Vote for Barack Obama to bring change in government
Sen. Barack Obama has clinched the Democratic nomination to face Sen. John McCain in this year's presidential election.
EXASPERATED by a struggling economy and a war that seems to have no end in sight, most Americans want change. The presidential candidate who has most embodied that advancement from divisive politics and has inspired people with unity and hope is Democratic Sen. Barack Obama. We endorse him to be our next president.
The first-term senator from Illinois will break racial barriers to become the first African American to be nominated for president by a major party. He does not have the Washington experience that some believe is required to occupy the White House. Obama has a different kind of experience that has resulted in an extraordinary level of political insight into the culture of America and elsewhere, beginning with his birth and upbringing in Hawaii, his early childhood in Indonesia, his accomplishments at Harvard Law School and his community organizing in Chicago.
Those who heard Obama's speech to the 2004 Democratic National Convention were stirred by his vision of America: "There is not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America -- there's the United States of America."
Obama's Republican opponent in the November election is Sen. John McCain, an American hero who refused to be released from a North Vietnamese POW camp while other U.S. captives remained. A four-term senator from Arizona, McCain knows Washington all too well.
The issue where the two candidates differ most is the war in Iraq. Obama opposed at the outset what is recognized now as a war of choice rather than of necessity. He has called for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of next year, leaving a force there for strikes against al-Qaida. McCain has favored continued occupation for an indefinite period until "victory" can be claimed.
McCain and President Bush have criticized Obama's promise to engage in talks with the nation's enemies, failing to recognize the difference between diplomacy and appeasement. Under the Bush policies, America's respect around the world has plummeted.
On domestic issues, Obama has proposed tax credits for middle-income families and tax increases for the wealthy. McCain wants to maintain the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, even though he opposed them twice in the Senate. While Obama favors abortion rights, McCain opposes those rights and would nominate like-minded justices to the Supreme Court to reverse the Roe v. Wade ruling.
Obama calls for granting mandatory health care for all children and seeking universal coverage by requiring employers to share costs of insuring workers. McCain prefers a more modest proposal to provide tax credits for expenditures on health insurance to make it more affordable.
Of importance in Hawaii, Obama supports Sen. Daniel Akaka's bill for Hawaiian sovereignty, while McCain has said he is "unequivocally opposed." Bush also opposes it and a McCain presidency would extend a likely presidential veto for another four or eight years.
On too many issues, McCain agrees with Bush. Obama is correct in saying that a McCain presidency would amount to a third term of Bush policies. Change is what America needs.