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Welcoming Bush...But Waiting For Obama


Tanzanian dancers wear "kanga", traditional African cloths, bearing the image of President Bush as as they perform for President Bush, not pictured, at a social dinner held at the State House in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2008. (AP.)

By Peter Baker
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania -- For a president in his last year in office, heading overseas is one sure-fire means of getting away from that annoying election campaign to succeed you for a little while. Or is it?

Turns out many of the folks President Bush is visiting here have been following the contest back in the United States almost as much as the Americans -- thanks to a favorite son, of sorts, in Barack Obama, the senator from Illinois whose father was born and grew up in neighboring Kenya. Many Africans are bristling with excitement over the idea that "one of our blood," as a shopkeeper in Mwenge market put it, could become president.

But Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete is no fool. He understands the difference between a would-be president and the real thing. And so when a reporter during a joint news conference with Bush today asked Kikwete about African enthusiasm for Obama's candidacy, he diplomatically played it down and heaped praise instead on the president who just gave him a five-year, $698 million aid package.

"Of course, people talk with excitement of Obama," Kikwete said. But he added, "For us, the most important thing is, let him be as good friend of Africa as President Bush has been."

As for Bush, he did not seem all that thrilled at the notion of being upstaged in his moment on the world stage. "It seemed like there was a lot of excitement for me -- wait a minute!" he said with a laugh. "Maybe you missed it."

Read more about Peter Baker's trip with the president at On The Plane »

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 17, 2008; 6:53 PM ET
 
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Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Obama has you all tricked! Watch out the Anti-Christ has arrived!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGeu_4Ekx-o

Posted by: joanthebaptist1 | February 20, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

If the AP photo is any guide, the women in Tanzania are quite beautiful. But I have to admit that the extra boob on their chests is surprisingly unattractive.

Posted by: whatmeregister | February 18, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA THE CHANGE AGENT -CNN -- Striking similarities between Barack Obama's words and those of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick during his 2006 election campaign have raised eyebrows and attracted traffic on YouTube. The stump speech Barack Obama has been giving aimed at convincing voters that his campaign is not just about lofty rhetoric -- is from Patrick, Obama's campaign acknowledged over the weekend.
Obama said he goofed on votes angered fellow Democrats in the Senate when he voted to strip millions of dollars from a child welfare office on Chicago's West Side. But Obama had a ready explanation: He goofed!
Also announced he had fumbled an election-reform vote the day before, on a measure that passed 51 to 6. The next day, he acknowledged voting "present" on a key telecommunications vote. He stood on March 11, 1999, to take back his vote against legislation to end good-behavior credits for certain felons in county jails. "I pressed the wrong button on that," he said. Obama was the lone dissenter on Feb. 24, 2000, against 57 yeas for a ban on human cloning. "I pressed the wrong button by accident," he said.

But two of Obama's bumbles came on more-sensitive topics, he backed legislation to permit riverboat casinos to operate even when the boats were dockside.

The measure, pushed by the gambling industry and fought by church groups whose support Obama was seeking, passed with two "yeas" to spare -- including Obama's. Moments after its passage he rose to say, explaining that he had mistakenly voted for it.

Obama would later develop a reputation as a critic of the gambling industry, and he voted against a similar measure two years later. But he was clearly confused about how to handle the issue at the time of his first vote, telling a church group that he was "undecided" about whether he backed an expansion of riverboat gambling. And, months earlier, he had voted in favor of a version of the bill.

Obama's vote sparked a confrontation after he joined Republicans to block Democrats trying to override a veto by GOP Gov. George Ryan of a $2-million allotment for the west Chicago child welfare office. being responsible," said Sen. Rickey Hendon, accusing Obama of voting to close the child welfare office.Obama replied "I understand Sen. Hendon's anger, I was not aware that I had voted no on that piece of legislation.

He voted against requiring medical care for aborted fetuses who survive. Abortion opponents see Obama's vote on medical care for aborted fetuses as a refusal to protect the helpless. Some have even accused him of supporting infanticide.

Posted by: rozz62 | February 18, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Thank you all for graciously pointing out my typo -- of course I meant 2009 -- I also never said we should do nothing about the poor (too bad some of you think $698 million is nothing though).

Posted by: JakeD | February 18, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Kenya is waiting for Obama. Well ,maybe he should have ran for President there. He is more Kenyan/American than African/American. He may have more substance and achievements associated with Kenya.

