I am still being asked for my opinion on Baradei’s decision to quit the presidential race, which has left his fans and supporters lost and traumatized. As someone who was never a supporter for his candidacy for President in the first place, but one who still respects the man, I figured that someone must encapsulate why his fans are so disappointed, even though I expected him to withdraw his candidacy way back last march, as anyone else with half a brain working in Egyptian politics did. This is why I am writing this short-take.
I believe in the minds of his supporters, they were waiting for the time of the Presidential election, so he can finally launch his campaign and travel all over Egypt to deliver his message of Baradei-ness, which in this fantasy would have “Eye of the Tiger” as its the background music. He would go to all the governorates, visit all the small towns and villages, talk to the people, find out what the problems of the people were and realize the true size of the cluster-fuck we are in. He would then appear on TV, dismayed, sometimes even crying, over the injustice he sees all over our fair land. He would rage so much about what’s going on, that he would deliver heartfelt speeches that would turn the people who came to his rallies to attack him into Baradei-ites, and even then the applause to him would feel hollow, since he is not a man going after applause, but a serious man who understands how grave our situation is. And sometimes, when he is in his house all exhausted, he would doubt himself, and his ability to shoulder this responsibility. At those dark moments of doubt, he would tell his beloved wife that he is not sure he would be able to do this, and that the situation is much bigger than him, and his wife would tell him “Don’t doubt yourself. YOU ARE BARADEI! YOU STOOD UP TO THE STATES AND U NEVER BACKED DOWN. YOU CAN DO THIS”, and he would find strength and comfort in her words, and would gather himself, and go on the campaign trail the next day, more determined than ever. And on election day, he would get maybe 5 million votes, and wouldn’t win, but he would’ve inspired millions and became the winner in all of their hearts. (End “Eye of the Tiger” montage)
That’s what I believe his supporters expected, but not me. For me the reason why Baradei would have to withdraw wasn’t that his image was maligned and tarnished by Mubarak’s media, even though it was; or that the game was rigged, even though it is; or any of the reasons he mentioned in his candidacy withdrawal statement, even though they are all true reasons, and he is completely justified in withdrawing for them. Nahh.. To me, there was a much simpler reason why he would withdraw from way back then, and it really just comes down to this:
Being a Presidential candidate would’ve required him to move and leave his house. A lot. And he is very much opposed to that notion.
That is all.