I am no Ted Kennedy (I always report traffic accidents promptly) or New York Times (I will provide the news that isn’t fit to print), but for what it's worth, I've decided to talk about the
I had been supporting John Edwards all last year. Yesterday, however, Edwards withdrew from the race. Since the first democratic primary of this election season, when Edwards’ numbers were on the low side, I've been watching Obama and Clinton carefully, figuring that I might have to transfer my allegiance to one of them should Edwards drop out of the race. After the events of the past week or so, the time is here.
I endorse Barack Obama for President.
I look around at this country. I hear talk of blue states and red states, of voting blocs -- the black vote, the hispanic vote, the christian right, the senior citizens' vote -- and I see a country being destroyed by its divisions. I look at
And I look at the two front-runners in the Democratic primaries. I see two intelligent candidates, both relatively new legislators, with positions on most issues that aren't tremendously different. Either is capable and smart enough to do the job; neither has a tremendous amount of experience to draw on. Both candidates have the advantage of being a potential "first": first woman or African-American President; both have the corresponding drawback of possibly tapping into irrational prejudice. How to decide between the two?
I can point to some specific differences: I like that Obama has opposed the war in
But really, the most important reason that I've come to support Barack Obama is not any of the above. My head tells me there isn't that much of a difference between the positions of the candidates; but my heart tells me there is a big difference. I listen to Obama describe the problems that our country faces:
It's corny and hokey and earnest, but I want a reason to believe again.
We are up against the belief that it's ok for lobbyists to dominate our government - that they are just part of the system in
. But we know that the undue influence of lobbyists is part of the problem, and this election is our chance to say that we're not going to let them stand in our way anymore. Washington
We are up against the conventional thinking that says your ability to lead as President comes from longevity in
or proximity to the White House. But we know that real leadership is about candor, and judgment, and the ability to rally Americans from all walks of life around a common purpose - a higher purpose. Washington
We are up against decades of bitter partisanship that cause politicians to demonize their opponents instead of coming together to make college affordable or energy cleaner; it's the kind of partisanship where you're not even allowed to say that a Republican had an idea - even if it's one you never agreed with. That kind of politics is bad for our party, it's bad for our country, and this is our chance to end it once and for all.
We are up against the idea that it's acceptable to say anything and do anything to win an election. We know that this is exactly what's wrong with our politics; this is why people don't believe what their leaders say anymore; this is why they tune out. And this election is our chance to give the American people a reason to believe again.
I want a candidate who is capable of bringing us past the divisions that are fracturing our society – and Obama has consistently delivered that kind of message during the campaign.
I want a candidate who isn’t so desperate to win that he’ll say anything or do anything to get there. Obama has refused to let the
I want a candidate who can get people – people of all ages, backgrounds, walks of life – excited about leadership and inspire them to make positive societal change. I see that in Obama’s supporters.
I want a candidate who has the real-world ability to work with politicians from all parties to try to get something done, without important legislation getting stalled by sound bites or pork or extremists. I don’t think Hillary Clinton will be able to do that effectively.
I want a candidate whose nomination won’t serve as a rallying call for the crazy conservatives (and Hillary’s certainly will, calling into question her ability to actually get elected) and I want a First Spouse (brace yourself; this one’s harsh) who isn’t a convicted perjurer who can't keep his pants zipped.
I want a candidate who believes this:
make no mistake: the choice in this election is not between regions or religions or genders. It's not about rich versus poor; young versus old; and it is not about black versus white. It's about the past versus the future.
It's about whether we're going to seize this moment to write the next great American story. So someday we can tell our children that this was the time when we healed our nation. This was the time when we repaired our world. And this was the time when we renewed the
that has led generations of weary travelers from all over the world to find opportunity, and liberty, and hope on our doorstep. America
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