I think part of the reason many of prominent leaders in Nepal lost in the April 10 CA election is they are not attached to the common people the way Barack Obama is.
Letter from America
By Deepak Adhikari
It’s been more than a month I am in the US as an Alfred Friendly Fellow and I missed the CA polls and the surprising results back in Nepal. The election is going on in the US too. I wanted to see the US presidential candidates first hand, American people’s perception toward election/politics and watch some of the debates and the Primary.
Hello Barack! Supporters including a Nepali scholar Nawa Raj Pradhan reach to shake hands with Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, after he spoke at a rally at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyo., Friday (8 March). Dr. Eng. Pradhan from Ilam, Bhanu Path-2, is a post doctoral research associate at the University of Wyoming, U.S.A. He completed his PhD from Kyoto University in Japan in Water Resources Engineering. Photo by Associate Press via USA Today
Previous UWB post on Obama: And I Endorse Barack Obama for the American Presidency
Luckily, I am posted to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette , the biggest newspaper in Western Pennsylvinia. The much awaited primary is slated for April 22 in this state. My mentor Greg Victor assured me that I would be able to watch the Primay and may be shadow a reporter covering the presidential election. The latter has not taken place yet but I was pleasantly surprised when both of the candidates, hoping to clinch the Democratic nomination, turned up in our office to garner the support of Post-Gazette. Hillary Clinton’s visit went almost unnoticed as she did not want to meet the newsroom people.
But April 15 was different. Post-Gazette office was abuzz with presidential candidate Barack Obama’s visit. My colleagues here often talk about Democratic presidential hopefuls Clinton and Obama.
I’m not someone who runs after celebrities (be they politicians or sportsmen/artists) and asks for an autograph. As a reporter, you get to see them every now and then. But, the excitement in the office forced me to take a chance and see Obama. Many of my colleagues were disgruntled that he was meeting only with the Editorial Board. So, as the hullaballoo grew, I ventured out of the office in Boulevard of the Allies to catch a glimpse of him.
Half a dozen young people were waiting accross the road from our office. Then, the Secret Service people asked me to go to the other side of the road where I ran into several colleagues and Obama supporters who were standing and talking animatedly. It was 2:30 PM. At one point, I received a call from Samuel Siringi, a Fellow from Kenya. I told him that I was expecting Obama’s arrival outside the office. He didn’t believe it. After an hour or so, Obama arrived, flanked by his people and the omnipresent Secret Service agents. He waved to us and entered the office.
It seemed I was merely seeing him in person instead of TV. So, what’s the big fuss? But, a surprise was awaiting me. I was busy working on my training plan which is due Friday. I saw colleagues running toward the hallway saying “Obama is meeting personally everyone in the newsroom”. For a moment, I thought of staying in my desk. But, as eveyone flocked to the place where Obama was, I could not resist.
He was shaking hands and moving toward where I was. As he approached me, I introduced myself. and shook hand. I said: I’m from Nepal. He said: Oh, it’s a beautiful country. I said: Nice to meet you. He said: Nice to meet you too. Then, he moved ahead.
Now almost every one in the newsroom is talking about how he looked like, how his handshake was etc. Comments vary from his handshake being soft to he looking young. To me he appeared a guy-next-door, attending to everyone. Back home, politicians are a different breed; they don’t relate to the people. They think they are superior to the people who elect them. I think part of the reason many of prominent leaders lost the recent election is they are not attached to the common people the way Obama is.
My colleagues congratulated me on meeting a person who has already created a history.
1. Post Gazette’s endorsement of Obama.
2. Post-Gazette report on Obama’s visit.
3. Obama on different issues.
4. UWB’s Eye on US Elections
5. An article in Nepali about shaking hands: ????? ?????? ??????