It gave me an inordinate thrill to hear President Barack Obama refer to my beloved Cape Town in his State of the Union address before the joint houses of Congress on Tuesday evening. This is the excerpt:
The renewal of American leadership can be felt across the globe. Our oldest alliances in Europe and Asia are stronger than ever. Our ties to the Americas are deeper. Our ironclad commitment — and I mean ironclad — to Israel’s security has meant the closest military cooperation between our two countries in history. (Applause.)
We’ve made it clear that America is a Pacific power, and a new beginning in Burma has lit a new hope. From the coalitions we’ve built to secure nuclear materials, to the missions we’ve led against hunger and disease; from the blows we’ve dealt to our enemies, to the enduring power of our moral example, America is back.
Anyone who tells you otherwise, anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, doesn’t know what they’re talking about. (Applause.)
That’s not the message we get from leaders around the world who are eager to work with us. That’s not how people feel from Tokyo to Berlin, from Cape Town to Rio, where opinions of America are higher than they’ve been in years. Yes, the world is changing. No, we can’t control every event. But America remains the one indispensable nation in world affairs –- and as long as I’m President, I intend to keep it that way. (Applause.)
It’s true that I am an American citizen, and very proud to be so, but the fact of the matter is I do have dual citizenship, and I will never lose the connection I feel to Africa. So, when a prominent world leader touches on the city I consider my home town, I find that I feel a flash of pride. Of course, it helps that Cape Town remains the most beautiful city I have ever seen!