Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Most Shocking Endorsement So Far This Year


The last time the Stockton Record, an arch-conservative Republican mouthpiece in northern California, endorsed a Democrat for president was at the height of the Depression, in 1936, when they came out for the re-election of the most popular and beloved president in history, Franklin Roosevelt. By 1940 they had reverted to form and were pushing for GOP hack Wendell Willkie over Roosevelt. They went on to pick Nixon over Kennedy, Goldwater over Johnson, Nixon both times, Dole over Clinton, Bush both times... until yesterday they hadn't endorsed a Democrat since 1936.

In yesterday's editorial they unanimously picked Obama over McCain as the more prudent and inspirational choice.
He has demonstrated time and again he can think on his feet. More importantly, he has demonstrated he will think things through, seek advice and actually listen to it.

Obama is a gifted speaker. But in addition to his smarts and energy, possibly his greatest gift is his ability to inspire.

For eight years, American politics has been marked by smears, fears and greed. For too long, we've practiced partisanship in Washington, not politics. The result is a cynicism every bit as deep as that which infected the nation when Richard Nixon was shamed from office and when Bill Clinton brought shame to the office.

This must end, but John McCain can't do it. He can't inspire, nor can he really break from a past that is breaking this nation.

They point out that, as much as McCain's deceptive campaign denies it and tries to rewrite history, he has "voted consistently for deregulation" and is now trying to paint himself as a populist. They're not buying-- and they, like anyone who loves this country, take the Palin Threat very seriously-- and they understand the real issue in that horrible selection: "If elected, at 72, he would be the oldest incoming president in U.S. history. He's in good health now, we're told, although he has withheld most of his medical records. That means Gov. Sarah Palin could very well become president. And that brings us to McCain's most troubling trait: his judgment."
Republicans have tried repeatedly to paint Obama as an elitist. Hardly. He grew up in a single-parent home and, by the sheer force of his desire and cerebral horsepower, ended up at Harvard Law School, where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review.

He could have gone for the money. He didn't. He went to Chicago, where he worked to give a voice to those who didn't have one.

That's hardly the mark of an elitist.

He hasn't lost touch with regular people, whereas McCain doesn't even know how many homes he owns.

Obama rose quickly through the Illinois Legislature and propelled himself into the U.S. Senate.

After winning the Democratic nomination against a large and highly experienced field of candidates, Obama picked one of them, Joe Biden, as his running mate. Biden brings to the ticket the vast foreign affairs experience and knowledge that Obama lacks.'

Obama has been accused of being an empty suit, all talk and no action. There's no "there" there, his detractors say.

The charge is no more credible than that of him being an elitist.

Obama can inspire, and our nation desperately needs an inspirational leader. And he does not carry the deep scars of Vietnam, as do many of McCain's generation.

He offers hope. A new way of doing business. And a belief that our system of government can be made to work.

He's the clear choice.

Republican presidential victories are built on endorsements from local papers like the Stockton Record. If newspapers like it in Colorado, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Indiana and other battleground states start flipping to Obama, McCain could drag the GOP down to the historic defeat they have earned.



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