He ought to stay and learn about himself…
President Barack Obama is set to visit his father’s native Kenya this weekend in a long-anticipated trip designed to highlight his personal ties to a continent that has largely been on the periphery of his foreign-policy agenda. Why not use journalistic prudence and use only the words that are significant. How about, “Barack Obama goes to Kenya.”
Mr. Obama plans to showcase policy initiatives he hopes will define his Africa legacy, such as steps to increase access to electricity. In all sincerity, we believe it is just more of Obama getting what he really wants — a time, place and opportunity to speak to those country leader’s that will pay into his “stash of cash” for when the time finally arrives when he is out of the White House.
He will move on to Ethiopia, meeting with the African Union on matters of trade, business and security, as U.S. officials have voiced growing concerns over the rise of extremism. Or…what else would you allow the mainstream media to report? Heaven forbid matters close to the truth. One truth that we all know about is USAID or the trunk loads of taxpayer money that aids everything in Africa yet there has never been a conceivable effort or where with all to allow us to know how our investment’s are doing.
But his arrival in Nairobi on Friday is in itself a hallmark moment for his presidency. For Mr. Obama, it isn’t so much what he does, but who he is that ties him to the continent—and to Kenya in particular—and sets him apart from other American presidents who have invested in Africa.
His two-day visit is widely seen as a homecoming of sorts, as the first African-American U.S. president returning to a country that considers him a native son. Hallmark moment for his presidency may, in fact, be true; subsequently, as we discussed just days ago — did we really think that this nation’s “first African American president” did turn out the way you wanted or anticipated.
Although it must be an uncomfortable feeling building a “legacy” on such predetermined notions — as such Obama really doesn’t have much to ramble about in the U.S. and the only legacy that a realist could utter would be all about failure.
Mr. Obama plans to spend time with members of his father’s family. He will meet with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, hold an event with young African leaders and reflect on his familial roots in a speech at an indoor sports arena. “He’s looking forward to the trip and the opportunity to spend some time in private with some of his relatives,” said Susan Rice, Mr. Obama’s national-security adviser.
Former President George W. Bush was heralded for his efforts to combat the spread of HIV and AIDS in Africa, and his predecessor, Bill Clinton, spearheaded a host of economic initiatives on the continent. Mr. Obama, however, hasn’t showcased Africa initiatives until more recently, after his 2012 re-election, in part because of the political backlash stirred by his Kenyan roots.