see how USA's Barack Obama influences...?

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see how USA's Barack Obama influences...?

Post by tree68 on November 15th 2008, 6:07 am

By PAT BOOTH - Opinion | Monday, 10 November 2008

Burying the hatchet - 'Yes, we can!'
It wasn’t imagination. The lanky shadow of Barack Obama seemed to stretch across the troubled world.

His moving and significant winning words calling for unity of purpose and policy echoed here too in the dying minutes of a Labour government and an historic prime minister’s surprise decision to move on.

Particularly in the goodwill highlighted by John Key’s public tributes to Helen Clark’s career.

What we need now, also from the United States, is our own version of "The Joe Biden outcome".

It was tucked away in the hectares of type and torrents of words and film which led up to the Obama victory.

Apparently, in vice-president Joe’s hometown of Georgetown, Delaware, all the previously bitter rivals celebrate what they call "Return Day" after the counting is over.

They forget the recent past, the highs, the lows and ride down the main street together in a cavalcade, winners and losers, to show that the divisiveness of the campaign need not – hopefully will not – continue.

They even bury a symbolic hatchet.

Let’s follow suit.

In a new age of new leaders, developing balances of power and policy, let’s put the bitterness baby and mindless niggling out with the electoral bathwater.

As president-to-be Obama did: "Senator McCain fought long and hard in this campaign. And he’s fought even harder and longer for the country that he loves.

"He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine. We are all better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader."

John McCain, obviously disappointed but not bitterly so, paid his matching tribute to Barack Obama: "He has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country ... by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I greatly admire and commend him for achieving."

In so strongly hailing an opponent’s greatness, John McCain revealed his own.

Norman Kirk set a striking Labour precedent in a different way and in different circumstances in the opening days of his government in 1972.

First, he memorably gave his caucus and the civil service their precise riding orders: "Treasury can look after the books – we will look after the people."

It had its own precedent in the Savage-Fraser-Nash pledge from the 1930s of service to the people "from the cradle to the grave".

And he went further.

He counselled his MPs against the understandable temptation to kick Robert Muldoon – their scourge, the man Labour had campaigned against for so long as a political enemy.

Norman Kirk made it clear his MPs must deal with issues as serious as those we face today – that there were much more important things to do than hanging and burning effigies, blaming and obstructing.

Later, on September 3, 1974, when Parliament paid tribute to Kirk, the dead political warrior, Muldoon, the epitome of the political street-fighter, the destroyer of careers, an adversary apparently without mercy, repaid in kind.

From the Hansard report of his speech on that sad day: "There is no one in this house, on either side, who would not give credit for the Labour victory in 1972 to Norman Kirk ... he stumped the country ... carried the election victory on his back ... as one of his chief opponents I could only have admiration for the tremendous energy of the man in the cause which he held so dear.

"He will be remembered as a great New Zealander, an ordinary man with no airs and graces, who in the New Zealand tradition wanted none of the trappings of office but just the opportunity to serve his people ... a great parliamentarian."

Of course, it’s sometimes much easier to praise the dead rather than the living.

But let’s remember the spirit which Norman Kirk evoked from even his sternest political critic and rival, and the response to victory and defeat in the United States only days ago, the exchange of tributes and good wishes on our election night.

These are the political signposts pointing to a genuine and constructive way back from the flashes of ugliness which have marred our recent political life.

It’s more than time to put aside the deliberately damaging mud-slinging, the grandstanding, innuendo and the snide half-truths which have been the past weapons in defence of power or in the seeking of it.

Let’s avoid falling back into those damaging tactics as new leaders put their stakes in the political ground.

In these times, we too must set new boundaries and demand the best from them.

Each in different ways and with strikingly different outcomes asked for our trust.

Each of us, for our different reasons and in our different ways, gave them that trust and took them at their word.

It’s now up to them to show us that they can be trusted to abandon petty feuds and malicious reflexes, points-scoring and conspiracies.

To put behind them past power-saving and power-seeking and the thirst for baubles of office, anger over what might have been.

There is real need for them to begin a new era of public service, to meet the needs of the needy and give hope to the hopeless, to "look after the people" rather than to prime their own ambitions.

Like others in the world community, we have seldom been in greater need of wisdom, tolerance and respect for the skills of those who do not share the same views.

Yes, we need what John Key defined in his winner’s speech as unity of purpose.

So, let’s bury the past and now pool our talents to work jointly and urgently in the common good.

So that when we ask them individually, in their separate parties and as a Parliament: "Can you honour the trust we have placed in you?" they can draw on the words and spirit of that Obama catchphrase which swept a nation and has deservedly echoed around the world and the hearts and minds of so many millions: "Yes, we can!"

If that’s the genuine answer – as we hope it is – then everyone can be a winner.

"Yes, we can!"
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Re: see how USA's Barack Obama influences...?

Post by noend on November 15th 2008, 10:00 am

Great article. Yes, the whole world need change. I don't know if Obama is the answer or not. But it can't get much worse..The man is walking into a mess that's going to take a long time to fix, if it can be fixed at all. And if he can live long enough to try and fix it..There's a lot of threats going around on his life.
How in the world would they protect someone when they're exposed to the public as much as the president is?
I don't get into politics. I don't really care who wins or loses, as long as they do a good job. I'm not loyal to any party, I just vote for who I like, and believe the most.
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Re: see how USA's Barack Obama influences...?

Post by Deb on November 15th 2008, 3:09 pm

Same sentiments here Ed. Best man or woman for the job...don't care about color, religion, etc. Just please live up to your words. So far it hasn't faired too well with them living up to their word. Maybe Obama will surprise all of us and be the 'first'? But, I am 'old-school'...my word IS my honor and I don't 'shake' hands, I 'pull *you* up and hold on tight' till you are ready to stand alone. But...I am a different breed. I think maybe I am an alien. to funny

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Re: see how USA's Barack Obama influences...?

Post by noend on November 15th 2008, 3:42 pm

Me too hon..if a person's word is no good neither is the person.

I think maybe I am an alien
legal I hope. lol
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Re: see how USA's Barack Obama influences...?

Post by Deb on November 15th 2008, 3:44 pm

Deb's alien status: Naughty and nice, but definately legal.

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Re: see how USA's Barack Obama influences...?

Post by WildCherry on November 16th 2008, 1:08 am

scratch Neutral

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Re: see how USA's Barack Obama influences...?

Post by Belair54 on November 16th 2008, 12:24 pm

Tree, not all us Yanks are happy with the election. It was split 50/50. Nuf said as this isnt a political forum.

Deb....alien, Dont come to Okie land then as we do ask for papers, [quote]

¿Puedo ver sus papeles, por favor, señora
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Re: see how USA's Barack Obama influences...?

Post by Deb on November 16th 2008, 1:23 pm

Let me clarify for everyone...alien from anther PLANET...not country. Razz

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Re: see how USA's Barack Obama influences...?

Post by WildCherry on November 16th 2008, 3:00 pm

"we are not of this earth"

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Re: see how USA's Barack Obama influences...?

Post by Belair54 on November 26th 2008, 12:22 am

well then ya should have led of with
"take me to your leader" Shocked

sheesch.....women folk
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Re: see how USA's Barack Obama influences...?

Post by Okie on November 29th 2008, 11:08 am

The man is the Devil in disguise and will send this Country in to a Hell it has never before known. May God help us all.
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