President Obama’s 2008 Election in the Thai-language press

Source: Daily News, January 22, 2009
Thairath; Column: editorial; November 7, 2008
Barack Obama–African-American born–was elected as the US president in the US presidential election of 2008. It means Americans don’t care very much about his color. They focus on his economic policy. They believe that Obama can solve the economic crisis. Wiping out the terrorists using more practical methods and having a very good relationships with other countries is very good news because it affects the global economy will which will be improved exceedingly.
However Obama will break off all relations with Thailand if a military coup occurs because all of the US presidents support the democratic idea. A very good democratic lesson that is after Obama won the election, McCain accepted the results of the democratic election and congratulated him on wining–democracy in action. Another democratic lesson that is Americans give a lot of money to support their politicians. It is different from Thailand –Thai politicians give a lot of money to Thai people in order that the people elect them to be a leader.

[White on pink] HM King’s royal message bestowed felicitations on President Obama’s inauguration - [small black letters] 2 million people flock to join the swearing in ceremony
[Main headline white on black] Interior Ministry’s Permanent Secretary: in depth politics [something like "it's all politics" - This refers to political issues involved in the transfer of the Permanent Secretary to the Interior Ministry. This person was hastily installed during the PPP government to ensure control of permanent officials in the powerful ministry.]

Source: Thai Rath, January 22, 2009
[White on green] HM King royally bestows felicitations to Obama presidential inauguration hosted in grandeur]
[Black on light green] HM King’s message of felicitations on Obama’s inaugural ceremony granted- Inauguration ceremony to be inscribed in world’s history as a color [person of color] steps to lead the world’s powerful nation - Inauguration ceremony occurs!
[Smaller letters on light green] HM King royally bestows felicitations message on President Barack Obama on the occasion of his inaugural ceremony
[Main headline white in black] Big cleaning of high-rank political officials - Tawee to be promoted after the transfer of Interior Ministry’s Permanent Secretary - Abhisit orders “Assawin” to sit as DSI Director - General-Suwit transfers 3 high-ranking officials - Abhisit orders transfer to Bhirapon from the Interior Ministry’s Permanent-Secretary post to inactive post assisting PM’s Office

Faith in the leader - translated and summarized from Thai Rath; Column: Editorial, January 23, 2008
Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony for the US presidential position took several days. He is the first black US president. He gives hope to people and vows that he will change the country. However, he has to face several critical problems. He is the person who makes people believe that he can do anything.
People worldwide and also Thai people get excited by the victory of the first black US President.
In Thailand, people like to compare President Obama to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. They are both young leaders and have the similar party names. They are in the power at the same time and also face severe problems – political crisis in Thailand and financial downfall in the USA.
What is completely different is that Obama is a leader with full power. It is said that he is the most powerful person in the world. In contrast, Abhisit is the leader of a mixed government. It is not sure if he can ease political problem.

Obama speech censored in Burma - The Irrawaddy, January 26, 2009
...A part of the speech that was cut was: “To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”..

Earlier: China censors Obama's speech - The Irrawaddy, January 21, 2009
...The news channel of state broadcaster China Central Television broadcast the speech live early Wednesday local time, but appeared caught off-guard by the statement about facing down communism.
The translator had no sooner said "fascism and communism" when the audio faded out from Obama's speech and cameras cut back to the studio anchor, who seemed flustered for a second before turning to ask an expert what challenges the president faces in turning around the US economy...

U.S. presidential election front pages and Obama editorials in the Thai-language press

More: Unlocking the Thai world: Thai-language newspaper headlines and editorials


From Business Thai, November 17-23, 2008: Super Obama - World shaking president

Right: Photos of US President-elect Barak Obama at a Bangkok photo and frame shop.


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

A mournful tear - Thai Rath, November 5, 2008
A mournful tear- Barack Obama, representative of the Democrats and President-elect of the United States wipes off his tear of sadness while mentioning about his passed away grandmother who died of cancer on November 3 when he was campaigning in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Obama trend –bringing change to Americans - translated and summarized from Komchadluk; Column: editorial; November 9, 2008
According to Obama's policy –solving the global economic crisis, suppressing compromisely the terrorists--he became the 44th president of the United States. Obama sets out to change the political style of Washington and brings a change to the American people. That change could impact Thailand as well. Thailand should draw a very good political lesson from America, especially politicians. Most Thai politicians abuse power to seek personal benefits. Moreover a group of Thai politicians are trying to amend the constitution to aid a political criminal. [A reference to the government trying to amend the constitution to absolve Thaksin.] It is morally wrong. They should be more moral. If not, Thailand will be abandoned by the mature democracy and the world's biggest economy-- America. It is possible that maybe the Thai economy will not be supported and developed while the US economy is being developed more and more.

