Saturday, February 2, 2008

Albuquerque Tribune endorses Barack Obama

The Albuquerque Tribune endorses Barack Obama today.

Editorial: The Trib endorses Barack Obama in Tuesday's N.M. Democratic presidential caucus

Tribune staff
Saturday, February 2, 2008

We have a dream.

In it, a new, young president inspires all Americans to rise above partisan politics, gender, race, religion, region, money, ideology and economic philosophy to make this nation all that it can be.

That young president of vision and promise is the charismatic Barack Obama, the first-term Democratic Illinois senator whose presidential campaign has caught fire. We add fuel to his blaze by endorsing him in Tuesday's New Mexico caucus to be the Democratic nominee for president.

The Tribune believes Obama has reawakened the imagination, work ethic and hope of Americans coast to coast and across the political spectrum — particularly among the nation's youngest voters who finally seem engaged in their country and their future.

In this dream, he wins the nomination of his party, prevails in November and leads America back to the progressive promised land.

There, a united America walks its democratic talk.

There, its Constitution — in particular its Bill of Rights — once again reigns supreme.

There, Americans stand shoulder to shoulder against any and all foes, not as conservatives or liberals, Republicans or Democrats, not as men or women, black, white, Hispanic or American Indian, but as Americans.

It's not that Obama's resilient rival, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, would not be a good president. She could be. Indeed, she has been tested and has dedicated virtually her entire adult life to American public service. But in the tumultuous life that is competitive politics, Obama offers true change — a different and unique vision with purpose, determination and outstretched hands.

From Iraq to health care, both candidates hold similar positions on major issues. But Obama has a far better chance of unifying the country by refusing to play the standard political game. Pick your metaphor, but he rises above ordinary politics, does an end run around the old guard and challenges every American to step up and make a difference.

In spite of his relative youth and inexperience — which have drawn barbs from Clinton and her husband, Bill, the former president — Obama's candidacy most recently gained impressive traction among all categories of voters — women, men, black, white, brown, rich, poor, red, blue.

Yet there also have been incredible endorsements from some of the most potent and legendary Democratic voices of our time, including the brother and daughter of President Kennedy.

Like John F. Kennedy, who asked his "fellow Americans" to come to the aid of their country, Obama makes it plain that each of us can do something to make America great — together. In doing so, we can achieve America's global destiny as the mother of all democracies.

It has been a very long time since America had the leadership of someone who could disarm us of our pessimism, remind us of our roots and heritage and insist that we can solve America's enormous problems together. Instead of an impassable American mountain, Obama sees a team of American mountaineers plodding toward the summit.

There, law rules, not men.

There, every citizen is equally free and accountable.

There, opportunity, ability and hard work determine our individual and collective dreams.

Not since the 1960s have we been so touched by someone who espouses the hopes and strengths of a nation.

Some will find a reason not to vote for Obama. He is too young, too inexperienced. Too liberal. Too conservative. Too black. Too white. Too soft. Too religious. Too secular. Too naive. Too full of himself.

But we see in him a vibrant American leader who understands that leadership begins first and foremost with the people and a respect for — not manipulation of — them.

Obama seeks to leapfrog Washington's harsh political rhetoric and gridlock for all the right reasons. While some might ask why him, why now, we ask: Why not?

We enthusiastically endorse the presidential aspirations of Obama as the candidate in the New Mexico Democratic caucus most capable and willing to lead this country by challenging each and every one of its citizens to do what needs doing — achieve the American dream, rooted in those famous words: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
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