Tim Wieclawski/metro ottawa
Barack Obama could be the JFK or Pierre Trudeau for a new generation, say two Ottawa activists, who are heading south to volunteer and witness the surge of Obama-mania first hand.
Hinsermu Geleta and Samuel Getachew, political science graduates from Carleton University, are leaving today for Washington D.C. where they will join other Canadian volunteers on a bus to Ohio, to volunteer for Obama’s camp during the March 4 primary.
"He’s run a very inspirational campaign," said Geleta. "I just want to help out as much a possible and see everything that’s happening first hand."
Getachew said the duo heads south not even knowing exactly how they will be asked to volunteer when they arrive, or where they are going to sleep. But it is important to both men to be part of what they see as a potentially historic campaign.
Getachew and Geleta, who are both of Ethiopian decent, say seeing a man whose father was born in Africa move one step closer to becoming president of the world’s most powerful country is important to them and they want to be part of it.
Getachew said Obama impresses him because he is different and offers a smart new perspective. "When I think about it, I think this is what Trudeau-mania must have been like," he said.
The two will be in Ohio until the primary and then return to Ottawa, but both said they would try to be as active as possible again if Obama goes on to win the Democratic Party nomination.
Ottawa’s been well represented in the Americans’ Democratic nomination process. For Super Tuesday on February 5, Carleton University professor Melissa Haussman and six students went south to volunteer for Hillary Clinton’s campaign.