Sunday, October 19, 2008

Scene Four:Daily News Officially Endorses OBAMA!!!

The need for a fresh start in America has grown markedly in the two years of this presidential campaign, and became imperative as the crippled financial system punishes workers, families and retirees in the country.
The U.S. is in want of leadership that repairs a damaged economy, restores faith in government as an engine for the common good and returns competence to the White House after the spectacular failures of the Bush administration.
Barack Obama holds the greater promise of accomplishing the mission than does John McCain. The Daily News endorses the 47-year-old Democrat, the first black American to win a major party nomination, for President.
Even his detractors agree Obama is an extraordinary politician. His campaign elevated a freshman senator to preeminence with a message that he represents a chance to make fundamental change in Washington.
Gifted in oratory and gracefully bearing the mantle of history, Obama stood as the repudiation of the record of George W. Bush. No one capitalized on the blunders of the last eight years more skillfully than he did, while aligning a liberal Democratic agenda with the country's decided shift away from the status quo.
Obama has been called audacious, and he certainly is. But his confidence is supported by both a high intelligence and a clear-eyed pragmatism, qualities that enabled him to best more established competitors - now to stand within reach of breaking America's ultimate racial barrier.
A brilliant mind combined with practicality would well serve any President, and the reserves shown by Obama suggest he would bring nimbleness and judgment to the Oval Office. So does his crucial vow to reach across the aisle for solutions frozen in partisan gridlock.
Obama has the potential to reinvigorate a nation fed up with the dysfunctional behavior of its leaders. But he would face tests - deciding, not speaking; governing, not campaigning - that dwarf any he encountered in his slim 12 years in the Illinois Legislature and the U.S. Senate.
The challenges are of historic proportions and growing.
The American standard of living is threatened with severe erosion from the global financial crisis. There's a war in Iraq to wind responsibly down, and there's a war in Afghanistan that demands smart new strategies. Iran is defiantly acquiring nuclear capability; Russia is flexing its muscles. Energy independence and global warming demand action.

And, never forget, the home shores must be protected.
The times call for boldness backed by expertise, not by ideology. We support Obama in the expectation that he would tap the brightest minds, regardless of political affiliation. He would need seasoned advice on every front, not least in adjusting from the rhetoric of a hasty Iraq withdrawal to the facts-on-the-ground duty of commander in chief.
We also expect that Obama would fulfill that oft-stated pledge to bring bipartisanship to the White House in forging solutions that work. That spirit will be essential to engaging the gears of government on issues that cannot wait. What Obama gives up - and some of his ideas must be tossed or refocused - would strengthen a presidency dedicated to the welcome notion of advancing the interests of the average Joe and Jane.

John McCain is an outstanding U.S. senator and a man of character. His courage in the face of torture and imprisonment as a Navy flier in North Vietnam met the highest standards of honor.
Typical for McCain, he fought his way to winning the nomination of a resistant party, and the Republicans are the better for it. In what was often predicted to be a Democratic blowout, McCain has kept the contest competitive.

His strongest suits are foreign affairs and the military. Tough-minded on both, he was dead-on regarding Iraq. From the start, he advocated more boots on the ground so the military could provide security to the Iraqi people, not just topple Saddam Hussein. Then, in the war's darkest hours, he held fast against overwhelming opposition to urge a bigger troop deployment.
Thus was born the surge that opened the way for Iraqis to begin building a civil society and pointed America toward withdrawal by the next President - perhaps, ironically, Obama.
McCain's insistence on persevering in Iraq - and on getting it right - reflects a core belief in promoting U.S. interests with a wise use of America's assets, from ideals to arsenal.

He has complemented global savvy with walk-the-walk bipartisanship. Among the highlights were battles for immigration and campaign finance reform, as well as a readiness to attack pork-barrel spending by both parties.
McCain's misfortune is that he is the standard-bearer of a party whose leadership, starting at the top, ran the U.S. onto the rocks.
There is no question he would bring change - but not as much as is needed after a presidency that enriched the wealthy over the working and middle classes with excessive tax cuts; gorged on spending; failed to address America's energy needs and global warming; undermined the credibility of U.S. military power, and got blindsided by the Wall Street meltdown, thanks in part to deregulatory zeal.

With the latest poll showing that fully 90% of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, the Republican Party has precious little credibility in laying claim to continued leadership. And the necessity of making a sharp break became all the more pressing with the sudden arrival of financial distress.

Unfortunately, a centerpiece of McCain's economic plan is an extension of Bush tax policy - a bad idea anytime, but horrible in these newly dire circumstances.
As the fates would have it, now is simply not the moment for this fine public servant.
Millions of Americans vest great hope in Barack Obama - and there is good reason why. It has been a long time since many have felt the government was in their corner. And here came an accomplished, fresh figure - a black man, at that - with plans for restoring the faith.
The agenda is sweeping, but the theme is clear. Whether on tax fairness or health care or the cost of college, Obama pushes the balance toward the working and middle classes and those farther down the ladder.

Still, reservations persist about specifics of his proposals.
On the international front, Obama faces tough calls regarding the war in Iraq. When he visited the country in July, Sunni leaders pleaded with him to drop the thought of pulling out before they and Shiite chiefs had forged working political relationships.
The Sunnis were right, because bringing the troops home prematurely could well unleash an upsurge in violence with disastrous consequences. Among them: an opening for Iran to play a dominant role in Iraq, the alienation of Sunni-led countries in the Mideast and a dramatic loss of credibility in Afghanistan.

Obama would have to recognize that combat troops must stay in Iraq at appropriate levels until the situation is resolved.
Domestically, Obama would have to shift to some more effective approaches while trimming sails to match fiscal realities.
It's a solid idea to raise the low tax rates enjoyed by the wealthy, but it would be counterproductive to increase capital gains levies. The first would boost revenue and fairness; the second would crimp investment.

Providing tax breaks to those at the low end is attractive, but Obama would achieve greater economic stimulus with aggressive spending on infrastructure projects, such as roads, bridges and, especially, mass transit.

Enabling homeowners to get relief from mortgage debt in bankruptcy court, as Obama proposes, would further disrupt housing finance. But directing the government to buy up troubled mortgages would help stabilize housing prices and bail out families, not just Wall Street.
In sum, we are banking on practicality trumping political dogma in an Obama White House. The fantasy that the U.S. can move toward energy independence without fully committing to domestic drilling and nuclear power must be banished. The reality that America can't make strides toward universal health care without fiscal discipline elsewhere must sink in.
At this critical juncture, the nation must elect a President who will renew bipartisanship and hard-headed pragmatism to rescue America's standard of living, secure the country from global threats, whether of arms or of climate, and lay a foundation to meet 21st century challenges.
That is our hope for Barack Obama.


No comments: