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Vote for Obama

Barack offers America the best chance for a fresh start
By EDITORIAL  |  February 6, 2008


The 2008 election is guaranteed to enjoy a special place in history. For the first time since 1825, when James Monroe left office after succeeding James Madison, the nation will have seen two presidents, William Clinton and George W. Bush, each complete eight consecutive years in office. Granted, Clinton had to endure impeachment, and Bush botched the challenge of Hurricane Katrina, bollixed the economy, subverted the constitution, and embroiled America in Iraq. Nevertheless, their contiguous tenures mark an unusual period of executive stability.

Throughout most of our history, assassination, scandal, and political upheavals have conspired to keep the occupancy of the Oval Office churning. Given this precedent, it is remarkable that this nation — the world’s oldest constitutional republic — has been so comparatively secure. Clearly, as the venerable saying goes, Providence looks after orphans, drunks, and the United States.

Also worth noting: for the first time since 1928, neither a sitting president nor his vice-president are seeking election. In other words, it has been 80 years since voters have made their choices on a relatively clean slate. Given the sinister influence of Vice-President Cheney, that is indeed providential.

The most historic developments of 2008, of course, are the candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. One way or another, the Democrats are poised to nominate either the first woman or the first African-American as a candidate for president.

As for the Republicans, their roster is not nearly so promising. John McCain’s plain talk is certainly a welcome relief from the Rovian lies and calculations of Bush-speak. But McCain’s gruff charm aside, his world view is as bellicose as Bush’s. As his recent comments have made frighteningly clear, McCain views the future as a series of inevitable wars for unstated ends. Mitt Romney is an empty suit and a shamelessly dishonest opportunist. Mike Huckabee is a Darwin-denying Bible thumper with a winning smile. Ron Paul has a disturbing racist past. And, by the time you read this, Rudy Giuliani will have exited the race and endorsed McCain.

There is no doubt that either Clinton or Obama would be superior to any of the Republicans. Elections, however, are about making a choice. When Democrats and Independents go to the polls next Tuesday in the so-called Super Tuesday contest, which is the closest approximation of a national primary our system has ever seen, the Phoenix urges a vote for Barack Obama.

Obama’s candidacy is not only about hope, not only about change. Most important of all, it is about the future.

Almost four years ago in Boston, Obama, then an Illinois state senator, electrified and inspired the Democratic convention as no national newcomer had done since 1948, when Hubert Humphrey championed the cause of civil rights.

Obama’s clarion call has been to reject the politics of confrontation and division as practiced by Bush, right-wingers, and talk-radio motor mouths.

His vision is of comity and common purpose. Eloquence is his calling card. It is penetrating, transcending verbal facility — the hallmark of someone at peace with himself, someone who is confident rather than cocksure.

Obama is also a maverick. There is no doubt that his promise outstrips his experience. That was also true of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson. Vision was their strength; rhetoric was their means to an end.

Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Wilson so successfully captured the spirit of their times — synthesizing the best, marginalizing the worst — that history remembers them as representative leaders: presidents who made a difference.

The Phoenix believes that Obama has the capacity to do so, too, in a way that Clinton — for all that is admirable about her — does not.

Obama comes to the political marketplace unencumbered by the bonds of dynasty. By voting for him on Tuesday, citizens are maximizing the opportunity to put the recent past behind them and to start anew.

There is a degree of uncertainty in all of this. Promise and progress are never risk free. But in matters of policy and program, the disparities between Obama and Clinton are so minimal as to be all but meaningless. The horse trading and compromise with Congress that would be necessary to enact either of their agendas further level the playing field.

For those still uncertain as to whether they will choose Obama or Clinton on Tuesday, consider this: when it came to the defining issue of the past several years, Iraq, Obama was right and Clinton was wrong. Clinton’s vision was clouded. Obama’s vision was clear.

If ever there were a need for clarity — of purpose and resolve — it is now. Society is atomized. The economy is shaky. And our international standing is compromised.

Together, Obama and Clinton — each in their own way, each according to their own talents and nature — have restored a sense of hope and promise to the progressively minded electorate. Women, African-Americans, Latinos, and people under 40 (especially younger voters) have been energized.

We believe that, come the final election in November, Barack Obama has the talent and temperament to consolidate this refreshing enthusiasm and energy, and to put the sorry Bush years behind us.

Vote for Obama as if history depends on it. America’s future certainly does.

Related: Emasculation proclamation, The ‘A’ word, Obamastrology, More more >
  Topics: The Editorial Page , Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, Elections and Voting,  More more >
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Vote for Obama
How dare you call Dr. Paul a raciest! He is the only candidate talking about the War on Drugs and how it disproportionately targets young black men for a medical problem that they label a crime. One out of four black men between 20 and 24 are in jail for drug related charges, when the mere possession of a substance does not harm the life, liberty or property of another. Then these non violent drug possessors are used as what amounts to slave labor in prison factories.Dr. Paul wants them freed! Ron Paul is the only candidate focused on restoring liberty that has been hijacked by the One Worlders who have influenced the passing of the Patriot Act and the War Commission Act that have striped us of our Bill of Rights guaranteed by the Constitution. If you want to regain our lost liberty there is only one candidate that is not owned by the special interest that are destroying our way of life, Dr. Ron Paul. P.S. whoever wrote the old newsletters was repeating information in J. Edgar Hover files. If you trace the stories about Dr. Paul being a raciest, they were spread because a white supremacist thought that Dr. Paul had too many Jewish friends. Before you slander someone, check your facts.
By Elaine MvKillop on 01/31/2008 at 12:41:22
Vote for Obama
throughout this campaign season i've doubted and questioned the obama phenomena. i've come to the conclusion that there is a vision thing there. we would do well to elect the junior senator from illinois to the chief executive position. not only will this republic stike a different pose to the rest of the world, we finally take a giant step toward healing and putting some of the nations torrid and tawdry past behind us. yes, we can.
By jeffery mcnary on 01/31/2008 at 3:28:44
Vote for Obama
In 1952 Dwight Eisenhower defeated Adlai Stevenson. Neither was a sitting president nor a sitting vice president. Therefore it has been 56 years since an open presidential election, not 80 years as you stated in your editorial.
By George Curran on 02/02/2008 at 3:22:15
Vote for Obama
thanks and right george. but dont think they'll hear you!!! unless you get to those who buy those kinky ads from them, ya aint shit.
By jeffery mcnary on 02/04/2008 at 1:18:25
Vote for Obama
As any study in modern semiotics will tell you, rhetoric is a way of seeing as well as a way of speaking. Let us hope that the people will see that Obama's dauntless eloquence will prove more of a curative than the sugar pills Hillary is peddling.
By gordon on 02/04/2008 at 11:41:17
Vote for Obama
It's a great article, and I agree with most of it. But it contains one inaccuracy. The last time there was no sitting President or Vice President running was not 1928, it was 1952.
By Groucho on 02/06/2008 at 12:39:40
Vote for Obama
Don't vote for obama, the editors have jumped into the fluff but not the reality. obama was at an anti-war rally making a speech against the war then in 2004 said "he didn't know how he would have voted" and "he and bush were exactly the same on the war" and when he FINALLY was in a position of responsibility to ACTUALLY PUT UP OR SHUT UP, HE VOTED FOR THE WAR! Sorry he is all talk no Action! As far as his health-care reform? There would have been NONE if it hadn't been for Hillary's SCHIP program that affected ALL of the U.S. not just IL. His ethics reform? First, he didn't go after it as an assignment Sen. Maj. Leader Harry Reid assigned him the task, and now lobbyist and Congress members have to STAND UP TO SHARE A MEAL, instead of sitting down...sorry that isn't SWEEPING. Obama lies on his trade belief. // // Obama claims he isn't the "establishment candidate" but has had the backing from and pushing from the DLC and Center For American Progress since 2006. // Obama has plageriased anything from his SPEECHES to POLICY. "Obama's (economic) plan. is the most shameless piece of potential plagiarism that I have ever seen. He basically took Clinton's words and Clinton's policies and called them his own. If I were a professor I'd give him an F and try to get him kicked out of school," said Kevin Hassett, Sen. John McCain's economic