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Study: What American People Developed During Haileselassie Time Played Part In The Election Of Obama

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Obama In Ethiopia: A Presidential Visit In Context – OpEd

In his recent book ‘The Lion of Judah in the New World’, American political scientist Theodore M. Vestal, has argued: “The images of Africa and of Africans that the American people developed during Haileselassie’s prominence will no doubt be referred to by historians, psychologists, and sociologist – as well as the media – as having played a part in the election of Barack Obama as president in 2008.” Even if Vestal may be exaggerating to some extent, his observation is nevertheless intriguing without a doubt.

In any event, Barack Obama became the first sitting US president to visit Ethiopia when he arrived in Addis Ababa this week, after his pilgrimage to his father’s homeland, Kenya. Regardless of whether or not Emperor Haileselassie’s charm offensive had influenced the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the US, it is important to note that Obama’s visit to Ethiopia would take place in the shadow of a long tradition of diplomatic interactions between the two countries.