I Am Not Anti-Obama, Its Just That Hillary Clinton Is My Babe

by Sabella Ogbobode Abidde

Senator Barack Obama represents different things to different people. Some continental Africans see him as a man who represents great potential and possibilities. In spite of their sorry condition, he makes them dream and hope for miracles; he makes them feel good about themselves. For White Americans, he is a testament, evidence that America has evolved and is no longer as racially charged as some are wont to believe. For other groups and persons who call America home, it affirms the notion that “you can do and become whatever you desire.” For groups in the fringes, Obama is some sort of god to be worshipped; they see vision, they shriek and faint and sob blissfully in his presence.

But for some African-Americans, Senator Obama is a later day savior, a messiah sent by God to affirm his presence. For now, most people within the African-American society have “forgotten” Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young and other giants of the Black and Civil Rights struggles. If things go according to their expectation, Mr. Obama may be second or third to the great and eternally venerated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X. For a man — any man or woman — within the African-American society to rise in stature in such a manner and period of time is, in the estimation of many, unprecedented. To be a beacon, to be someone of substance does not come easily within the African-American community. You fight for it, you work for it, and you earn it.

You don’t forget easily if you have ever been beaten, trampled upon, and denied your rights. These events open up a huge floodgate of mental anguish. For most, the physical and mental pain associated with the residual effect of the “white man’s” decadence and criminality is just too difficult to forget. But this once — just this once — most Black people at home and abroad are willing to let go if, amongst other things, Barack Obama wins his party nomination and then the general election. It is as if a Barack Obama presidency will resolve countless problems: give us Obama and other great things will follow. Most don’t care whether or not he might turn out to be a regrettable choice. That he is Black is all that matters.

In my opinion, and in the learned judgment of some Black and closeted Clintonites, that’s how things seem to be shaping up to. Or at least, that’s what one hears and feels. There are Blacks who talk and behave as though “it is our turn, the Black man’s turn to show we belong” to this enterprise called the United States of America. Through one man, and in one single candidacy, there are millions of Black people, at home and abroad, who want justice, who wants reparation; and they want the White man to correct hundred years of historical wrongs by electing Mr. Barack Obama. Wittingly or unwittingly, Obama has become the rallying cry for Black people; he has become the flag post, the symbol for Black struggles.

Personally, I have no such expectation; I do not harbor such hope or angst. I am beyond all that. I am not one to project my hopes and aspirations on him or on anyone else. He cannot do for me what the system and the law does not allow me to do for myself. I have said this much to countless number of Africans, African-Americans and Afro-Caribbean who have chided me for my absolute and joyous support for Senator Hillary Clinton. I cannot remember a time, since I moved to the US, when my support and approval of a man or woman or an idea have brought me this much pain and anguish. The catcall, the derision, the pity-nods, and the vocal expression of surprise and exasperation that’s been directed at me are sometimes beyond words.

Most people seem to have forgotten that this is mere politics. For me at least, it is mere politics, a game: not something to hate others for, not something to resent my opponents for; and certainly not something to harm others or to die for. Whom I support or oppose should not be a source of worry. More than ninety percent of my friends and family members support Senator Obama. More than ninety percent of casual acquaintances, colleagues, and subordinates all support him; but not me. Not me! I cannot in good conscience support Senator Barack Obama for our party’s nomination.

I cannot in good conscience support him simply because he is Black. I cannot in good conscience support him simply because he is part-Kenyan. I cannot in good conscience support him because he is an Africa-American. And I cannot in good conscience support him simply because “he is one of us…our own.” No! I am not hooked by his supposed oratorical ability. And neither am I taken by his fabled looks. None of the aforementioned are reasons — good and convincing reasons — for me to laud and support him. I am not anti-Obama; just that Hillary Clinton is my reasoned choice. I admire and respect Barack Obama, but I love and respect Hillary Clinton more.

Three times I have voted during presidential elections in this country (Clinton, Gore, Kerry), three times I voted my conscience. Those times that I voted, I did so only because I believed in the candidates programs and worldview. I voted because of their varied and extensive experience and character and ability, and for where I thought they were taking the country. If my memory serves me right, I have also voted Independent and or Republican in other or same election. I have always voted my conscience. To vote for a candidate simply because he or she is Black is unconscionable. To vote for a candidate simply because she is a woman is also a dumb idea.

The United States of the last one hundred or so years is not a candy store. It is not a kiosk where people learn on the job as they go along. The presidency is not where you come to do apprentice work. You don’t intern at the Oval Office (which was one of the problems President George Bush faced when he came into office). The presidency demands and needs a steady and able hand: an experienced President who have “been there and done that” and who can navigate global landscapes — assuring friends and partners around the world of our commitment and honesty of purpose.

The United States needs a President that can turn the economy around, grow it and bring back the happy days. We need a President that is known and knows where the mines are. We need a President that can work with our friends and partners around the world, and who is committed to addressing global concerns like HIV/AIDS, world hunger and poverty, immigration, environmental issues, and the role and place of governmental and non-governmental organizations. Above all else, the United States needs a President that will seriously and genuinely address the national security concerns of this great country.

We need change alright, but we need experienced and steady hands to effect change and bring about peace, security and prosperity. It is not enough to speak of change. Charming and poetic slogans are academic exercises. We need to solve our Social Security and health care debacles. We must also take care of our men and women in uniform — most of whom are currently serving our nation in Iraq and Afghanistan and other perilous spots around the world. Because of these and other reasons, Senator Hillary Clinton is the best candidate within the Democratic and Republican Party field. She is better qualified to be the Commander-in-Chief, she is better qualified take us to the Promised Land.