advisor and the Director of Economic Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute // Plagerizm // // // obama lies (I could post more on this but won't) // // obama runs the sleaziest and militant style campaign I have ever seen. // The New Republic Race Man by Sean Wilentz How Barack Obama played the race card and blamed Hillary Clinton. Post Date Wednesday, February 27, 2008 "After several weeks of swooning, news reports are finally being filed about the gap between Senator Barack Obama's promises of a pure, soul-cleansing "new" politics and the calculated, deeply dishonest conduct of his actually-existing campaign. But it remains to be seen whether the latest ploy by the Obama camp--over allegations about the circulation of a photograph of Obama in ceremonial Somali dress--will be exposed by the press as the manipulative illusion that it is." "While promoting Obama as a "post-racial" figure, his campaign has purposefully polluted the contest with a new strain of what historically has been the most toxic poison in American politics." ". A review of what actually happened shows that the charges that the Clintons played the "race card" were not simply false; they were deliberately manufactured by the Obama camp and trumpeted by a credulous and/or compliant press corps in order to strip away her once formidable majority among black voters and to outrage affluent, college-educated white liberals as well as college students" "Above all, it is a commentary on the cutthroat, fraudulent politics that lie at the foundation of Obama's supposedly uplifting campaign." // YOU HAVE GOT TO SEE JACK NICHOLSON'S VIDEO ON THIS WEB SITE! GO THROUGH THE VIDEOS OR CLICK ON VIDEO OF THE DAY, YOU WILL LOVE IT! //
By sjl106 on 03/02/2008 at 11:53:06
Vote for Obama
The Candidate for Change? “Change We Can Believe In” – a great campaign slogan if it were true in a way that would bring our country back to greatness and deliver a great future for our children and grandchildren. In my opinion, the campaign of Barack Obama is a mirage that the thirsty people of this country are clamoring for because it is a message of hope – and after the last few years we all have a lot of hope that someone can turn this country around. Unfortunately, like any other mirage, it is an illusion that has no basis in reality. Senator Obama may be ‘the candidate for change’ if all you want is something different than what we have now. But to imply that he is the only ‘candidate for change’ is irresponsible and a misrepresentation of the truth. He has admitted that he and Senator Clinton have extremely similar views on the issues and that the differences in their presidential policies would be almost inconsequential. I think that the debates between them have been fruitless except to win Senator Obama a few more votes of which he is undeserving. At the end of every debate, we hear that Senator Obama definitely won this one and that Senator Clinton did not achieve the objectives that she needed to in order to win over the voters. Apparently we have been watching different debates because I absolutely do not see it that way. Is anybody listening? Senator Obama is definitely a fantastic speaker but all I hear is regurgitation of Senator Clinton’s words but with more grandiloquence. Granted, he has charisma and a great speaking voice but as Senator Clinton said – it takes action not words. After the last debate, it was said that he showed his knowledge of foreign affairs when answering the question about Russian President Putin’s successor. How did he do that I wonder? He only repeated Senator Clinton’s answer. I know that I don’t want a President just because he gives a great speech – they all have speechwriters anyway. I want a President who has experience and can get things done. Senator Obama has mentioned John F. Kennedy a few times and if anybody thought about it, that’s really not a great comparison. JFK didn’t have a lot of experience either when he arrived at the White House. Can anybody say Bay of Pigs? Senator Obama, if elected, would have a lot more on his plate from the very beginning. The job of President of the United States is not a job in which one should be allowed to get on-the-job experience. I don’t want to wait and see how he’ll handle it. I want to know beforehand how he handles pressure and crises. He was asked in one of the debates about any crises he’s faced in his life and he couldn’t name one of any significance. I knew what Senator Clinton needed to say and I was glad she did. That woman has faced pressures and crises bigger than most people can imagine – and she did it all in front of the entire world. She has shown grace, courage and humility in the face of tremendous adversity. I think she is to be admired for her faith, hope, and generous spirit – all of which have led to her commitment to helping people. Now we’re seeing the new television ads in Texas for Senator