Obama offers hope to an ailing world

IF AMERICA can harness the emotion and goodwill that accompanied the inauguration of Barack Obama in the past 24 hours, then all will be good in the world.President Obama arrives in his new role with the lofty expectations of the world upon him and he may well need miracles if he is going to fulfil the hopes of the people he now leads.He is seen as not just America's saviour, but someone who can bring nations across the globe together, possibly even world peace, such are the hopes of his supporters.Conscious of the aura that has surrounded his ascendancy, President Obama used his inauguration speech to remind the people that the road ahead was a difficult one. He alone cannot change the world.He comes to power at time when the US is at war and when the economy is facing its most turbulent era since the Great Depression. Both have contributed to a budget deficit of more than a trillion dollars. But Barack Obama is someone who, despite the challenges, can instil confidence in the people of his nation.His inauguration is special not just because he is the first African-American president, but because he offers hope when the country most needs it.Not since John F Kennedy has the US been so excited by a new president.Barack Obama is articulate, inspiring and, most importantly, believable.He is genuinely inclusive, genuinely keen to ensure a better life for all Americans and genuinely determined that America should be a broker of world peace.That is why a record number of Americans - more than two million of them - turned out on a chilly day in Washington to see him sworn in.More than 40 years ago, Martin Luther King announced to the world that he had a dream.Yesterday, the world watched as that dream came true.Why, then, shouldn't they dream now that President Obama can make the world a better place. It is a dream worth aspiring to.