"It's certainly the case that presidents of both parties spend more time in countries that have long traditions of clean democratic elections," said Doherty, the author of "The Rise of the President's Permanent Campaign." ''I would not be surprised if the aftermath of the Kenyan elections last time added to the president's team's hesitance to send him to Kenya."
Seay said that if this year's election goes smoothly, she wouldn't be surprised if Obama visits. Many in Kenya would love to see that happen.
"He is a symbol for hope, and a role model for upcoming politicians who can change the way Kenya is run by following his footsteps," said Ochieng, the Kenyan political leader. "Kenyan politicians can learn from Obama that politics should be issue-based, not the tribal kind of politics we practice here."
Associated Press reporter Tom Odula in Nairobi, Kenya contributed to this report.
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