Posted by: jpannebecker | February 18, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I''d trust Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton or John McCain anyday. These people urging us to reconsider supporting Obama fail to recognize that the other options are disasterous. Obama represents as far away from the Bush policies as you can get... Hillary and McCain don't. I can't help but feel that the same crowd knocking Obama is the same crowd that blindly went along with the status quo that is currently ruining our country. If the baby boomers and the WW2 generation insist on ruining this country for future generations, it is because they are selfish and greedy. Don't listen to them when they say 'keep things as is'. It is time to take out the garbage in Washington DC, and to recognize that Hillary Clinton and John McCain are insider candidates that are no friend to you or I. They are part of the problem, not part of the solution. Barack Obama is far from perfect, but he is a big step in the right direction.

Posted by: errinfamilia | February 18, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Obama will not be sworn in as President on January 20, 2008.

Posted by: JakeD

Ya, because Obama doesn't have a time travelling machine, so he couldn't go back to January 2008. Even then, presidents don't get sworn in during the January of the ELECTION YEAR. They get sworn in the following year, as in try 2009, you fool. I guess Obama will be the next president if his opposition is represented by idiotic, ignorant people such as JakeD.

Posted by: errinfamilia | February 18, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

How about Barack Obama paying those women to faint!

http://www.radiovice.blogspot.com/2008/02/oh-obamaaaaaa-insert-fainting-now.html

Posted by: joanthebaptist1 | February 18, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama is accused of Plagerism and is caught on tape:

http://devonlohan.com/2008/02/barack-obama-will-steal-your-speech.html

Posted by: joanthebaptist1 | February 18, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Obama keeps paying women to faint!
How stupid does he see the American public??

http://www.radiovice.blogspot.com/2008/02/oh-obamaaaaaa-insert-fainting-now.html

Posted by: joanthebaptist1 | February 18, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

AaronDalton:

As an Obama supporter let me say that while I don't agree with you, your post is well thought out and makes fair points. If only all the WaPo users could make similar posts they would give me fewer headaches.

Posted by: thegribbler1 | February 18, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Barack is accused of Plagerism and is caught on tape!

http://devonlohan.com/2008/02/barack-obama-will-steal-your-speech.html

Posted by: joanthebaptist1 | February 18, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Obama is the new McGovern.

Posted by: svreader | February 18, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

DISPATCHES FROM THE GROUND WAR ...

THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER IS REPORTING ...

OHIO GOP ROOTS FOR HILLARY
Cincinnati Enquirer
Howard Wilkinson
February 18, 2008 09:11 AM

One of the worst-kept secrets of the Ohio presidential primary is that Republican Party leaders have a candidate they are rooting for on the Democratic side.

Her name is Hillary Rodham Clinton; and they believe that if she wins the Ohio primary and goes on to become the Democratic nominee, she will be the one who unites their dispirited and divided party and gives them their best chance of keeping the White House this fall. ...


MARTIN EDWIN "MICK" ANDERSEN

Posted by: Martinedwinandersen | February 18, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

The guy who did nothing to prevent the horrendous genocide in Ruanda was actually called Bill Clinton.

Posted by: dunnhaupt | February 18, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Additionally, I think Tanzanians simply look like Buffoons - dancing and smiling for George Bush -

Posted by: demokomis | February 18, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I think that Peter Baker is quite a racist - he tries to insinuate that because Obama is black - he is not presidential material - where as a redneck like George Bush - is simply because he is a president - he then tries to redeem George Bush's racism and oppression of black Americans by pointing to the Africans who have danced for him and praised him.


I read the NY Times and they portrayed President Kikwete of Tanzania stateing that he and others are happy that George Bush's term is nearing an end. This seems like a better comment.

Howewver, many Africans are racist towards Black Americans - do not think that Slavery is wrong - have called the ancestors of black americans "akata" etc. - which is a derogatory reference to slavery

Is there any surprise then that a majority of citizens in these nations - would support George Bush or anyone who oppresses Black Americans?

This whole region in Africa is after all the regioni where Africans sold the ancestors of blacks into slavery - and many of them are not sorry about this.

White Racist Republicans exploit this sentiment - and they give more AID to these African bigots than they do to Black Americans in the US.

Posted by: demokomis | February 18, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm not saying Barack Obama is horrible. I am saying he is human and a politician.

I would encourage everyone to look at the *record* of the candidates.

Barack Obama does not have a long record as a politician, but he does have somewhat of a record.

Read Wikipedia. It may not be authoritative or 100% accurate, but it's a good primer.

Interestingly, Obama and McCain have actually cosponsored some legislation!

I admire the fact that Obama has been consistent in his opposition to the Iraq war. I admire the fact that he took an HIV test in Kenya to encourage others to do the same. I admire the work he has done in Congress to try to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons and other technologies.

