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Let's Move Forward With Obama

The election of Barack Obama in November, 2008 was both an act of courage and hope.

The courage of the American people was demonstrated in electing the African-American candidate as the 44th president of the United States. The candidate who, as he stated in his memorable 2008 speech - A More Perfect Union - in Philadelphia, embodies the history of the United States, its paradoxes and its challenges: the struggle to live together, rich and poor, black, brown and white, Christians, Jews and Muslims.

The Americans' immense hope was one of a vision and a speech that brought change and the conviction that "we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes", as Obama said in Philadelphia.

Today, hope and courage must be renewed in a country that is still shaken, like the rest of the world, by economic, financial and social crises, and in a world that is equally shaken by a despair to which female and male politicians are still unable to adequately respond to.

Four years are not enough and yet ... economic growth rose by 2% in the third trimester of 2012, in particular due to household consumption, the rescue of U.S. financial institutions and the automobile industry, the weakening of terrorist threats following the death of Bin Laden and especially the implementation of the first universal health care insurance that starting in 2014, will allow millions of Americans to have the type of health care that they previously lacked.

Obama has certainly experienced defeats, particularly when it comes to unemployment. One may consider that, similar to what happened with Jimmy Carter in 1981 or Bush Senior in 1993, Obama should not be granted a second term because having 15 million unemployed people, which corresponds to more than 8% of the working population, is simply unacceptable.

So why support Obama, if one is not American (or if one is a disappointed American) but "simply" French, a mayor of the 4th district of Paris, and a former New Yorker and U.S. resident during the 1990s?

As it was shown at a conference organized by the Jean Jaurès Foundation titled "Four more years," that I had the pleasure to host at the 4th district hall on October 20, Obama embodies the reasons why one should believe in political will and rhetoric. This is because he is a role model, who inspires elected officials, whether young or experienced, and who inspires voters to mobilize and vote, to believe that there is still a point to be politically engaged.

Because the one who was awarded the Noble Peace Prize in October 2009 knows that civil peace can be obtained by favoring the working class, by calling on those who are better-off to contribute to the national effort, in order to continue to invest in infrastructure and social services. Because he promotes the progress of moral standards by including, for the first time in the Democratic Party's program, the issue of marriage for all.

Barack Obama is the America that we, Europeans, would like to resemble: a country that is conscious of the fact that a people moves forward only with and because of those who have a vision, who still believe that, as Obama put it, "one voice can change a room, and if one voice can change a room, then it can change a city, and if it can change a city, it can change a state, and if it can change a state, it can change a nation, and if it can change a nation, it can change the world". We should go forward with Barack Obama, because it is with willpower like his that we, citizens and politicians, can change life and advance democracy both here at home and all over the world!

christophe girard obama

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