An Omen For An Obama Presidency?

The key fact about the Obama candidacy is its bottom-up focus on popular empowerment. He was, after all, a community organizer. I haven't thought about this at any length from the perspective of foreign affairs, but this story caught my eye:

Rebels who have stepped up attacks on Nigeria's oil industry in the last month said on Sunday they were considering a ceasefire appeal by U.S. presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has launched five attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta since it resumed a campaign of violence in April, forcing Royal Dutch Shell to shut more than 164,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd).

"The MEND command is seriously considering a temporary ceasefire appeal by Senator Barack Obama. Obama is someone we respect and hold in high esteem," the militant group said in an e-mailed statement.

MEND did not say when or where Obama, the leading candidate for the Democratic ticket for November's U.S. presidential election, made the appeal. It said it hoped the government would use any ceasefire to improve conditions for its detained leader, Henry Okah.

It's a straw in the wind, but we may be under-estimating the transformative potential of just electing this man president. Can you imagine actors in the developing world taking any cues from president Bush?