African Press International (API)

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Will Raila Odinga be Kenya’s Tom Daschle?

Posted by African Press International on August 13, 2017

By Mukurima X Muriuki

Raila Odinga is the in the same place the Democrats were in 2004. After the humiliating defeat of John Kerry-who was an elections observer in the just concluded election in Kenya-the Democratic party faced an uncertain future. Back then, the Democrats had failed to capture the White House or Congress

The Democratic Party Senate Leader Tom Daschle, who lost his election bid, was leaving as the party’s leader. Tom Daschle had noticed Obama’s unique talents exemplified at the Democratic Party convention where Obama re told the American story in only a way he could do, conjuring up the aspirations of many Americans thus:

“It is the hope, of a skinny kid, with a name, who believes that America has a place for him too. The audacity of hope.”

As Daschle was leaving, his eyes were on Obama. He saw Obama as the party’s future. He gathered the party’s veterans and they all rallied around him. He also managed to get Obama some of the best staff who knew the ways around Washington, among them Pete Mikami Rouse. Rouse was so powerful that he was nicknamed the 101 senator.

The rest, relative to Obama, as we know it, is history.

Will Raila Odinga have a Daschle moment, or just like Moi did in 2002 with Uhuru Kenyatta, bequeath unto Kenyans the next generational leader? Fresh blood with no scandals or baggage?

To this end, I think Raila Odinga has in his possession the most dangerous card that can alter the 2022 election race in a very significant way. But the value of that card will start to diminish if the current demonstrations continue. If there is a lesson every politician has learned by now, it is how not to damage relationships across board.

Politics at times calls on people to regroup; to have a moment of reflection and introspection. And doing so doesn’t mean one is weak or a coward.

Like Tom Daschle, Raila Odinga, and with the utmost respect and appreciation of the sacrifices he has made for this country, should mentor a young person. Maybe that fresh blood will finally implement Raila’s vision.

And to me that young blood is David Osiany



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