Thursday, June 05, 2008

Obama's rise predicted as far back as 3 yrs ago

Barack Obama's astonishing rise to prominence as the first black presidential nominee of any major American party was predicted as far back as three years ago when the senator from Illinois with the self-confessed "funny name" was virtually a non-entity and no one could have believed he would oust Hillary Clinton as Democratic candidate.

Back in October 2005, a left-leaning British magazine listed Obama at the head of a 10-member rundown of "people who could change the world". The list, which included Sania Mirza and was sub-titled "revolutionising the future: from tennis to teleportation", pointed out that Obama was the only "out-and-out politician" it chose.

The prescience of the New Statesman, a substantially well-written if a trifle staid magazine originally established by the famous Fabians Sidney and Beatrice Webb, is now seen as nothing short of miraculous.

In India, it is astrologers who tell political fortunes. In the west, it is that other soothsayer - the media. In Obama's case, it appears to have come true.

Obama's proud place in the magazine's list of people who could change the world came barely 10 months after he became a senator and learnt to read a teleprompter. The New Statesman based its forecast that Obama would rise and rise and go on to do great, world-changing things, on his "political rock star attributes" and self-deprecating refusal to take himself too seriously.

The magazine admitted Obama "seems a little too primed for political superstardom" and acknowledged Washington's "habit of hailing new political celebrities, chewing them over and then spitting them out".

But it insisted the new senator appeared to have "come to DC prepared to shoulder the burdens of high expectations" and that its list was all about "being bold...our ten world-changers... reflect the ways that power and influence operate in our complex, interconnected world ...(the list) is intended to offer hope. Given that the present is characterised by relentless violence and carnage, man-made or otherwise..."