U.S. Senator Barack Obama, a Democrat from Illinois, said today he considers running for the U.S. presidential elections in 2008.

The African-American senator is known for raising awareness about the genocide in Darfur and has been asking for more U.S. involvement.

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In 2005, he made a visit to oil-rich Azerbaijan – a country hostile to Armenia and Artsakh. When asked by Azeri journalists to comment on his co-signed letter to President George W. Bush to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide, Senator Obama said, “I believe the letter sent by the Senators to President George Bush to recognize the genocide of Armenians reflects historic facts.”

Obama’s statement was an unprecedented courage in a county where the word “Armenian” is equivalent to the word “Jew” in Nazi Germany. Moreover, it is Azerbaijan’s official policy to deny the Armenian Genocide.

Obama’s visit to Azerbaijan was not widely reported. I mentioned, on the phone, about the Senator’s honorable comment to Harut Sassounian, publisher of the California Courier. Harut asked for the link. The Courier published “Sen. Obama vs. Speaker Hastert:Integrity vs. Immorality” on October 27, 2005.

I actually sent a “Thank You” letter to the Illinois senator in the summer for his comment. Obama reaffirmed his devotion to genocide awareness on Sep. 18, 2006.

Anyhow, the elections are getting closer and closer. So far, people think Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Obama may be the major candidates for the Democratic primaries. Kerry has stated many times the importance of the Armenian genocide recognition. He also pressed the new U.S. Ambassador to Armenia for not using the term “genocide.” As for Hillary, she is Bill’s wife. Bill had promised to proclaim April 24 “Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day” but never did so; thus, no hopes for Hillary.

Let’s see who is on the Republican ballot. So far Obama and Kerry are OK-d on the Armenian checklist.