Barack Obama


As the Obama presidency comes to an end, the world would not be same again. We would be deprived of a leader, who had camouflaged behind his serene smile and a rangy gait, a stubborn optimism, unfailing grit, indomitable will and incredible gravitas. Every time Barack Hussein Obama took to the podium, the world held its breath to hear out, as he conjured dreams for countless people through his genuine determination, those crescendos alternating with pregnant pauses, the eclectic hint of a Hawaiian accent and ecclesiastical notes jingling with his prodigious charisma in an ethereal voice and inhuman grace.

The New York Times quotes Beverly Tan Murray, an African American resident from Miami as saying, “ Mr. Obama’s presidency was the living embodiment of a dream we were once promised. If we could live in a world where he was president, maybe America saw, respected, even loved us. For a brief, magical time, that “maybe” felt like reality.” Mr. Barack Obama carried hopes and aspirations on his towering image of a sensitive husband and a loving father, and that of a compassionate, humble and thoughtful man.  His persona made the government feel alive as he offered a beacon of hope to a restless world in troubled times, time and again in these 12 turbulent years.


The posterity shall of course also be made to remember, time and again, that the very magnetic eloquence which led to his ascent, proved to be his Achilles’ heel. There always remained this formidable difference in his unquestionably noble motives and what he was finally able to attain for America and the world.

His massive domestic and international political fails, diplomatic setbacks in Russia and Israel, his inability to persuade the Congress on many key reforms, utter failure at being able to check gun violence even after the Sandy Hook and Charleston killings and developing breeding ground for terrorism in middle east due to detrimental inaction will always be blemishing his tenure at the oval office. Some even logic that it was his timidity and inaction on crucial matters at critical junctures which led to the general frustration against the vernacular politics leading to the rise of Donald Trump.

At the end of the day, inspite of his many heroics, irrespective of everything he did,  be it Stimulus Bill, Obamacare, salvaging America of two economic recessions, Paris agreement on climate accord, Bilateral agreements with China, Russia and Latin America including Cuba and new paradigms of relation with European and Asian nations, his critics will see his failure over what he saw as pointless.  He will be remembered as a leader who did not flaunt his achievements.

The Telegraph quotes Barack Obama saying to a young child interviewing for People’s magazine last month about the Tuesday farewell party.  “We are going to have a big party before we leave office. But I’ll be honest with you- it’s going to be after your bed time.

As for us, this is no bed time. We will watch in delirium as your antithesis takes over as the 45th POTUS, who unlike you, is vindictive, irritable, argumentative and dangerous.

As for you, some will question your being a good president,  no doubt about that.  But you will always be remembered as the  most beautiful person to ever reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Feature image credits:  White House Photo/Pete Souza

Nikhil Kumar

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The country that everybody’s watching with hawk eyes goes to poll on 8th November, 2016. We give you a low down on what’s in store for you over the next year, so that you can make better sense of that international column in the papers.

The US Election System

The President of the United States is elected indirectly by the people of the country, and holds office for a period of four years.The citizens vote for an electoral college, which in turn elects the President. Each state is allowed to elect a fixed number of representatives to the Electoral College. This number is equal to the number of its representatives in the Congress, the American Legislature.

The political parties (primarily the Republicans and the Democrats), put forth their nominations for the electoral college candidates before the public. These nominations are usually done over the summer. The party also nominates a candidate who will run for President, after the candidates who wish to stand have made their ‘Presidential Convention Speech’ before the members of the party.

The citizens then vote for their candidates to the electoral college. Once the electoral college has been constituted, the people are assured a more or less clear idea of who is to be the next President for, the members of the electoral college, prior to being elected, have promised their vote to a particular party’s Presidential candidate. Depending on whether the Electoral College is predominantly Republican or Democrat, the President is almost unoffically decided even before the electoral college votes in November.

The election day, since 1845, has always been the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November and the term of the new President will begin on the following January 20th, after the elections.

Presidential Candidates, 2016







According to the Constitution of the United States, an individual can hold the office of the President of the United States for only two consecutive terms, which debars Democrat, President Barack Obama from standing for a third term. A number of Republicans and Democrats have already stated whether or not they are running for their party’s 2016 Presidential nomination. Bobby Jindal, the Governor of Louisiana, is the first Indian-American to declare his candidacy for the Republican nomination. Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Secretary of State, has announced that she is running for President on a prospective Democratic Party candidature. Business tycoon and reality television actor, Donald Trump, has also, rather controversially, declared that he will be running for the Republican nomination for President. According to public opinion polls, Trump has garnered high levels of support, with his promise to “make America great again.”

For those of us watching from the outside, the election procedure that is to unfold over the next year looks like it’s going to be an interesting spectacle.

Abhinaya Harigovind
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