Canadian media hails Obama, slams Bush’s `imperial’ presidency

November 6th, 2008 - 12:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaToronto, Nov 6 (IANS) The media in Canada - which is going to be profoundly affected by the change of guard in Washington - has lavishly praised Barack Obama for becoming the first black president of the US.Writing under the heading “A victory with dignity”, the respected Globe and Mail said that Barack Obama had restored “lustre to American democracy, making it once again an inspiration to the world”.

What he accomplished Tuesday, it said, seemed impossible only a year ago.

“US politics - with its vicious attack ads and talk-radio smears and endless scandal-mongering - seemed no place for people of high virtue. From Willie Horton to revelations about Bill Clinton’s sordid personal life to the Swift-Boating of John Kerry, presidential elections seemed to diminish all who contested them,” the paper wrote.

But Obama changed that by staying above the fray and delivering a message of change and hope, showing that it is possible to win elections the right way, it said.

“Up against opponents unafraid to deploy tactics such as felled previous candidates, Mr. Obama must have been tempted to fight fire with fire. But when his opponents lowered their tone - the attempts by Hillary Clinton’s campaign to exploit the Jeremiah Wright controversy, and particularly the attempts by John McCain to label him an extremist - Mr. Obama elevated his own,” the paper said.

But the daily warned that nothing he has accomplished Tuesday will matter if he fails the tests of his country’s highest office. Under the heading “Barack Obama’s Triumph of Hope”, the left-leaning Toronto Star said that by electing Obama, the Americans have ushered in a triple revolution of racial equality, political renewal and generational change.

“In handing not only the White House but also Congress to the Democrats, they also rebuffed the powerful Republican neo-conservative ideology that has dominated their political life since Ronald Reagan first won election back in 1980,” the daily said.

It said Bush’s incompetence has badly discredited an ideology that was notable for its indifference to the United Nations and its preference for hawkish unilateralism; its conviction that small government, unbridled markets and tax cuts are the answers to every problem; and its massive defence spending.

“Americans craved change after Bush’s reckless imperial presidency, and the damage he did to U.S. interests by invading Iraq on a lie and by throwing legal rights to the winds. They recoiled from his careless governance that allowed New Orleans to sink and the Wall Street credit crisis to go viral,” the newspaper wrote.

“From the start, the campaign was the Democrats’ to lose, even though Obama arrives in the Oval Office with one of the thinnest résumés in presidential history.”

However, it will be a hard slog for Obama to meet the dizzy expectations he has raised during the race.

“He has no magic formula to heal a slumping U.S. economy and make good on $1 trillion in promised tax cuts and new spending, much less to improve America’s image abroad by successfully concluding wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, exorcising Islamist extremism and 9/11 terror, weaning the U.S. from its Mideast oil addiction, containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions or cooling a warming planet,” the daily said.

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