Voting is not, and should never be about atonement. Furthermore, we must remember that (1) elections are not popularity contests, they are not about who can dazzle crowds and is capable of winning an Academy Award for best performance; (2) the Oval Office is not a place for interns, it calls for experienced hands; (3) our country needs a steady and experienced hand to manage and handle its affairs; and (4) in Hillary Clinton we have a graceful woman, a Senator who is eminently qualified to undo eighth years of Bushisms, re-chart a better course for our glorious country and fulfill some of the promises made by our Founding Fathers.

Senator Barack Obama claims to be an agent of agent. I do not doubt him. After all, he is a nice man, a great father, and a loving husband. In fact, he is a model citizen of the US and of the world. I applaud him for that. He gets medals for that. Senator Hilary Clinton is both a change agent and a steady and experienced hand. She also comes with a team full of vigor, vision, and foresight to tackle domestic and global concerns and challenges. As with her opponent, she is also a nice woman, a great mother, and a loving wife.

She too is a model citizen of the US and of the world. I applaud her for that. She also gets medals for that. But she deserves far more than a dozen medals; she deserves our support, our votes and the Presidency of the United States of America. Senator Hillary Clinton is the better candidate and deserves to be the 44th President of the United States of America.

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Akinola March 17, 2008 - 4:41 pm

You asked if someone read what they wrote. Did you yourself read what you wrote? In your analogy, you compare a State (Texas) with a country (Kenya)! The only way your analogy could hold water would be for you to describe this so-called Black Barak as a so-called “African-American” and then describe G.W. as a “North American-United States American”. But since even you will not do that and since the whole world seems to be in favor of this hyphenated identification, your Black Barak is accurately described in the way Mide did: a “Kenyan-American”.

majirioghene@yahoo.com March 16, 2008 - 9:34 am

If I have not seen Obama on television, I would think he’s a black man, with a Kenyan name, trying to be president of the United States. And like you, I used to say, ‘Go baby go baby go!’ But, Sabella, I saw the guy on TV debate with the woman you say has ‘experience’ in Texas and I thought both of them, like you say, are ‘model’ Americans. But what struck me about him after that debate was that the guy knows what to do. And believe me, all it takes for you to lead a country is to know what to do, not having what you call ‘experience’. What did all of the experience that George Bush senior, as helmsman at the CIA give to America? What has the wisdom of a methuselah got to do with the so-called wisdom of a solomon? Both of them are great guys from what I saw in that debate, and I expected you should guide people to vote their conscience as you said you had done. From the very beginning of your apology, I thought you were not going to take sides, but you spoilt the sagacity of your argument by doing exactly that.

Ada March 14, 2008 - 12:44 am

She is a senator.

omilola March 11, 2008 - 11:35 am

Which experience does Hilary has that this un-informed author was referring to? Has she ever governed a state, a county, a district, a country, etc? Has she ever run anything in her life? Why are people so gullible thinking that age and association with leaders are equivalent to real experience? This guy called Isabella is a monumental disgrace to all genuine people all over the world yearning for change in America. OBAMA for PRESIDENT!!!

obiora March 10, 2008 - 2:38 am


Obama is black just like any other African American whether his lineage can be traced to Kenya or not. Other African Americans did not originate from America, their lineage can still be traced to west Africa, Asia etc.

You may look for another excuse to discredit him and not his lineage please. May be other “Grand Old Paedophiles” you’ve been voting for cannot be traced back to a family in Europe. Did you even read what you wrote? Obama is Kenyan American and not African American which means that Kenya is not Africa afterall. Will it also suffice to say that G W Bush is Texan and not American?…Buffalo soldier.

obiora March 10, 2008 - 2:30 am

Go McCain

Mide March 7, 2008 - 11:13 pm

Excellent writeup and you laid down the candid facts. Now granted I am a republican and honestly could really careless which of the 2 democrats gets the nomination but I am just tired of people voting with their hearts/emotions instead of their brains when it comes to Obama.

Also can we stop with the deceptive and convenient labeling of Obama as being an African American, that boy is a Kenyan who was born in America and raised by whites in a suburb. He is a Kenyan- American or simply and American.

YODEL March 7, 2008 - 7:29 pm

I am a fan of yours Sabella but I have to disagree with you on this. If living in the White House is one of the qualifications you need to be considered as “experience in the job”, every Butlers, Cooks or Personal Staff that has ever worked, lived in the White House or travelled with the ex as well as the current President should also claim to have “experience in the job”. inlcuding Mrs Bush.

I’m sure they all have the best intention for the country and indeed the rest of the world, however, it is about time we break away from the Bushes’ and Clintons’ and if it takes an Obama to do that, even without the so-call “experience in the job”, so be it.

I still enjoy your piece…..

Patricia March 7, 2008 - 2:56 pm

Go Hilary!

smokeysmokey48238@yahoo.com March 7, 2008 - 11:46 am

Go Hillary!!!!!!

Nonso March 7, 2008 - 4:52 am

Thats Ur opinion…Obama for President!

Bubbles March 6, 2008 - 11:39 pm

Even if you genuinely support Hillary, the reasons you gave above suggest you’ve bought into the propaganda and joined the Hillary zealots in touting the experience card. Since when does being married to the president give you ‘experience in the job’? She was never president, was she?

I’m not against or for either of them, but if I had to choose I’d go for Obama because he doesn’t curry flavor when it comes to American’s foreign policies – and THAT is what concerns me. She always keeps it in… tries not to go over the edge so as not to come off as abbrasive.


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