Ruto approaching global politics with the mentality of a political rally in KamagutRuto approaching global politics with the mentality of a political rally in Kamagut
As part of the brief, those who prepared Deputy President William Ruto (pictured) for his global charm offensive should have advised him to put down his speeches and ideas intended for key institutions in writing.
Especially as delivered at universities or shared with think tanks of global influence like the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace or the Royal Institute of International Affairs (if at all).
The purpose of having official written pieces is for permanent record, allowing for further critique, interrogation and dissemination within the academy at institutions of higher learning and by think tanks that have accorded him platforms to share his ideas.
The problem with unplanned verbatim and off the cuff jestering especially when addressing a global audience is the lack of fabric.
That is background and context. For example when you talk to a foreign audience about "handshake" without painting the background of it's origins, before addressing it's demerits, the messaging is lost.
When the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya claims that "democracy in Kenya is under threat," or alleges that plans are afloat to rig elections, without context and background, about the history of elections in Kenya and how he emerged as Deputy President given such history, then room is left for doubt and speculation about his intentions.
Ruto's Western audiences are not overly bothered if an election in Kenya will be stolen or not, or if the opposition has been assimilated into government.
What his audience in the West seeks to understand is how the "handshake" and the upcoming elections undermines stability and Western interests in Kenya.
So that William Ruto then sells himself as the person with whom the West must work with to secure such interests.
It is this lack of context that had Ruto refer to protesting Kenyans sometime back as "militia" on CNN.
This trip should have defined William Ruto, the African Statesman, and potential President to a Western world looking into Kenya.
So far, it does not. Then there is his body language and demeanor.
Largely timid and subdued. A mind in the US, but strongly distracted by political happenings back in Kenya.
On the global stage, we must agree that William is still raw. Or that his handlers, mostly, a close knit circle of sycophants are failing him terribly.
I see William Ruto approaching global politics with the mentality of a political rally in Kamagut.
And the funny thing is that his followers are busy sharing images of his motorcade than working to contextualize his message so far, to be opinion shapers in the West.