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Russian Reset
The Russian Reset

Obama and the "Russians Did It" Conjecture

E.  Ablorh-Odjidja

January 23, 2017

The first black president, Barrack Obama, left office on January 20, 2017 amidst a nice time honored ceremony, except for the acts of some protesters that sought to mar the occasion.

The rationale behind the most visible protest, the John Lewis and the 68 House representatives, was that Russia had helped elect Donald Trump, therefore “his presidency is illegitimate.”

A matter worth discussing is how 'The Russians Did It,"  that, true or not, may alter Obama's legacy too for reasons that may not seem apparent now.

How this matter may alter Obama's legacy is a matter worth discussing.


Whether Obama policies are successful or not is not the issue here. It is about him being the first Black African-American president and how this singular Russian charge impacts the reputation of his presidency.


Already, the charge has had some impact.  It has ruined the transition to Trump.  How deep the damage goes to touch on the racial nerve from now on will depend on how soon another Black American follows Obama into the same office.

For now, Democrats and liberals are milking “The Russian Did it" theme because it lends benefit to future campaigns. 


In Obama, Democrats found the perfect vehicle. And as always as they have done in the past to other black leaders, they will move on; once these leaders are used up. (Harold Lee Washington, Mayor, Chicago 1983; David Norman Dinkins, New York City, 1990 come to mind.)

And so, the Russian charge will remain for generations to come until some meaning is derived out of this emotional tag.

I sensed trouble for Obama in 2009, at the very moment he accepted the Nobel Peace Award.

The award was unusual. It could have been received on behalf of the Civil Rights movement. But it went solely to Obama on the basis of expectation and not accomplishment.


Note the official reason for the Peace Award in general, ".. to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

For a powerful world leader to accept a peace prize that early in office and on the basis of "hope and expectations" would raise suspicion of a move to shape his future actions.

Furthermore, looking at the idea of the award from the racial perspective and on the same basis as given to such a newly minted super power black leader, one might not help think it patronizing.

And true enough, the premature award, to some extent, helped shape parts of Obama policy initiatives and made him to look more pacific.

Until the 2016 election when the Democrats were defeated and the Russians were charged.


Obama then became more aggressive, based on findings from the intelligence agencies against the Russians, which many agreed were highly probable but not certain.


But, no matter, Obama had found his cause.

True or not, the charge meant it was the first time in US history that a selection of a president was decided by outside interference, precisely speaking, by the Russians.


The notion of the Russians as villains has now been firmly inserted into the minds of the American public. And relation with Russia plummeted.

Also left in the public mind is a dark question; could it only have happened on Obama the peacemaker's watch, this serious feat against America?


The answer may turn out to be malignant and as negative a narrative on Obama as Bush's “Mission Accomplished” message on Iraq was in 2003.


Additionally, the charge in a way has diminished the look of America, the giant, in the eyes of some in the world.


No thoughtful admirer of Obama should allow the Russian charge to stand for the above reasons.

But the charge is being promoted by liberals and Democrats to obscure the fact that their candidate Hillary was a very flawed politician.


And it has brought a worsening in relationship between America and Russia; the worst since the end of the cold war.


America has not been so low in political intelligence esteem against Russia since President Kennedy and the Cuban crisis.  She always came up on top in little or big PR skirmishes until now..


Nixon had a “Detente” with the Russians, the magnitude of which is still felt in the history books today.

Reagan's “Gorbachev, tear down this wall” moment in 1987 is still ringing nostalgic in the ears of Americans.

All through the years of Bush, Sr and Clinton through Bush, Jr,  the Russians were kept quiet on the sideline.

Even so, Obama and Hillary thought then that the Russian/American relationship was at its worst peak.  After Bush left office and Obama came, they promised improvement.

Hillary then took a mock "reset" button to the Russians.

Unknown to Hillary as she handed over the mock button, the inscription of “reset” in Russian on the button was wrong. It had been translated as “overcharge” instead.

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergai Lavrov corrected the mistake as he was accepting the mock button.

Perhaps, that mock "reset" moment in 2009 should have warned Americans about the handling of Russian affairs. The relationship with Russia is now far worse than when Obama and Hillary took office, made worst with the charge the Russians were responsible for Trump's victory.


There is a vast  irony in the charge.  It is in what the Democrats are willing to hide in preference to the damage they are causing to the legacy of a black presidency, in terms of optics.


Truth is, it is not so much the Russians. The Democrats simply chose to coronate the wrong woman.  Yes, the first to come close to being a president.


The hurt became palpable with each cry of  “Trump is illegitimate president”.

By inauguration time this year, sixty-eight House Democrats have bought the idea of the "illegal president" and were busy working the stain into the electoral grain by refusing to attend the inaugural.

In the lead of this group was Representative John Lewis, a Civil Rights icon, who in this respect, baffled many with his stance on the issue.

What one ought to have asked Representative Lewis at this stage was, with the possible damage to Obama's reputation looming, what was he doing grand standing on a charge that might stain Obama's legacy?

Obama becoming the president was the height of achievement for the Civil Rights movement and black pride. Representative Lewis could have done better. Instead he chose to boycott the inauguration on a supposed principle.  He added that it was his first boycott.


He was soon contradicted.  Apparently, it wasn't his first boycott of an inaugural.  He had already established a tradition of boycotting Republicans.


Lewis boycotted George Bush's inaugural in 2001.

In between George Bush and Trump, Lewis had disparaged former Republican presidential contestants, John McCain and Milt Romney, by equating each to George Wallace of Alabama, the prototypical segregationist.

Clearly, it was a partisan John Lewis in action; not the moral principled act of a venerable Civil Rights leader in operation.


No surprise here.  For 30 years plus, Lewis has been on the Democrat side.

Trump is “illegitimate” may be a good strategy for the Democrats cause but may not necessary be good policy for defending what black pride has achieved. 


For, there is no joy in knowing that it could be possible for someone to declare for the history books that Russia was able to attain the intelligence coup only because our Black leader was in charge.


We elected the first black American president; not White, Hispanic, Asian, a woman or any other person from the diversity group.  And with that we made history.

The notion that the Russians gained huge influence on America's electoral system on Obama's watch is already defiling the historic prestige gained with his election. 

History may still remember Obama with fondness for being the first African-American president. Many a racist's conscience will be salved for having helped a Black ascend to the presidency.

But the same racists will end up saying it was only because of Obama that the Russians were able to win this time.

E. Ablorh-Odjidja,Publisher, Washington, DC, January 23, 201.
Permission to publish:  Please feel free to publish or reproduce, with credits, unedited.  If posted at a website, email a copy of the web page to . Or don't publish at all.


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