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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    President of the United States: Barack Obama

    “”I am surprised at how many elected officials – even the good ones – spend so much time talking about the mechanics of politics and not matters of substance.””

    When Barack Obama said those words to the Chicago Tribune in 1995, he hadn’t yet held any public office. Thirteen years later, one thing is clear: Obama isn’t one of those politicians who think of politics as a game to be played or a career to be polished. He’s after a bigger quarry.

    He’s also admirably upfront about what he intends to do as president. Unlike most candidates’ platforms – including that of his opponent – Obama’s is impressively detailed. He has a solid plan for bringing health care to all Americans. He has vowed to improve education by working at the local level, instead of through ineffective federal intervention like President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act.

    Obama brings new ideas to almost every area of policy. He promises not merely to reduce our dependence on foreign oil sources but to work to wean us off oil altogether by investing in clean, renewable energy sources.

    In the realm of foreign policy, Obama towers above his opponent. Whatever his merits might have been in the past, the John McCain of 2008 stands firmly in the Bush-Cheney camp. His harsh and hostile statements about Iran and Russia are deeply troubling to anyone who cares about keeping the United States out of more boondoggles with Iraq – a war, by the way, that Obama opposed from the start.

    Of the two candidates, only Obama realizes that the United States’ intervention in Iraq was wrong – not just strategically wrong, but morally wrong. McCain has always defended it. Obama, unlike McCain, understands that the United States’ most important foreign task is to smash what remains of al-Qaeda and capture Osama bin Laden.

    Obama isn’t reluctant to use force when necessary, but he knows when to hold back. McCain claims that Theodore Roosevelt is one of his heroes, but it’s Obama, not McCain, who best embodies Roosevelt’s old motto, “”Speak softly and carry a big stick.””

    Obama also deserves credit for picking Joe Biden as his running mate. Biden’s inadvertent remark about Obama being the first “”articulate and bright and clean”” black man to run for president might well have disqualified him, but Obama had the good sense to realize it was the kind of gaffe anyone could make. In our unforgiving age, where a single slip of the tongue can end your career, that says something about Obama’s judgment. Biden was the right pick. He’s that rare Washington old-timer who seems to have learned something from his time there.

    McCain, meanwhile, picked a first-term governor with less than two years’ experience under her belt and no foreign policy background. Sarah Palin is so woefully unqualified to serve as president that even longtime Republicans like Colin Powell have come out to criticize McCain for picking her.

    Despite right-wing efforts to smear Obama as a product of crooked Chicago machine politics, Obama’s roots are in community organizing. Candidates regularly claim that they represent the people, not the Washington establishment; in Obama’s case, it’s actually true. He has built his entire career on appealing to people who think they don’t care about politics, who’ve ceased to believe in the promise of American democracy. And he’s changed their minds.

    The United States’ reputation has suffered at home and around the world because of the arrogance and incompetence of the Bush administration. Barack Obama offers something different – not merely different from John McCain, but palpably different from what other Democrats have offered. He offers the possibility not merely of change, but of an outright revolution in the way we think about politics in this country.

    The Arizona Daily Wildcat is proud to endorse Barack Obama for the presidency of the United States.

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