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Jakarta Post

Obama: Between hope and reality

  • Abdillah Toha

Jakarta   /   Tue, November 9 2010   /  09:42 am

During last year’s Indonesian presidential campaign, many Indonesians believed that had Obama been one of the contenders he could have easily won the Indonesian election. He was so popular then, here and outside the US, even exceeding his popularity within his own country. After 22 months in the White House, I very much doubt that Obama, who is due to visit Indonesia this week, is still as popular here today.He will still be very much welcome by many Indonesians compared to the last visit of his predecessor, when George W. Bush had to jump from one helipad to another especially prepared for him in order to avoid being too close to unfriendly crowds. But Barack Hussein Obama should not expect to get a reception as warm as that given to the Iranian President during his last visit to Indonesia. The Muslim world was so hopeful after Obama’s famous “new beginning” and “mutual respec...