Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Day backs Barack Obama

The Day, an Eastern Connecticut daily newspaper, recommended Barack Obama as nominee today.

Obama In Democratic Race
Sen. Obama's desire for a change in the political discourse is inspiring
By The Day Published on 1/29/2008

For Democratic voters the race for the party nomination for president has come down to two candidates — Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York and Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois. The election of either would be historic, presenting the nation with either the first woman or first African-American president.

Former Sen. John Ed-wards remains active in the race, but his optimistic message that impressed Democrats in 2004 has morphed into an angry rant that blames corporate America for all our nation's ills and invites class warfare. His call for simply leaving Iraq is reckless. Voters in early primary states have not found his message credible or attractive, and neither have we.

On the significant issues, the policy differences between Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama are minor. Both support universal health care, though Sen. Obama's plan does not include a personal insurance mandate. Both want to aim tax relief programs and college-tuition assistance efforts at the middle class.

They have called for a gradual withdrawal from Iraq. If elected, both pledge a global diplomatic initiative aimed at restoring the United States' credibility. They favor government investment in emerging technologies to generate power cleaner and more efficiently. Both call for reforms to the No Child Left Behind Act education program.

The choice, then, comes down to leadership ability.

Sen. Clinton is the more experienced candidate. In terms of policy involvement, she was the most influential first lady in the nation's history during the presidency of her husband, Bill Clinton. She has focused on public policy her entire adult life and displays an impressive understanding of the issues. She has proved a popular senator in New York. And she has been tested under fire.

But there is a win-at-all-cost mentality to the pursuit of power by both Clintons that is disturbing.

In the primary race so far, the Clinton campaign has unleashed attacks on Sen. Obama that intentionally distorted the truth. Mr. Clinton dismissed Sen. Obama's claim that he consistently opposed the Iraq invasion as a “fairy tale,” when in fact it is true. And when Sen. Obama suggested that for a time in the 1980s Republicans were the party putting forth more new ideas, the Clinton campaign twisted the comment in radio ads suggesting Sen. Obama endorsed those Republican ideals. Sen. Clinton knows that is not true.

This Clintonian trait of using all means necessary to gain power generates great animosity and it clearly suggests what a second Clinton presidency would look like — continued political conflict.

Sen. Obama, in stark contrast, has said he would search for unity in his presidency, seeking the counsel of independents and even Republicans. He has responded when unfairly attacked, but we see no evidence that he has tried to distort the records of his foes in the primary. Sen. Obama is blessed with immense oratory skill, but he has not used it to demean political foes — Democrats or Republicans.

For too long, our national political debate has been focused on discrediting the opposition and seeking political leverage, rather than on pursuing collective solutions to the serious challenges the U.S. faces. Some may see Sen. Obama's desire for a change in the political discourse as naïve. We view it as inspiring.

As only a first-term senator, concerns about the Illinois senator's lack of experience are legitimate, but his willingness to pick the best advisers, even reaching over political lines, suggests he will put the right people in place to provide the counsel needed to make critical decisions.

Finally, no one offers a better chance to mend America's damaged reputation around the world. His message of unity — delivered by a man of color with roots in Africa and years spent growing up overseas — could be transformative.

The Day urges Democratic voters to select Sen. Barack Obama in the Feb. 5 primary.

1 comment:

elsylee said...

Guys make sure you check out the article "The Intoxication of Inspiration" on the blogzine SAVAGE POLITICS (not related to Mike Savage) at www.savagepolitics.com. It is awesome......everyone should read it before voting.

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