At the U.N., Many Hope for an Obama Win
By Colum Lynch
October 26, 2008; A17
UNITED NATIONS -- There are no "Obama 2008" buttons, banners or T-shirts visible here at U.N. headquarters, but it might be difficult to find a sliver of territory in the United States more enthusiastic over the prospect of the Illinois senator winning the White House.
An informal survey of more than two dozen U.N. staff members and foreign delegates showed that the overwhelming majority would prefer that Sen. Barack Obama win the presidency, saying they think that the Democrat would usher in a new agenda of multilateralism after an era marked by Republican disdain for the world body.
Obama supporters hail from Russia, Canada, France, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Indonesia and elsewhere. One American employee here seemed puzzled that he was being asked whether Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was even a consideration. "Obama was and is unstoppable," the official said. "Please, God, let him win," he added.
"It would be hard to find anybody, I think, at the U.N. who would not believe that Obama would be a considerable improvement over any other alternative," said William H. Luers, executive director of the United Nations Association. "It's been a bad eight years, and there is a lot of bad feeling over it."
One U.N. official threw a party over the summer and asked guests to place stickers of either an elephant or a donkey on the front door to show their political preference. At the end of the night, the door was covered with about 30 donkeys and two elephants. "We found out that one of the Republicans was an American and the other couldn't vote," according to a U.N. official who attended. "So we convinced the American to vote for Obama."
"I have not heard a single person who will support McCain; if they do, they are in hiding," said another U.N. Obama booster from an African country. "The majority of people here believe in multilateralism," he said. "The Republicans were constantly questioning the relevance of the United Nations."
For the small minority of U.N. officials who have stuck with McCain -- only two of 28 U.N. officials and diplomats questioned said they favored the Arizona senator -- life in Turtle Bay can seem lonely. "I keep my mouth shut," said one American official here who plans to vote for McCain. "Everyone is knocking on wood, counting the days to the elections. Some Americans here are planning to move to Washington," in search of jobs in an Obama administration.
"It will be devastating if Obama loses," the official said. "There has been such an amount of faith placed on the outcome."
So let me get this straight: One of the most bloated, corrupt and ineffective organizations in the world today wants Obama to win?
What does that say about Obama?