Saturday, January 26, 2008

St. Louis Post-Dispatch picks Obama

The full endorsement is not online yet, but the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the largest newspaper in Missouri, is recommending Barack Obama.

We disagree with the details of some of Mr. Obama's legislative proposals, particularly his heavy reliance on insurance companies as part of an overhaul of national health policy. But we are comforted by his legislative career in Springfield and in Washington, where he worked diligently across party lines, seeking common ground and, often, finding it. He offers a welcome return to civility and cooperation.

We're afraid that wouldn't be the case with his principal opponent for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York. She has been a diligent senator since her election in 2001, but she is a lightning rod. There is a difference, too, between seeking consensus and "triangulating" core principles into positions palatable to campaign donors.

And we confess to a certain "Clinton fatigue." The emergence of the former president as the Luca Brasi of the campaign trail reminds us of the worst of the Clinton years: the divisiveness and the bickering; the too-casual, if artful, blend of truth and half-truth. We're not eager for the replay. As to John Edwards, the former senator from North Carolina, he is the right man at the wrong time, a star whose light is eclipsed by the tail of a comet.

Comets don't come around that often. In January of 1961, Ann Dunham Obama was six weeks pregnant with Barack Obama Sr.'s child when President Kennedy said at his inauguration that "the torch has been passed to a new generation." It's that time again.

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