As America takes its first steps into what is widely viewed as a new day in politics with the election of its first African-American president, public figures the world over are rushing to give their support to Barack Obama as he prepares to step up to the White House. Typically Boris had previously courted controversy (no change there, then) by publicly endorsing Obama’s run for the White House – an almost-unprecedented step in a world where most politicos like to keep their cards close to their chests. This resulted in a bit of a media backlash (most notably from Toby Harnden in the Telegraph), but it seems that Boris got his wish.
Or did he? As Harnden points out, only a year ago Johnson was endorsing Hillary Clinton’s run for the White House. While you could argue that he’s following the Democratic line (which would certainly be an unusual choice for a Conservative politician), his critics have claimed that it’s just an anti-Bush vote, and doesn’t reflect Obama or Clinton’s policies at all.
So, what did he have to say after Obama’s election?
It is in my view a fantastic win and a very encouraging sign for the world.
Short and sweet, and a view that’s echoed by leaders across the globe.
Is Boris’s support for Barack a sly attempt to protest the Bush regime, or a real hope for change in politics – a change that he could be seen to represent for the UK? I’m more inclined to believe the latter, but there’s always going to be cynics out there. What do you think?