Endorsement: Obama is our choice for change | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Endorsement: Obama is our choice for change

Whoever wins the presidential election- Barack Obama or John McCain – will address our nation’s most daunting challenge since Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Great Depression. Our country is facing the greatest stock-market crash since 1929, a compromised Bill of Rights, fighting two wars and making noise about a third, and has diminished esteem from the rest of the world – which, by the way, is in peril from climate change.

When George W. Bush exits the White House on Jan. 20, let’s hope the provincialism leaves as well.

In a time like this, we need a resourceful president who is calm and intelligent, with a penchant for sound judgment and reasoning. And with the entire world watching, he ought to be articulate and even kind, too.

The Tahoe Daily Tribune endorses Barack Obama for president.

After 20 months of nonstop, Super Bowl-like media coverage of the campaign, it’s hard to believe any potential voter could be undecided.

The two campaigns are indicative of how a presidency would be handled, and Obama has clearly demonstrated his superiority in decision-making and stateliness.

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With the nation watching his every move, Obama has steadily guided his campaign with a consistent cerebral calm, a good test of his mettle. He’s managed to stay above the fray and avoid answering cheap shots.

McCain’s campaign, meanwhile, has been a disaster. Every few days, he has made a gaffe, changed direction or displayed a lack of sound judgment. He has allowed his campaign to resort to unsavory tactics steeped in fear and borderline racism.

McCain had met Sarah Palin just twice before selecting her as his running mate, an irresponsible and politically motivated act – we’ve seen enough of that in the past eight years. McCain is 72, has had four cancer procedures, a well-documented problem controlling his rage, and wants to take on the most stressful job in the world. His life expectancy must be considered. The role of the vice president is to be prepared to be the president. Republican campaign handlers don’t even feel that Palin is prepared to handle questions from the press. Palin did answer a question from a fifth-grader, telling her that the vice president’s job is to run Congress.

McCain, who says he has voted with Bush more than 90 percent of the time, criticizes Obama for wanting to spread the wealth. That’s disingenuous when you consider that the Bush administration has given $715 billion in tax breaks to Americans who make $342,000 or more, according to the Congressional Budget Office. To assume that McCain is an ally of “Joe the Plumber” is absurd.

The second debate between the Democratic and Republican nominees, the one with the town-hall format, clearly showed the contrast between Obama and McCain. Obama was articulate and calm, comfortably moving about the stage. McCain was ill at ease as he wandered about. We wonder how many young voters were inspired when McCain said his greatest hero was Teddy Roosevelt? Obama has the appearance of a 21st-century president; McCain, who doesn’t use the “Internets,” does not.

Moreover, Obama, a scholar and constitutional expert who was president of the Harvard Law Review, displayed vast knowledge on domestic and international issues. Intellectual curiosity, while it ought to be a given, seems refreshing nowadays. By now, people should see through boastful provincialism and jingoism. Being educated is a good thing.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Republican, endorsed Obama earlier this month on “Meet the Press.” He said: “I truly believe that at this point in America’s history we need a president who will not just continue … basically the policies we have followed in recent years. We need a president with transformational qualities.”

Well put. And while we’re at it, let’s stop dividing the country into red and blue states: We are the United States.