By Dorcas S
When Barack Obama took office in 2009, the US economy was in a virtual freefall losing close to 800,000 jobs every month! Unemployment was almost 10% and the Republicans (Mitch McConnell) publicly announced that their goal was to make him, Obama, a “one-term president”.
The then-GOP Minority Leader and Senator from Kentucky rallied his Republican caucus to oppose everything the new president proposed; even legislative proposals and policies they had hitherto supported. This they did while blaming him for failing to stem the job losses and turn the economy around!
Fast-forward to 2012 and beyond and Mr. Obama had almost single-handedly turned the US economy around. Unemployment had been slashed in half to 5% and the job losses reversed into gains averaging 200,000/month. The auto industry that was on the verge of bankruptcy had roared back and was posting solid auto sales and the icing on the cake, the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA) i.e. “Obamacare” was law!
Suddenly, the GOP narrative switched from “Where are the jobs Mr. Obama” to “Thanks to the GOP Governors, the various state economies are turning around despite Obama’s job-killing socialist policies”.
Moral of the Story: Victory has 100 fathers and failure is an orphan. This saying has been attributed to JF Kennedy but it was originated by Roman Historian Tacitus in the book “Agricola”. It was updated to the form used in this piece by Mussolini’s son-in-law Count Galezzo Ciano (in 1942).
With the 2017 campaign in full swing, Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto and Jubilee are now falling over themselves taking credit for completion of the Mombasa to Nairobi portion of “their” standard gauge railway (SGR) project; a project that falls under Kenya Vision 2030 that was first launched in Oct. 2006. In the process, the “digital duo” and its supporters conveniently overlook the fact that “their” SGR project was first initiated in October 2009 when Kenya (Coalition Government of Kibaki and Odinga) and Uganda (Museveni) signed a memorandum of understanding to construct the railroad from Mombasa to Kampala.
In sharp contrast, when was the last time Mr. Kenyatta, Mr. Ruto or any Jubilant promoted the laptop for schools program – a landmark Jubilee campaign promise; a mega-project originated and planned for by the duo? Can any Jubilant spinmeisters – Pauline Njoroge, David Maina Ndung’u, Dennis Itumbi etc. – give the country an update on the laptop project since like the SGR Project, it speaks to the narrative “Tano Tena”?
What about the promise to put food on every table in Kenya via the Galana-Kulalu Food Security Irrigation Project?
Like the Republicans during the Obama Admin, Jubilee is quick to take credit for any successful project even one initiated and planned in October 2009 – by his nemesis and then-PM Raila Odinga (Coalition Government) shortly after he assumed office; this while Uhuru and Ruto were shuttling back and forth to The Hague answering crimes-against-humanity charges. You can take this to the bank:
Had the SGR project run into difficulties, like the GOP stateside, Mr. Kenyatta and his acolytes would have been the first ones to blame the coalition government – as any astute political operations would.
Leadership 101: Strong and confident leadership praises their direct reports when things go well.
Conversely, they take full responsibility when things go wrong; even when it is not their fault to wit; Kenyans have been treated to a weak and sniveling president quick to take credit for any success during his tenure and equally quick to cry “jameni” when things go awry.