator
Hillary Clinton] an American of tremendous stature who will have complete
confidence, who knows many of the world's leaders, who will command respect in
every capital, and who will clearly have the ability to advance our interests
around the world," Obama said. He added, "Hillary's appointment is a sign to
friend and foe of the seriousness of my commitment to renew American diplomacy
and restore our alliances."
nobility is rare in Africa, where nepotism and sycophancy are seen as the
requirements for high offices. If Obama had been an African president-elect, he
would have not have given Hillary Clinton the job at all, as he would have seen
her as a political enemy "who does not have the interest of the state at heart".
That is how most African countries are run, denying the state the benefit of
the guidance of experts who can make a difference because they belong to the
opposition and are therefore unpatriotic elements. The Obama way of doing
things is a lesson to African leaders on how to govern right - placing premium
on capability, not on sycophancy.
"A statesman is a politician who
places himself at the service of a nation. A politician is a statesman who
places the nation at is service."
- Georges Pompidou