Author Profile Author Profile Li Yang Li Yang is a junior year student majoring in English and International Studies at China Foreign Affairs University.
Mission of the
U.S./China Media
and Communications
Program at UCLA

Our mission is to create, promote, and disseminate a more balanced understanding of the interrelationship of the countries, peoples, and cultures of the United States and China through the tools of mass communication and public education.

Four strategic areas make up the U.S.-China Media and Communications Program, housed at the UCLA Asian American Studies Center at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Beijing on Barack Article

"Barack Obama: The New-era American President"

By Li Yang

As a supporter of former Sen. Barack Obama, I saw his rapid rise and final victory in the 2008 presidential election like a dream. I had no idea about this name at all more than a year ago, when one of my teachers at the China Foreign Affairs University asked us to do research on one of the candidates for a mock primary election debate. Our group chose Barack Obama, because we knew that he was Black, or just because he was the only black candidate. I had only heard about the name a few days before in a piece of news, which only left me the impression that he was young and promising, but immature.

After research, however, I began to like him—not because his policies were so much better than the other candidates, but because he was different from all the other candidates and even, from most of the former presidents. His rise from the grass roots, his background as an ethnic minority, his outstanding talent in oration, all made him a fresh breeze in American politics.

His air of a new kind of politics actually helped to persuade people to believe in his concepts of “hope” and “change,” with which he won not only the support of the majority of American people, but also the hearts of people around the world. Several independent global polls all showed the same result: if the U.S. president had been chosen by the world, Obama would have won a landslide victory. Of course, one might argue that Obama owes his global popularity to President Bush, whose unilateral politics has spoiled the U.S. global image; what is undeniable is that people voted for Obama for his own charisma, not for Bush’s mistakes.

To some extent, Obama changed the model of American politics. The 2008 presidential election was no longer just a bunch of old sophisticated politicians throwing mud at each other everyday, but more about persuading people, inspiring people and giving people the “hope” that they could trust. I, as one of the thousands of millions of supporters of Obama globally, was honored to follow all the twists and turns of the 2008 election and witness the rise of Barack Obama as a “political star” — who, more than any predecessors of any time, has become a role model.

Obama’s election may, like some analysts have predicted, prove to be the easiest part. Facing the financial crisis that threatens to throw the world into one of its largest recessions, Obama is now facing a greater challenge than his predecessor. The greatest challenge for the newly elected president, however, lies in himself. Can he really bring the changes he promised? He won unprecedented support by the promise of “hope,” but he could be the target of unprecedented public anger if the promises are not kept. Late-breaking news reports show that there is already disappointment about Obama’s shift to center-right. No doubt, Obama still has a long way to go.

Good luck, Obama! Good luck, America!


[keywords: Barack Obama, president, election]

© Copyright 2009 by Li Yang