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Obama pulls through…says howzit

Obama takes his first steps onto SA soil as US President on Friday 28 June, 2013.

Obama takes his first steps onto SA soil as US President on Friday 28 June, 2013.

The media who attended Barack Obama’s first landing in South Africa as US President had some time to ponder what this really meant. Probably not much was my conclusion. I don’t take on board policy and politicking and certainly don’t feel the need to analyse the movements of politicians.

Admittedly though, I do have a soft spot for Obama. I just like his character and I was keen to see him again since I had first been to a small talk of his when he visited Cape Town in 2006, while a senator.

So after some hours of security checks and lock down at the Waterkloof military airport, we were escorted out to the tarmac to await his arrival and landing of the decidedly huge jet, Airforce One. Shortly after 20:00 we saw the approaching lights – which turned out not to be his jet but a kind of decoy. Obama’s jet landed minutes later.

The only over-riding feeling I had given the extensive security measures, the awaiting entourage of tank-like cars and armed helicopters is, ‘what power’.

Given that – not many people can be said to trump the US president coming to your shores, but Nelson Mandela did. Media coverage of this event was a fraction of what it would have been if our former president has not lying in hospital critically ill. What power.

It’s all fleeting of course. One is expected to pass on shortly, the other has only a couple more years in office. None of it really worth all the hub-hub. But it is still something to experience.

There were some nice clippings of his visit that we gathered on a coverage page over at Some nice wraps and also his ‘howzit’ moment.

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