On the other hand, I worry that economically he is proposing a bunch of programs that can't be paid for without raising taxes. He says the money will come from ending the Iraq war, but the future is unpredictable in that regard. A hasty withdrawal from Iraq could encourage an Iranian invasion, Iraqi civil war or any number of other Doomsday scenarios that would send the price of oil to $200+ per barrel and drive the whole world economy into recession.

It's like Colin Powell said regarding Iraq - you break it, you own it.

Like it or not, we broke it. Guess who has to fix it now?

Posted by: aarondalton | February 18, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

So if Barack is selling snake oil, then who do you trust? The current admin? More than likely no matter who we elect as the next president is in for the most difficult presidency since FDR. Saddled with a country in a recession and an unpopular war with no end in sight. What this country does need is a salesman. Someone who can speak eloquently after 8 years of incoherency. Someone who can sway foreign leaders as well as congress and the american people with just the power of his voice. Putting a frail looking old man or a woman who has issues with half the country is not a step in the right direction.

Posted by: blomeup2day | February 18, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I do not like 99% of President Bush's policies, but I think even his diehard critics should acknowledge that he has spent far more in Africa than his predecessors ever did. As a result, infections and death from diseases like Malaria have declined dramatically in some countries while AIDS deaths have also declined as more people get antiviral treatments.

By the way, despite all the excitement about Obama transcending race, it seems that he has helped mostly African-Americans during his years of service as a community organizer and then a civil-rights lawyer.

Also, as the Post reported a year ago, Obama claims to be a green candidate but supports use of liquified coal, which just happens to benefit his home state of Illinois. Does this sound like a different kind of politician? http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/09/AR2007010901503.html

Obama also supports ethanol, which again is a sop to America's corn farmers and an incredibly inefficient form of fuel. The best way to reduce our oil consumption would be to encourage higher MPG standards - something he left out in his speech to automakers in Detroit - and of course to promote widespread adoption of hybrid technologies, mass transit, etc.

Posted by: aarondalton | February 18, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

"If it seems too good to be true..."

You know, people were saying the same thing about FDR's New Deal back in '32. A lot of people may not have agreed with it, but it was anything but snake oil.

Posted by: jafprrr | February 18, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

JakeD - you are taking that verse in matthew out of context. It is not meant to mean that we should do nothing about the poor - quite the opposite in fact.

If you read Matthew 25:31 - 46 you will get a better understanding of what Jesus was saying about the poor.

Posted by: wentmat | February 18, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

A word of caution about this man (Barack) who would be president.

If it seems to be to good to be true,

It probably is.

Posted by: PhilTR | February 18, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

The way it looks now, is seemingly not so good for Hillary, as she pretty much needs TX:

Texas Primary- Hillary vs. Barack:
http://newsusa.myfeedportal.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=50

Posted by: davidmwe | February 18, 2008 7:13 AM | Report abuse

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

That Barack Bin Laden is talking Devil's Words!!

He's Jim Jones!

He's Saddam Hussein!

He's A Devil!

He's talking about Hope, but he just wants to make us all DIE!!

Just some of the Compelling arguments made by irrational members of the Clinton Cult.

Hillary Rove is at it Again!
Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Posted by: LeftwithNochoice | February 18, 2008 7:11 AM | Report abuse

.

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSnakeoil!!!!!!

OOOOOOH. (Bilblical.)

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Hillary Rove is at it Again!

Posted by: LeftwithNochoice | February 18, 2008 7:06 AM | Report abuse

There is old saying, IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE run from it.
The current mortgage crisis was built on no money down, low interest rates, THE GREAT WAY TO BUY A PIECE OF AMERICA.
Obama is selling snake oil . BEWARE.

Posted by: raisa_dudu | February 18, 2008 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama reminds me of Jim Jones as the press is giving him a free ride. His followers are drinking of the cool aid.
The press finally woke up when aprox. 3000 bodies were found dead. Obama needs close scrutiny , will be too late if he should prevail.

Posted by: raisa_dudu | February 18, 2008 6:42 AM | Report abuse

.


Hillary Rove is at it Again !

Words, Shmerds!

Nafta, Shmafta!

Iraq War, Iraq Shmore!

Truth, Shmooth!

Honor, Shmonor!

Guts, Shmutz!

Hillary Rove is at it Again !


.

