Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Now the biggest news for us is the inauguration. I often wondered at how a presidential candidate could grace the cover of so many popular magazines. Then I figured it’s good for your campaign. But after the campaign was over, would they end? Over here. . .the answer is no. He still graces the cover of a few popular magazine, and it’s so funny to see that. I’ve never seen that with a presidential candidate. Its shows his striking popularity and the great strides he’s made before even being elected or doing anything as president.

I’ll say it again: even if he’s does nothing as President, he’s already done so much. This time let me point to an amazing happening in South Africa—campaigns!!!

In South Africa, we don’t have the system in the U.S. with huge fundraisers and requests to raise money for traveling around the country for televised town hall meetings, live broadcast debates, etc. You just know who the candidates are, and then you make up your mind. But there is no campaign season, no debates, nothing. It’s hard to figure out the actual platform of candidates (remember that in reality you vote for a party here not the candidate). Well, guess what?

While I was gone, I believe due to the American election influence, they started to have a weekly series of debates between presidential candidates!!! WHAT??!!!!! When did THIS happen? This doesn’t happen in South Africa. In fact, it never happens and to prove it, notice that Zuma sent the third in command to do the debate in his place while he simultaneously appeared on another TV slot. I doubt he’ll do that again. Sunday, the 18th, is the next one, and hopefully I will get to watch. The long, drawn-out, fiercely fought primary elections and national secondary elections were watched by South Africans, and now they are making the campaign and platforms public which is quite wonderful for the general public. It’s easier for them to be educated about the candidates this way and judge for themselves which party presents the best choice. Good job U.S.A.!

And now the biggest rumor here is that Oprah was asked to be the next US Ambassador to South Africa. Of course, her people have said that she is not considering that (but potential candidates are required to be silent about such until the president himself announces a nomination). She would have to figure out what to do with her TV show, but a friend told me she was looking to wind it down anyway within the next 2 years or so. I’m not sure if that’s true, but an actual US embassy official in Pretoria did say that at the workplace (in the embassy) the only person they are talking about is Oprah, so it’s quite possible she was asked and is considering it.

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