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Batyah
01-21-2008, 01:59 PM
Enjoy! :)

The Obama Phenomenon
by Verdel L. Petersen
Dear Source:

Obama fever is on the rise in the U.S. Virgin Islands and I am definitely infected.
It is not a surprise that the majority of delegate candidates from the Democratic Party have decided to support Presidential Candidate Sen. Barack Obama. In the St. Croix
District, six female candidates have declared their support for Obama and only one female candidate is uncommitted. All the male candidates have selected Obama as the person who should be the next president of the United States of America.
On February 9, 2008, registered Democrats of St. Croix will get an opportunity to cast their votes for one of the three Democratic Presidential Candidate as well as get to select two female delegates and one male delegate. The electorate may opt to check off uncommitted for a presidential candidate on the ballot. The presidential candidates on the ballot are Clinton, Obama, and Edwards.
What would inspire voters to participate in this special election if they are not committed to a particular candidate? Furthermore, what would compel voters who wish for Obama's victory, but feel their support will not have any impact on the outcome? I constantly hear the complaint that we are second class U.S. citizens and it is not fair that V.I. residents do not have the right to vote for president. Now that there is an opportunity to participate in the process in a significant way, I am hearing lame excuses for not going to the poll on February 9. Yes, your vote for Obama makes a difference. You will not actually participate in a presidential election; however, the chance to be a part of history and to exercise your right and privilege to vote should not be taken for granted.
Obama represents optimism and a wonderful possibility. He is not simply an African-American, a member of a minority group in America. He offers hope to the children of the VI. They could dream of one day serving as president of the United States. What audacity to think they could be in the White House one day. Isn't this a possibility?
"Obamism" will have a lasting effect here, regardless of the outcome of the presidential race. According to the U.S. Constitution, only a natural-born U.S. citizen is eligible to run for president. People who reside in the territory and were U.S. citizens at birth (born in the VI) may be qualify to run for president.
To the pessimists, the odds of Obama becoming president is slim; hence, they believe that it would be a waste of time to cast their support. Imagine, though, if he was to beat the odds and make the possibility a reality. Wouldn't it be a joy to know one played a role in history? Even if he does not win, the thought that your vote was counted is to be cherished.
If we believe in the dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr. and that a man once walked on the moon, why could we not believe that one day Obama will be in the White House? Again, Obama offers hope and dream of possibilities.
All the registered Democrats should take part in the special election. Our Honorable Governor John P. deJongh, Jr. has pledged his support for Obama. Our Governor and the lovely first lady are also infected with "Obamism." First lady, Cecile deJongh and her daughter are going to South Carolina to encourage females to vote for Obama. They believe in possibility. Yes, it is possible for Democrats here to send a clear message that would put the territory in the U.S. history books and make it the focus of the national campaign media.
The ballot will be simple and hopefully none will end up being spoiled. If one wishes to elect any two committed female candidates and one of three male candidate, then one must select Obama on the ballot as well (St. Croix). If this instruction is not followed, the ballot will be deemed spoiled. If one is not an Obama's supporter, it is understandable that there is no compelling reason to participate in the election. Since all of the delegate candidates are committed to Obama except one female, Obama's supporters, especially those who reside on St. Croix, are urged to participate in the special election. Exercise your rights and perform this important civic duty. Demonstrate to the people of the United States of America our political consciousness and appreciation of democracy.
This is the power of the "Obama Phenomenon," one possibility that is a great probability-"VI Democrats support Obama almost 100%" I bubble with excitement dreaming about such a headline.

Verdel L. Petersen
Kingshill, St. Croix

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