Herald Tribune, France
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America': Now Obama Has to Deliver (Frankfurter Rundschau,
"Now that he
has been re-elected, the problems have hardly become smaller. He leads a
dramatically over-indebted, and in many areas, ailing country. The Republicans
still dominate the House of Representatives, and the broiling Middle East is in
urgent need of a peace strategy that can only be developed in and with the
United States. The world is still waiting for Nobel Peace laureate Barack Obama
to earn his prize. ... But the American people made a good choice. Thank you
By Holger Schmale
Translated By Stephanie Martin
November 8, 2012
- Frankfurter Rundschau - Original Article (Germany)
Thank you, America. That was a good choice. There are many
reasons why the re-election of Barack Obama will be good for the U.S. and the
world as well. On election night, with his acceptance speech to the American
people, we were already able to experience one reason. If there is anyone who
can still express the pathos of the American ideal in a credible and compelling
way, it would be this president.
"The best is yet to come," - the conviction
expressed by this sentence is not only the core of the indomitable optimism
that continues to shape this country. It is also a quote from a song by Frank
Sinatra. It contains a message from the Black president to White, conservative
Americans: We will continue to tell this story, it is part of our shared history.
"We are a family," as Obama said at another point.
There is nothing that the torn, hostile, and divided U.S.
needs more now than someone who reminds the country of its founding ideals, who
is conciliatory and who promises, as John F. Kennedy did, to lead it to new
frontiers. The theme of the American family has accompanied Obama throughout
his political career. In his first major speech to the Democratic National
Convention in 2004, he inspired people with his vision of the United States as
one - a unified nation. He has returned to this theme again and again, most
recently after the catastrophic Hurricane "Sandy."
However, after his first election four years ago, he already
promised an era of reconciliation, which has left in its wake a
similarly-divided nation. That was one of the many promises he couldn't keep.
Because he was too naive back then; because he underestimated the ruined
economic, political, and moral landscape left by his predecessor George W. Bush;
and because reconciliation always takes two. What's special about Barack Obama
is that he still seems credible. The people continue to believe that he will
pursue that goal with the iron will he has so frequently demonstrated.
Some say that by reelecting him, the American people gave
Obama a second chance, and this, too, is an American attitude. But that makes
it sound as if he had thrown away his first chance. That is not the case. His reelection
is perhaps an even greater achievement and will be even more important
historically than his first victory four years ago. Back then, he benefitted
from the exuberant mood for change after the eight disastrous Bush years. Now, on
the basis of his own resources and with a very mixed record, he was able to win
against someone who, in the eyes of many Americans, was a real contender. He has
done this as a Black man, thus advancing America a little further in its
struggle against racism - which is far from won. African Americans and Latinos have
thanked him, with their votes carrying him to a second victory. But the
strength of Obama is the fact that he doesn't present himself as a Black civil
rights activist. And for many White voters, what was true four years ago may
have been true again: They voted for him not because he is Black, but despite
Now that he has been re-elected, the problems have hardly
become smaller. He leads a dramatically over-indebted, and in many areas,
ailing country. The Republicans still dominate the House of Representatives,
and the broiling Middle East is in urgent need of a peace strategy that can
only be developed in and with the United States. The world is still waiting for
Nobel Peace laureate Barack Obama to earn his prize. These are not tasks for
the faint-hearted. After his election victory, Obama won't begin his second
term with the same euphoria of four years ago. He will, however, begin his
second term with more realism and confidence.
In his victory speech, the president used impressive words
to outline his vision for the United States, which he described as a strong and
self-confident country committed to peace and dignity for all people. He spoke
of a generous, open-minded, compassionate, and tolerant America, in which
everyone should be given the chance to succeed - if they want to. With these
words, he once again emphasized the choice Americans just faced. For this
vision is a counter draft to the vision Mitt Romney and the Republicans
currently stand for, which primarily recognizes that "might is
right." The American people made a good choice. Thank you America.
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