Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Monitoring the mid-terms, Ugandan style

MBARARA, UGANDA--Got up at 7 this morning to watch live election coverage on CNN (I was very lucky--the hotels we stay in very seldom have CNN). Kampala is 7 hrs ahead of the east coast, so I was watching Wolf, Anderson and the "world's most unwieldy political team" live at midnight EST. A few hours later, we discussed the mid-term results in my peace journalism seminar. I pontificated about the cyclical nature of U.S. politics, and I gave the seminar attendees, all radio journalists, my very biased opinion that Obama and the Democrats were unjustly blamed for the economic mess that they inherited from George W. Bush.

Only a handful of the attendees seemed to be informed about the mid-terms. Why? Because President Obama was not on the ballot. Ugandans love Mr. Obama, whom they see as one of their own. (Obama's father is from the Luo tribe, whose members can be found in both Uganda and Kenya). However, it's a given that in 2012, these journalists--and all of Uganda--will be closely following Mr. Obama's race for re-election.

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