Is America heading towards first female or first black president?

[Analysis] Top Dem. Contenders, Clinton and Obama announce Presidential committees

 Amin George Forji

The US presidential elections is unquestionably the most popular elections the world-over. Many leaders and countries traditionally use it as a reference to justify their own democratic culture. This is not just because of its beauty and entertainment, but more so because whoever is elected at the end of the day eventually becomes one of the world’s best know public figures. Whoever is elected at the end of the day has one of the rare opportunities to be able to change or influence any major situation in the world and eventually could become the most powerful leader on earth, with even more abilities to influence world situations than the United Nations Secretary General.

But despite its ambiance and popularity, neither of the two major parties in America — the Democrats or the Republicans – has ever nominated a female or a black person to contest the presidency. What has until now been more or less the prerogatives of “white men” per se contesting for the top job at the White House could change during the forthcoming 2008 poll in the Democratic party.

Although the next Election Day is nearly two years away, most of those aspiring to run have already made their intentions clear. In the Democratic party, the two purported front-runners, Sen. Clinton Hillary of New York and Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, are in fact the most unusual candidates that could be nominated by any party to contest the race. Both senators announced the formation of their presidential exploratory committees at the close of last week. Forming the committees is the first step to beginning the official campaign for the primary election.

If nominated, Clinton will not only become the first female in the history of her party, and the country, to be nominated to run for the presidency, but also will become the only first lady to run for the office.

It is not that no females or African-Americans have contested the primaries in the past, but rather, it will be the first time that any will be campaigning as front-runners.

Obama, if finally nominated, would be the first African- American to run for president. While commenting about his likely presidencial ambitions after his senatorial victory at the mid term elections in December last year, he jokingly said, “We are looking for something different—we want something new.”

But the fundamental question both within and withal America at the moment remains: Is America ready for a female or a Black president?

If either are nominated, there is a chance that the populace may decide to vote in favor of the Republican nominee in disapproval of the sex or color of the Democratic nominee. On the other hand, there is a strong tendency that because both of President Bush’s Secretary of States (Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice) were both African-Americans, the only way for the Democratic party to measure up during the next presidential elections in making real the promises of national integration will be to nominate one of these two “abstract” candidates.  If the gamble works and the nominee wins, the party will undoubtedly emerge out of the elections waxing even stronger.

If one wins the presidency, using the other as vice president, it will make a wonderful cohabitation, which was dreamt of in 1963 by the late Martin Luther King Jr., who said,  “The sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”

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