Clinton suggesting that she is the better candidate to make the quick decisions necessary for our country’s security. Senator Obama’s ads countered that he is the candidate with better judgment because he was against the war in Iraq from the beginning. It is my understanding that when the votes were cast to go into Iraq Senator Obama was not a United States Senator. He would not have been privy to all of the intelligence reports that the members of Congress were basing their votes on. Now that we know some of those reports were flawed, Senator Clinton is counted among several Senators who believe the war in Iraq was a mistake. But again, they voted based on the information they had at the time. Senator Obama cannot know which way he would have cast his vote because he was not involved in the original decision. He was not the “bus driver” as he referred to Senator Clinton in the Ohio debate – he is the Monday-morning Quarterback. I can go anywhere in Houston and find one of those – I don’t want one for our next President. The President cannot play Monday-morning Quarterback…the President is the Quarterback! The President is required to make a lot of tough decisions and sometimes those decisions are reached through information that most of us are not going to hear about at the time the decisions are called for. On the issue of the War in Iraq, maybe the information was flawed and the reasons we went in were not valid – but there are other valid reasons for us having entered this war. I believe that the United States is a great country and that we have a tradition and a legacy of standing up for what is right and to me human rights are one thing for which we should stand up and fight. Saddam Hussein, in my opinion, was no better than Hitler and needed to be dealt with. He tortured and killed people as Hitler did and the people of Iraq deserve to be able to live without fear of their leader’s wrath. Even if we never found weapons of mass destruction, we did find atrocities committed on human beings that should not be allowed to happen anywhere for any reason. Does Senator Obama feel we should just look the other way when members of the human race are being mutilated or killed at the hands of a monster? That would be the same as the people of this country closing their eyes to child abuse. Yet look at all of the agencies in this country that are here for the specific reason of fighting for the children that cannot fight for themselves. There are people in this world that cannot fight for themselves against their country’s harsh leaders and I feel that we should help if we can. Senator Obama is extremely naïve if he thinks that gentle diplomacy will work in every situation. The world never has and probably never will work that way. His contention that he will meet world leaders without any “preconditions” is laughable. First of all, I think it would be an error in judgment to do so. Secondly, in the Texas debate, he stated that he would meet Castro’s successor and other world leaders without preconditions and then went on to repeat almost exactly the preconditions that Senator Clinton said she would require…the only difference? He called them “preparations”. Also, Senator Clinton stated that Senator Obama continues to mention Afghanistan but has not held one hearing about it while he has been on the Oversight Committee. He responded that he has only been on the Committee since the beginning of the campaign. Is he saying that he is too busy to do his job as a United States Senator on the Oversight Committee?? What if something more important to him comes up while his job is being our President? Will the job of President then be abandoned as well? There are so many other issues that I have with Senator Obama that I can’t even begin to put them all on paper. I’ll finish by saying that I have never voted for a Democrat in my life but this year I want something different than what we have been experiencing for the last several years. You have to be 35 years old to become President. I think you should also have to have lived here for that long. I think that you should have a loyalty to and a passion for this country that is unwavering. I think you should have a soul-deep, life-long commitment to helping people. I think you should have a long history of accomplishments. I do not think that having a vision is enough right now. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream but look how long it took for it to be fulfilled. Forty-five long years after he made his famous speech, we finally have an African-American who has a good chance of becoming our next President. Does Senator Obama think he can change the world in just four short years? I think not. I am casting my vote this year for Senator Hillary Clinton and I urge all those who haven’t voted yet to do the same.
By aaustin on 03/03/2008 at 12:24:33

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