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Archive for Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Obama’s extended family watches vote

January 9, 2008

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— Seated on plastic chairs surrounded by chickens and barefoot children, Barack Obama's Kenyan relatives listened to the radio Tuesday for news of how their favorite son was doing in the New Hampshire primary.

The early results were encouraging, bringing a whoop of satisfaction from the candidate's uncle. "Ah, that's wonderful," Said Obama declared, breaking into a wide grin. "But I don't want to jump just yet."

Results of the New Hampshire voting didn't become clear until well after midnight in Kenya, with Obama finishing a close second to Hillary Clinton. "I am still fired up and ready to go," he told cheering supporters.

Kogelo, the western Kenyan village of Barack Obama's father, has been spared the political and ethnic violence that has erupted in Kenya after last month's disputed presidential election. But it's just 90 minutes' drive from a town where torched and looted buildings bear testimony to the clashes that have left more than 500 people dead, and the turmoil in Kenya, as well as his nephew's political success, were on Said Obama's mind.

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