In Barack Obama’s ancestral home here, excited residents are preparing to go to the polls next month for what has become a tradition every four years since their favorite son became president: a mock election. But not everybody is supporting his choice for a successor.
“I will support Donald Trump because he is a humble and honest guy,” the president’s half brother, Malik Obama, told USA TODAY. “He is a guy who can help people. It’s an opportunity for Americans to give Trump a chance to become president.”
“I don’t like (Hillary) Clinton,” Malik Obama added, ignoring his relative’s strong support for the Democratic candidate. “She is dishonest and a liar. She keeps on lying about emails every time.”
The president is not close with his father’s side of the family. His mother, Ann Dunham, a native of Kansas, divorced his father after three years of marriage. Besides Malik and a half sister, close relatives who still live here include Obama’s stepgrandmother, Mama Sarah Obama, 95.
Malik Obama’s dislike for Clinton is clearly a minority view in Kogelo. “I will definitely vote for Hillary Clinton,” said Willys Onyango, 28, who pushes items in a hand cart for a living. “Mrs. Clinton supported our son Obama for two terms. It’s time we also return the favor.”
The run-up to Kogelo’s mock election is a big tourist draw for a village that has prospered over the past eight years from Obama’s familial connections. The date of the big vote has yet to be scheduled. In the meantime, smaller gatherings hold practice elections nearly every day in the belief they will generate good luck for Obama’s Democrats as Americans go to the polls.
“Our election here is a sign of what to expect in the actual voting in the U.S.” Onyango said. “Since Mrs. Clinton will win here, we expect her to also win the presidential vote in the U.S.”
In Kogelo’s two previous mock elections in 2008 and 2012, Obama, not surprisingly, won resoundingly against Republican candidates John McCain and Mitt Romney.
To win votes, pro-Clinton activists shout, dance and wave banners with pictures of Clinton and Obama.
“It’s obvious that we’ll support Mrs. Clinton, who stood with our son,” said Nicholas Rajula, a cousin of the president who owns a resort here. “I’m sure she will win.”
Source: USA Today | Tonny Onyulo and Hellen Wagaluka