Monday, November 24, 2008

President Obama ! Is old wine the change you promised?

President-elect Obama's new cabinet is being hotly discussed. But it is a disappointment to read in the Newspapers that the man who promised change for the last two years is busy procuring old wine for bottling in the flashy new containers.

Who is tipped to be the new Secretary of State? Good old Clinton, the feminine one. Here is the lady who tirelessly questioned and ridiculed Obama's 'change' mantra in the run-up to the nomination. Is she going to be the agent of change under Obama? The bet is that Hillary will function as an autonomous Secretary of State. May be, she would consult the other Clinton who is even older wine than the lady herself. So, the entire foreign policy might turn out to be Clintonian, Part II.

Now look at the prospective Defence Secretary. Is he going to be some one who is in favour of reducing America's involvement in Iraq? Is he likely to be the one who has the credentials of belonging to the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, like Obama himself? Oh no ! The new Defence Secretary is the old Defence Secretary. That means that Robert Gates, the current Defence Secretary under President Bush will be the brand new Defence Secretary under Obama who has been elected on a platform of change. Do we already see some eggs on the face of the electorate? This appointment is being justified on the grounds of continuity. My goodness ! If continuity is what the people of America had wanted, they would have elected good old McCain, not young untested Obama.

I do not know what other such ' changes' are in offing from Obama. One thing is pretty clear. You can not find another set of people who are as naive as the Americans. For all their child-like enthusiasm that almost brings tears in the eyes of the watching world, they are a very gullible people. They fall for slogans very easily. They fall for external appearances instantly. Catchy phrases and boyish charm are all that are required to fool the American voters. I might still reverse my views on this, if Obama's first few weeks hint at some really fundamental change in any important aspect of governance. The signs, so far, are not promising.