We pause for an unpaid political announcement

And so Hilary Clinton has finally bowed to the inevitable and publicly crowned Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee for President of the US. Forget about race, gender politics, etc. – one of the key reasons for Obama’s success has been his intelligent use of the Internet to raise funds, organise people and show off attractive women (Obama girl, anyone?). Oh yeah, maybe his message of hope and his rhetorical skills had something to do with it, as well.

Apparently, Obama’s decision to run for president was influenced by the fact that a page created on MySpace by supporters not connected to any official campaign quickly signed up 160,000 supporters. Not surprisingly, Obama is far more popular on Facebook than any other candidate. And as the BBC says, “joining Mr Obama’s Facebook site – unlike responding to an email message of support – is a public expression of support which can have a broader political impact.”

As an expatriate American, I’m overjoyed that the US voting public seems to be responding to a candidate that is not viewed by the international community as a self-centred, xenophobic troglodyte. Go Obama!