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Endorsements 7: NM Sun News, Des Moines, Anchorage,Charlotte, Asheville, Concord, Macon, Hartford, Milwaukee

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An appeal to bridge divisions, tackle problems

There are other good arguments for Obama's election. The next presidentmight make several Supreme Court nominations. Obama promises to appoint justices with an expansive view of constitutional rights and equal justice. McCain's appointments more likely would continue the court's conservative shift and threaten abortion rights, search-and-seizure protections and other individual liberties. Obama also is committed to withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq as quickly and as safely as possible. McCain talks about winning and success, but says little about when troops will come home. None of what Obama outlines will be easy, whether removing troops from Iraq without chaos or addressing climate change without stunting the economy.

In recent years, America has shrunk from big challenges, stymied by "the smallness of our politics" and "our chronic avoidance of tough decisions," as Obama put it in his announcement speech. Tackling big problems will first require Americans to bridge divisions, he has said, and then roll up our sleeves. That message continues to resonate with Iowans. In a September Iowa Poll, 54 percent of respondents rated Obama as the candidate who would be most successful in unifying the country, an 18-point edge over McCain.

When Obama first met with the Register's editorial board more than a year ago, he emphasized that when deciding to run, "I wasn't simply a young man in a hurry. I think there's this particular window right now where the country is hungry for change, and is also hungry to be brought together, as opposed to being driven apart. And I thought that the particular skills that I have, of bringing people from diverse backgrounds across lines of race or party or region or faith to focus on solving problems, was a particularly useful and needed skill right now."

Indeed, it is. An Obama presidency presents the best hope for a unified America that aspires to greatness again.

Experience: central theme in the Quad Cities, Iowa endorsement

The eastern Iowa newspaper said any concerns were erased during the campaign as Obama earned the support of his primary opponents and picked "one of our favorites as a running mate. Where his experience comes up short, he has sought out help, including Republicans like U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Obama picked a running mate who could assume the presidency tomorrow, "the newspaper said. It said Obama's appeal and campaign organization are leading the biggest voter turnout in history and "strengthening our democracy. Already, Obama is demonstrating presidential leadership and demeanor, displaying steely calm against an avalanche of unfair attacks, distortions and distractions."


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Palin's rise captivates us but nation needs a steady hand


Alaska enters its 50th-anniversary year in the glow of an improbable and highly memorable event: the nomination of Gov. Sarah Palin as the Republican vice presidential candidate. For the first time ever, an Alaskan is making a serious bid for national office, and in doing so she brings broad attention and recognition not only to herself, but also to the state she leads.

Alaska's founders were optimistic people, but even the most farsighted might have been stretched to imagine this scenario. No matter the outcome in November, this election will mark a signal moment in the history of the 49th state. Many Alaskans are proud to see their governor, and their state, so prominent on the national stage.

Gov. Palin's nomination clearly alters the landscape for Alaskans as we survey this race for the presidency -- but it does not overwhelm all other judgment. The election, after all is said and done, is not about Sarah Palin, and our sober view is that her running mate, Sen. John McCain, is the wrong choice for president at this critical time for our nation.

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Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, brings far more promise to the office. In a time of grave economic crisis, he displays thoughtful analysis, enlists wise counsel and operates with a cool, steady hand. The same cannot be said of Sen. McCain.

Since his early acknowledgement that economic policy is not his strong suit, Sen. McCain has stumbled and fumbled badly in dealing with the accelerating crisis as it emerged. He declared that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" at 9 a.m. one day and by 11 a.m. was describing an economy in crisis. He is both a longtime advocate of less market regulation and a supporter of the huge taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailout. His behavior in this crisis -- erratic is a kind description -- shows him to be ill-equipped to lead the essential effort of reining in a runaway financial system and setting an anxious nation on course to economic recovery.

Sen. Obama warned regulators and the nation 19 months ago that the subprime lending crisis was a disaster in the making. Sen. McCain backed tighter rules for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but didn't do much to advance that legislation. Of the two candidates, Sen. Obama better understands the mortgage meltdown's root causes and has the judgment and intelligence to shape a solution, as well as the leadership to rally the country behind it. It is easy to look at Sen. Obama and see a return to the smart, bipartisan economic policies of the last Democratic administration in Washington, which left the country with the momentum of growth and a budget surplus that President George Bush has squandered.

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Early in the 2016 Primary campaign, I started a Facebook group: Bernie Sanders: Advice and Strategies to Help Him Win! As the primary season advanced, we shifted the focus to advancing Bernie's legislation in the Senate, particularly the most (more...)

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