Race ‘will haunt President Obama’

October 31, 2008 12:00 am

, NOTRE DAME, Indiana – Democratic nominee Barack Obama would still have to work hard to beat the racial scrutiny as a president of United States if he is elected in the November 4 general elections, a political expert has said.

Professor of Political Sciences and Africana Studies at the University of Notre Dame, Dianne Pinderhughes said on Friday that Senator Obama would be faced with the challenge of getting people to view him as a president and not a black man.

“Its still going to be a shock to a lot of people and I think that’s one hurdle just to get people to think of him routinely as a President without thinking this is a black man telling me what to do,” Professor Pinderhughes told Capital News.
She observed that Mr Obama has a long way in framing the idea of him being a legislative leader in many people’s mind.

And with four days left to the general election that has attracted much attention both locally and internationally, Senator Obama still maintains his lead despite it fluctuating.

On Friday, national opinion polls indicated that the presidential hopeful was leading by six points way below his previous two- digit leads.

Professor Pinderhughes also noted that the looming financial crisis would be another challenge he will face and people will be watching to see how the man who would be the first African American president in the country handles it.

“There is also the international crisis that is staring at us from the Middle East, Afghanistan, the process of repairing a lot of the insult and hurt that has been done by the war in Iraq because of  the arrogant way in which the Bush administration has dealt with the rest of the world,” she stated.

“I think there are a lot of items on that presidential agenda that will require complicated action because of the complexity of issues that he will have to handle all at once.”
She however said if the Democratic candidate won, he would have an easier task of passing his legislations through the congress.

“I think with the electorate moving in the direction it seems to be going there will be a larger democratic majority in the House and in the Senate therefore make it harder for Republican John McCain if he is elected president to get his programs through the congress because he won’t have the same kind of legislative support,” She said.

Mr McCain campaigns have faulted the Democratic policies as those that will require huge spending. However Professor Pinderhughes said that Senator Obama has portrayed himself as one who is capable of spending on programs that would assist the economy.

“I think that a President Obama will function the same way as US Senator Obama and State Senator Obama functioned which is he tried to figure out how to do things in ways that will work so  I don’t see him necessarily spending lavishly.”

She said the endorsements he has received from media houses and respected people in the country have enhanced his credibility and takes off the experience issue.

She however warned that the current tactic of Republicans questioning Mr Obama’s associations could see his votes going down although right now it seems not to be working.

“It is not obviously or apparently having impact but even the modest difference could shape the total of electoral vote outcome.”


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