Thursday, January 31, 2008

Obama Endorsements Still Pouring In

Former Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker endorsed Barack Obama today. From the Wall Street Journal:

“After 30 years in government, serving under five Presidents of both parties and chairing two non-partisan commissions on the Public Service, I have been reluctant to engage in political campaigns. The time has come to overcome that reluctance,” Mr. Volcker said in a statement today. “However, it is not the current turmoil in markets or the economic uncertainties that have impelled my decision. Rather, it is the breadth and depth of challenges that face our nation at home and abroad. Those challenges demand a new leadership and a fresh approach.”

Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson announced his support of the Illinois senator today.

"When you read what he is proposing, you can actually see it happening, because he can bring together groups who need to be brought together to bring this country forward. He is showing more than anyone he can bring together young and old, black and white, people of all colors, and that is why I feel he is the right candidate at this time."

Four delegates supporting John Edwards have endorsed Barack Obama now that Edwards has left the race.

Betsy Feist and Jeremiah Frei-Pearson of New York City's 14th Congressional district, and Marc A. Landis and Bobby Berlin of NYC's 8th Congressional district are throwing their support to Obama. These are not superdelegates, and will only be pledged if at 15 percent vote threshold is met.

The weekly Colorado Springs Independent also endorsed Obama today.

Caucuses: Colorado's voice in the race


After months of watching the presidential race on TV, with only a few scattered "live" campaign-related events in the area, Colorado voters finally have the chance to influence the outcome.

It's just not as easy here. Instead of a presidential primary, Colorado is among the few conducting caucuses. That's the format, for Republicans and Democrats — separately, of course, on Feb. 5, as our state joins 23 others taking part in Tsunami Tuesday.

Obama campaign

Instead of having all day to vote (or submitting an absentee ballot), voters must participate in their local party precinct caucus, often at schools or churches, starting at 7 p.m. on Feb. 5. The gathering, lasting up to 90 minutes, gives you a chance to meet neighbors sharing your political registration.

The Independent marks the occasion with a ringing endorsement and a halfhearted recommendation. Most importantly, our first concern is encouraging everyone to make their voices heard on an evening when far fewer than 10 percent of registered voters will likely participate.

We'd prefer an old-fashioned primary, and we support any effort for Colorado to go that way in 2012. But for now, our only choice is to embrace caucus participation. Sure, it'll be different, but also educational and, we hope, rewarding.


Barack Obama

The best part of this Democratic presidential race is having a choice, even after the field has narrowed with John Edwards the latest withdrawal after the demise of Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich, Chris Dodd and Joseph Biden.

Democrats have two remaining options: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. But Obama's inspiring theme — "Yes, we can" — has brought a freshness to the campaign.

On the significant issues, there is no real gulf separating the two U.S. senators, both of whom are sharp lawyers. The true strength of any president lies in assembling a gifted, diverse nucleus of top officials and advisers, and either front-runner would recruit a "super team" (with the same pool available to both) for the next administration.

For us, Obama's skills as a community organizer, his multiracial and international background, his ability to inspire 18- to 35-year-olds to vote (many for the first time) and his zeal to end partisan pandering provide America with the best chance to undo the damage President Bush has inflicted. We also like that the Obama campaign has a staffed Pikes Peak campaign office, which has superbly mobilized and educated local citizens.

We acknowledge Clinton's experience, but she has overplayed that hand with the exaggeration that she's been "doing this for 35 years." And we wish she would have muzzled her husband before he manipulated and twisted Obama's record. A former president should be a statesman, not a player in gutter politics.

For the past 20 years, the Oval Office has been occupied by a Bush or a Clinton. At this point in our history, we need a new vision. A Clinton presidency would be focused on the possible, based more on poll numbers and efficient compromises, while Obama has the Robert Kennedy-like ability to unite and uplift our polarized nation, to restore our government's moral leadership at home and throughout the world, and to use his fresh, exciting energy and vision to rally Americans to be all they can be.

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