Election day- Phujatkan, November 5, 2008
Large headline: Army Commander urged to protect Constitution—stop the wicked government from abusing power
Black headline below the red bar: Obama-MaCain Watch – Result to be known by midday

Results of the wrong move - translated and summarized from Thai Rath; Author: Political news reporters; November 6, 2008
Barack Obama, the future 44th President of the United States of America, is the first African-American US President.
American people have turned from the Republican Party to the Democrat Party – from conservatism to liberalism. They said they want to change the leader because they no longer want another economic failure and wars against Iraq and Afghanistan.
The point is the US lets the political system naturally change, which is a big contrast to Thailand. There are many political conflicts going on. And all of them are related to Thaksin.
The military coup was run to get rid of Thaksin Shinawatra and promote Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva as the new Prime Minister. It aimed to transfer power in one night. However, the result did not come out as expected. The Democrat Party is still not able to get support from people in the North and Northeast. The grassroots people are still loyal to Thaksin.

Please change the world also - ThaiRath, Zeer, November 7, 2008
Please change the world also
On the IV bottles: Terrorism - Economics
At the bottom right: U.S. president Obama

The tear - Matichon, November 5, 2008
White and black headline in the gold box: Obama’s policy on Asia
White headline: Obama sheds tear on celebrating his win

Looking at the US election - translated and summarized from Matichon; Column: Editorial; November 5, 2008
Thailand's press and countries worldwide have been focusing on the US presidential campaigns between the Democrat and Republican parties. If Barack Obama really wins the election, he will become the first African-American President of the United States of America.
Thailand and the US political system and election are at the opposite. The USA has its new President by the public vote, while Thailand is facing political disorder. The People's Alliance for Democracy is gathering at Government House. Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra becomes a political prisoner who has been sentenced to two years in jail. People are discussing about " new politics" and much more.
Unlike the USA, there is no unity in Thailand's political system. Amidst economic downturn, they still take sides and attack the opposite side. Therefore, we cannot hope that Thailand's politics will be like other developed countries. Only thing we could only hope that the kingdom will be able to escape the current economic recession.

The first - Krungthep Turakit, November 6, 2008
Blue headline- Absolutely the first black President-elect of the United States
Black headline- World hopes Obama can prevent the economic crisis

No chance to be in Government House - Krungtepturakit, 500 species plus 1, Boisterous by Mor, November 6, 2008
PM Somchai says to Barak Obama: Congratulations on your honored walk to the White House, I did not have chance to do so anyway.
At bottom right: Homeless lord!! [This cartoon refers to the fact the Somchai has never conducted government business in Government House as it remains occupied, making Somchai a homeless ruler.]

Knight on a white horse named Obama - translated and summarized from Krungthep Thurakit; Column: Chab Krasae; Author: Kanokpa Puemboonpa; November 7, 2008
After Barack Obama from the Democrat Party won the presidential election on November 4, all hopes and expectations turn to the 44th President. He might not have much time to enjoy his victory as lots of problems are waiting to be solved.
Many people wonder how he can solve the problems as he is inexperienced in economic matters, while several people expect a lot from the first black President of the United States. So, first things first, Obama should form an economic team and appoint his Finance Secretary.
The expectations towards him come not only from Americans who are disappointed with the Republican’s management, but also investors on Wall Street who always support the Republican Party. They want to see changes and Obama is the perfect choice. The new US President is facing a lot of pressure.

World celebrates - Thai Rath, November 6, 2008
White headline: World celebrates the first black President, Obama [black letters below] won 364 [electoral] votes

“Democratic lesson” from Obama - translated and summarized from

Obama's win - Phujatkan, November 6, 2008
Obama - Win for blacks

What is the best solution to solve the economic problem--waiting for Obama’s help or other solutions? - translated and summarized from The Krungthep turakij; Author: Aurawan Hoychan; Column: Jabkasaeturakij (Focusing on Business), November 6, 2008
During the global financial crisis period, many financial institutions around the world are impacted. It is a very worrying situation because it may cause a reduction of Thai export value. Fortunately Barack Obama has been elected as the 44th president of the United States because of his new interesting economic policy. We are hopeful that he can solve the terrible recession. Moreover the US Ambassador in Thailand assured that Obama’s economic policy would influence Asian economies to be better. However the best solution is to for each country to follow its own business plans for an economic solution. It is quicker than waiting for someone’s help.

Obama vs Thaksin - Matichon, Cartoon Sol, November 8, 2008
Top: This is the guy who the world wants to bring world harmony.
Bottom: This is guy who all Thai people pray will not destroy Thai harmony.

More: Unlocking the Thai world: Thai-language newspaper headlines and editorials

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