Barack Obama is now the Democratic Party's frontrunner for America's next President. In a race that he was not even expected to be a serious contender, Obama, the junior Senator from Illinois, has impressed America by his stirring message of hope and change.
Shortly before undertaking his campaign for the crucial March 4 Democratic primaries in Ohio and Texas, Obama wrote this exclusive article for India Abroad, the oldest and largest circulated Indian-American newsweekly, which is owned by rediff.com.
Sources within the Obama campaign said the Senator had been working on the article for weeks, in concert with close friends and supporters within the Indian-American community, to ensure that he produced a comprehensive articulation of his policies on the various key issues confronting the United States today.
Obama finally signed off on the article last week, immediately after extending his winning streak over New York Senator Hillary Clinton to ten straight wins with sweeping majorities in Wisconsin and Hawaii.
This is a defining moment. Our nation is at war. Our planet is in peril. Our American dream is slipping away. That is why, in this election, it is not enough to simply change parties in the White House. We have to fundamentally change our politics if we are going to make progress on the great challenges we face.
I am running for President of the United States to offer the American people fundamental change -- change that they can believe in. Instead of continuing the same old divisive fights in Washington that are more about scoring political points than solving problems, we need leadership that inspires, energiszes, and mobilises the American people behind a common purpose. That's how we're finally going to build a new majority for change that can win in November, and pass a policy agenda that protects America's national security, and advances the American dream for our citizens.
This kind of change will require the active participation of the American people. And as President, I will reach out to encourage the active engagement and partnership of the vibrant Indian-American community in making the change we seek. Already, in communities across this country, Indian Americans are lifting up our economy and creating jobs. Leading entrepreneurs, innovators, lawyers, doctors, engineers, and hard-working professionals are adding to the richness and success of the American story.
And yet, since the attacks of 9/11, we have been gripped by a politics of fear that has far too often targeted Indian Americans, excluding them from the American story. Too often, flawed strategies like racial profiling have had a disproportionate effect on Indian Americans. Too often, restrictions at our borders have prevented entry for many students and family members who seek nothing more than opportunity, and reunification with loved ones. In the process, we have restricted the promise of America for millions of hard-working, law-abiding individuals who advance our nation's economy and potential through strong families, excellence in education and achievement, and personal faith.
Image: Barack Obama speaks to supporters on the campus of the University of Toledo, February 24, Ohio, ahead of the March 4 Ohio primary. Photograph: J D Pooley/Getty Images
Also read: Analysis: Obama wins youth, women in Iowa
At the Rediff Bookshop: Barack Obama's Audacity of Hope