It is Sen. Obama who truly promises fundamental change in Washington. You need look no further than the guilt-by-association lies and sound-bite distortions of the degenerating McCain campaign to see how readily he embraces the divisive, fear-mongering tactics of Karl Rove. And while Sen. McCain points to the fragile success of the troop surge in stabilizing conditions in Iraq, it is also plain that he was fundamentally wrong about the more crucial early decisions. Contrary to his assurances, we were not greeted as liberators; it was not a short, easy war; and Americans -- not Iraqi oil -- have had to pay for it. It was Sen. Obama who more clearly saw the danger ahead.
The unqualified endorsement of Sen. Obama by a seasoned, respected soldier and diplomat like Gen. Colin Powell, a Republican icon, should reassure all Americans that the Democratic candidate will pass muster as commander in chief.
On a matter of parochial interest, Sen. Obama opposes the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but so does Sen. McCain. We think both are wrong, and hope a President Obama can be convinced to support environmentally responsible development of that resource.
Gov. Palin has shown the country why she has been so successful in her young political career. Passionate, charismatic and indefatigable, she draws huge crowds and sows excitement in her wake. She has made it clear she's a force to be reckoned with, and you can be sure politicians and political professionals across the country have taken note. Her future, in Alaska and on the national stage, seems certain to be played out in the limelight.
Yet despite her formidable gifts, few who have worked closely with the governor would argue she is truly ready to assume command of the most important, powerful nation on earth. To step in and juggle the demands of an economic meltdown, two deadly wars and a deteriorating climate crisis would stretch the governor beyond her range. Like picking Sen. McCain for president, putting her one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time.
PORTLAND MAINE HERALD-October 26, 2008
Barack Obama for president
From a hard-fought campaign has emerged a leader with the qualities America needs. Barack Obama has the qualities needed by the country in these times.The long campaign for the White House has exposed sometimes surprising strengths and weaknesses among the candidates. To this nation's good fortune, one candidate has emerged from that process as the steady and strong leader these times demand.
When the campaign started nearly two years ago, Americans sensed the stakes would be higher this election cycle. The country was immersed in two wars. Rising energy prices had slowed economic growth amid inflation fears. And as the hopefuls announced their intentions, a disquieting slowdown in the housing market took hold. Few, however, would have predicted the recent meltdown of the financial sector and the prospect of a severe recession taking hold just as a new president takes office. The risk of an economic free-fall remains real. Americans face some difficult choices in the months ahead.
The person best suited to lead under these circumstances is the one most capable of inspiring Americans to have confidence in the future while also embracing change that will sometimes be difficult to accept. That person has to be intelligent, resolute and, above all, cool under pressure. On paper, one would not expect a first-term U.S. senator from Illinois to be a person likely to bring those qualities to the nation's highest office. But over the course of an arduous campaign, that senator proved that he has the mettle – the demeanor, energy and policy positons – to lead this nation during a difficult time. As such, Sen. Barack Obama merits our endorsement for president of the United States.
BRILLIANT IN PRIMARIES
Obama ran brilliantly in the primaries against New York Sen. HillaryClinton, one of the most able politicians of our age. He grasped early the potential of the Internet to enhance a grass-roots campaign. His positions fell solidly within the mainstream of his party. He defended them well, proving to be the best orator in the field. It was during the fall campaign, however, that Obama demonstrated he could be, as former Secretary of State Colin Powell said recently, a transformative figure.
Obama has seized on the economic crisis as an opportunity to highlight his plans. Like all the candidates, including his Republican opponent, U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Obama has promised more than Congress and circumstance will allow him to deliver. Still, he stayed true to the approaches he outlined from the beginning, projecting confidence about the direction the country should take.
His health care plan, his proposal to cut taxes for the middle class while raising them on the wealthy and his desire to better regulate the financial markets all point in the right direction. On foreign policy, he has made his opposition to the war in Iraq a theme, but he has framed that opposition in a responsible way. He has made plain that, while he opposed the invasion of Iraq, he would not pursue an idealistic peace agenda at the expense of our national security.