Former US President Bill Clinton famously dubbed his party – the Democratic Party – as ” the Party that never misses an opportunity, to miss an opportunity.”
Tired of watching his Party losing to the Republicans on races that were in his view, winnable, Mr. Clinton urged his Party to grow some spine and stand for something and while at it, defend it with everything that it had. On this effort, the former President argued that common sense is not something that is hard to defend. And if the Democrats formulated some serious and substantive policies and sold them with conviction, the American people were going to buy what they were selling.
In other words, common sense dictates that defensible policies are not hard to sell. It worked. It turned out that the Party of Kennedy and Roosevelt had great ideas but lacked the spine to stand up and defend its ideas, hence giving the GOP countless victory laps.
NASA’s belabored oath-taking extravaganza is now in the history books. However, the script had to be rewritten, thanks to a spineless trio that danced themselves straight to sublimation. The trio, comprising two former Vice-presidents in Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi, together with the uninspiring upholstered integrity reject in Moses Wetangula, gave the function a wide berth.
Musalia Mudavadi is an award-winning political ambulance chaser who is used to getting things on a silver platter. He sports a long list of acts of political cowardice.
With the conspicuous absence of the trio, ODM impresario Raila Odinga, flanked by his political protege and his deputy in ODM, Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho and a host of other leaders, hoisted the Holy Bible and took the oath of office albeit, with a slight rendition of the Presidential oath (not as prescribed in the Constitution).
Nonetheless, it was an accomplishment that not only quenched the thirst of the party’s faithful who were palpably effusive but also revealed the true character of the trio who were hitherto considered to be gunning for RAO- succession sweepstakes.
By boycotting the function, the three musketeers took the country through a political clinic on spinelessness. For Kalonzo Musyoka, a man who has been battling trust issues, this stunt has effectively secured him a familiar political costume: watermelon. The Raila adherents were hard pressed finding reasons to trust him after the 2007 betrayal, now this is the proverbial last nail on his political coffin.
Musalia Mudavadi is an award-winning political ambulance chaser who is used to getting things on a silver platter. He sports a long list of acts of political cowardice. From 2002’s humiliation as the first sitting VP to be shown the door by the voters, only to be sanitized by Mr. Odinga five years later, to the 2013 political wet dream that even his own running mate did not vote for their ticket. Not to mention the infamy of being the first Presidential candidate to call a press conference to whine about allegedly being short-changed when the UK-WSR axis dishonored a presidential promissory note.
One thing that RAO’s national constituency adores and respects is a leader with conviction, spine, and courage.
The two leaders have inadvertently sealed their own fate and left the gates wide open for a true soldier to emerge as the heir-apparent to the throne. A man whose support and conviction has never been in doubt. A leader who has been at the fore-front matching Jubilee’s PR machine dollar-for-dollar! No leader has demonstrated that he has the chops to spar with the mighty and duke it out with the officialdom like the one and only Sultan and Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho.
While other leaders have been busy touting bloated longevity as a reason why they deserve to be president, Governor Joho has slowly but surely, emerged as a champion of the oppressed. A trait that he clearly shares with his role model and his party leader RAO. When the Jubilee government decided to engage in fake PR gimmicks at the Coast, Joho had no qualms dressing-down the president in broad daylight.
From land ownership to Mombasa port services, the Sultan has been on the forefront making the case for Mombasans. This, of course, has put him in the crosshairs of those who pull the levers of power, thus making him a perennial guest in the corridors of Justice. But if there is one thing that RAO’s national constituency adores and respects is a leader with conviction, spine, and courage. This is why they have buoyed RAO for decades and Joho is now waltzing all the way to their hearts. And has been at it, for some time.
Like RAO, Joho is the only politician with national appeal and his fidelity to the cause has catapulted him to a status that every living politician will forever envy. Joho has earned the trust of the most loyal political constituency in Kenya. While the none-Luo Governors ducked the occasion for fear of political retribution, Governor Joho proudly graced the occasion and introduced his Party leader. And with that, his stock soared to the skies and the Governor, rightfully, lived up to his sobriquet: Baba mdogo.
Governor Ali Hassan Joho for President?
Mike Dande is a political analyst based in Washington DC.