Posted by: LeftwithNochoice | February 18, 2008 6:04 AM | Report abuse

WORDS DON'T MATTER WORDS!!!!
MMMM
OK HILLARY SO WHEN BILL SAID HE DIDN'T HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH MONICA WORDS DON'T MATTER OK

THANK YOU NOW I VOTE FOR MR. BARACK H. OBAMA

SHOW YOUR TAX RETURNS

Posted by: michael337j | February 18, 2008 5:37 AM | Report abuse

Jake You Are A Joke
Hillary Show Us Your Tax Returns Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Vote For Mr. Barack H. Obama Texas, Ohio, HA.
We Can Do It Please Call or Friends And Family Let's Get Out The Vote FEB.19

Posted by: michael337j | February 18, 2008 5:34 AM | Report abuse

Don't know why the African trip right now but I do believe that Bush knows less about the history, culture, politics, and tribal roots in Kenya than he did about Iraq. Yet he confidently tells them how to solve their problems.
If he is sincere maybe he should have taken his own advice and offered to share power with Al Gore after the 2000 election debacle.

It's a joke!

Posted by: jsori | February 18, 2008 4:10 AM | Report abuse

Don't know why the African trip right now but I do believe that Bush knows less about the history, culture, politics, and tribal roots in Kenya than he did about Iraq. Yet he confidently tells them how to solve their problems.
If he is sincere maybe he should have taken his own advice and offered to share power with Al Gore after the 2000 election debacle.

It's a joke!

Posted by: jsori | February 18, 2008 4:10 AM | Report abuse

Thank you all. Am not from the US, but the world know President Obama will rise to power on January 20, 2009. May God bless him.

Posted by: jomunji | February 18, 2008 2:45 AM | Report abuse

I realize that the poor will always be with us. JakeD | February 17, 2008 09:29 PM

Regarding JakeD's smug comment about the poor always being with us-- "If we do not help the many who are poor, we cannot save the few who are rich." John Fitzgerald Kennedy. oceantree | February 17, 2008 10:17 PM

Please read Matthew 26:11 and tell me if you think that is "smug" too. JakeD | February 17, 2008 10:50 PM

"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19:24)

Looks like JakeD is heading to Hell.

Posted by: mnjam | February 18, 2008 1:58 AM | Report abuse

info: I look forward to that day as well.

Amazing how some people use the bible to condemn other people to misery.

Posted by: BethesdaMD | February 18, 2008 1:48 AM | Report abuse

JakeD, you are right, Barak Obama will not be sworn in as president in January 20, 2008. That is because presidents are not sworn in at that time. Obama will surely be sworn on January 20, 2009 judging by the facts we have today. I look forward to the refreshing change in politics that will unite Republicans and Democrats under President Barak Obama in moving this country forward.

Posted by: info | February 18, 2008 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Please read Matthew 26:11 and tell me if you think that is "smug" too.

Posted by: JakeD | February 17, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Regarding JakeD's smug comment about the poor always being with us--

"If we do not help the many who are poor,
we cannot save the few who are rich."
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Posted by: oceantree | February 17, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

It is about my prediction that Barack Obama will not be President this time around.

Posted by: JakeD | February 17, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

JakeD,

"Obama will not be sworn in as President on January 20, 2008."

What is this sentence about?

Posted by: mkk0918 | February 17, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

In other news, TCMP is playing "Gone With the Wind" tomorrow at 5:00 pm.

Posted by: JakeD | February 17, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

No, but I realize that the poor will always be with us.

Posted by: JakeD | February 17, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

JakeD: Are you also "glad" that many of those efforts have failed because of those strings?

Posted by: zb95 | February 17, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

I am glad there were many strings attached.

Posted by: JakeD | February 17, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Bush had 7 years to do something significant in Africa and now with just a few months left he does this pathetic lameduck tour. The AIDs money that Bush administration has authorized up to now has had many strings attached such as being targeted to faith-based NGOs and abstinence only requirements.

Posted by: zb95 | February 17, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Obama will not be sworn in as President on January 20, 2008.

Posted by: JakeD | February 17, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Dubya has watched while millions die in the Congo, Darfur, Somalia and other drought/war struck areas. Thank you for your help, but you are not the great white hope to most Africans. He did get oil from $20 to $90 a barrel but overextended our forces to lose ground in Afghanistan and to be unable to help in Africa. Many Africans think of Obama as home grown with his grandmother still living in Kenya.

Posted by: jameschirico | February 17, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

"It seemed like there was a lot of excitement for me -- wait a minute!" he said with a laugh. "Maybe you missed it."

Yes we did miss it.

NIST and CU Boulder joined together and used their new Calcium Atomic clock to measure the exact length of excitement that surrounded Shrub's Presidency in 2001. The measured result was 0.023 seconds +/- 0.0005 seconds with a confidence level of 95%.

NIST and CU Boulder were also able to calculate the general worldwide "hangover" that resulted from that blink of excitement about Bush. For this measurement, however, they were able to use the sundial in the garden, (which providing the same answer of 7+ years, while saving substantial taxpayer dollars).

Posted by: bonsai5966 | February 17, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

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