Since joining Newsvine, I have been following various debates, particularly as to why Obama wasn't likely to win the nomination, and have watched with fascination as even the most talented Viners closed their minds to what was possible and stuck with what they 'knew', even in the face of consistent poll results, while finding it difficult to deal with the unknown. But to appreciate why Obama has created history today, and will get to the White House on his own steam, is to understand the power of pioneers. Obama is a pioneer of the first mould. Armed with nothing more than his vision, faith, determination and incredible charisma, he is about to change America's recent impact on the world to something much more positive and to give a glimpse to the nation of what is possible for them.
What has helped Obama in his presidential quest are three major elements which very few members of the biased media were able to take into account:
1. Hillary's own approach to the presidential campaign. She was obviously set on establishing an early lead and raising the most money to prove her electability and suitability for the post, to overwhelm her rivals with high statistics and powerful support. However, she obviously forgot the very important message of that famous song: "It's not where you start, it's where you finish". That is the only thing that matters - finishing. She was so busy concentrating on making a big splash to start, and maintaining it at all costs, even with vindictive personal attacks by members of her team against Obama, she forgot about the power of the underdog to come from behind; that underdogs have nothing to lose but their doggedness! Furthermore, while she was concentrating on wooing women to get the female vote, what happened to the men?
The public hates politicians and the media making up their minds for them, when they are the real deciders with the final votes. I think Hillary sounded her own death knell when she told Katie Couric in December that she would definitely get the nomination. That was really like an arrogant red rag to a simmering bull. A little bit more humility and public appreciation could have worked wonders for her.
2. The support of the youth. Sixty percent of Obama's new caucus voters were people under 25, while most of Hillary's came from women over 65. That youth presence is a powerful endorsement by the future generation of Americans. Despite being in his 40s, Obama's youthful looks have encouraged them to see him as 'one of them', reflecting their hopes and dreams of a united America - for BOTH men and women. Obama has not only impressed and motivated them, but he is also taking the future with him in their powerful show of support. That is a formidable position to be in.
The youth of many countries has always been in the vanguard of change: ready to go on the protest marches, to join debates, to speak out and to make their voices heard. Fearless and far seeing, our youths are phenomenal in being agents of change because they have little experience to keep them stuck in the past and controlled by fear. They have greater visions of what is possible, as they are not hampered by limiting dogma and entrenched positions. They are also willing to experiment, unlike the older folks, they mainly go by their instincts and what inspires them and are keen to defend their beliefs. With such a solid endorsement of youthful support, especially where young people tend to behave like lemmings and word of mouth is very powerful, Obama had to be a winner.
And finally, the main reason:
3. The inability of the pundits to deal with the unknown. Obama was an unknown candidate whose lack of experience kept him out of their orbit. His colour is also a major issue for the racists across America. Put those two factors together and his audacity of hope would have appeared laughable to the many people claiming to know the score in American politics. Their 'experience' would have told them that Obama had not a hope in hell of making much impact because nothing like it had ever happened before. But that's the problem with people who mainly use 'experience' as a guide. Their narrow vision keeps them stuck with past actions and what has been tried and tested, robbing them of the ability to deal with change and the unknown.
But our world has been built by pioneers, with nothing more than their curiosity, faith and determination to guide them. Obama is no exception to this. As such, he has created a major headache for the 'experience' gang. Their closed minds are unable to comprehend this new direction and so the old chestnuts keep coming out like: "Republicans will vote against him if he does get the nomination, so a Republican will win". What tired nonsense. The refuge of the ignorant and fearful. They are still unable to deal with this unknown and continue to clutch at the straws of familiarity. But there will be lots more shocks in store for them by the time they recover from Iowa.
Nothing succeeds like success so, with this historic win in the first primary, watch his bandwagon turn into a juggernaut as the caucuses roll on. The blind mist will slowly clear as the doubters begin to see what is possible. It will be hard to stop him after New Hampshire because everyone likes a winner, especially one who has beaten all the odds to get there.
Quite simply, Americans, and the world, no longer want more of the same negativity and fear. Until the biased media and the 'experienced' political pundits accept that simple fact, they will continue to miss out on one of the biggest historical changes about to engulf America.
To quote David Brooks of the New York Times:
"Iowa won't settle the race, but the rest of the primary season is going to be colored by the glow of this result. Whatever their political affiliations, Americans are going to feel good about the Obama victory, which is a story of youth, possibility and unity through diversity — the primordial themes of the American experience.
"And Americans are not going to want to see this stopped. When an African-American man is leading a juggernaut to the White House, do you want to be the one to stand up and say, No?
Obama has achieved something remarkable."
Who, indeed, would dare to do that, for a variety of reasons?