Posted by: Lisa Pampuch | October 10, 2008

Obama ’08

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of the upcoming presidential election. Americans are fighting two grinding wars, confronting serious global threats, watching our economy fail, reeling from unprecedented budget deficits, suffering falling international standing and more. We desperately need a new direction.

Fortunately, the choice is clear. Barack Obama is the best man for the job. Obama consistently displays the judgment, temperament, intelligence, discipline and integrity required to lead our nation in these troubled times.

In crises, Obama is focused and deliberative, not erratic and impulsive. Obama bases his decisions on facts, not gut checks.

Regarding one of the most important foreign policy decisions of our time, history vindicates Obama’s judgment: Obama was right when he opposed invading Iraq. That brave, correct assessment ran counter to prevailing political wisdom.

With two presidential candidates with no elected executive experience, voters must instead examine how the candidates are leading their campaigns to determine how they’d lead this nation.

Obama overcame steep odds and a powerful political machine to earn his party’s nomination. He did it by managing an innovative, collaborative, inspirational and disciplined campaign that stuck to the high road, even when his opponents took the low road.

Obama is unflappable and consistent under extreme pressure. During one of the ugliest presidential election campaigns in history, Obama has kept his cool and stuck to his principles. He’s shown that – as any president must – he can handle multiple crises in a calm, reasoned, reassuring manner.

John McCain, on the other hand, touts his integrity but is running a campaign so dishonest that even Karl Rove said he’d gone too far.

McCain is leading an undisciplined, erratic campaign that leaves voters reeling as he ping-pongs on issue after issue: Opposing, then supporting, increased offshore drilling; supporting, then opposing, his own bipartisan immigration reform bill; opposing, then supporting, George Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy; supporting, then opposing, Roe v. Wade; opposing, then supporting, Wall Street bailouts; supporting, then opposing, his own campaign-finance reform bill; criticizing, then embracing, the extreme religious right wing of his party.

McCain, who claims he’ll reform the lobbyist-run Washington culture, has failed to accomplish that despite decades in Congress. What’s more, McCain placed scores of lobbyists on his campaign payroll, starting at the top with his campaign manager.

It’s clear from their campaigns, characters and temperaments that Obama will make the better president. But it’s also important to study the candidates’ positions. Let’s examine two of the most important issues facing our nation.

On foreign policy, McCain shares the Bush Administration’s disdain for diplomacy. McCain urged that America wage the ill-fated Iraq war and predicted an easy win. He’s fine with American troops staying in Iraq for decades. He asserted that we’d won Afghanistan even as the Taliban was resurgent. McCain erroneously believes that Iraq, not Afghanistan, is the central front in the fight against terrorism.

Obama values diplomacy, will restore our relationships with our allies and restore America’s standing in the world. Obama endorses a responsible timeline for withdrawal from Iraq – as does that country’s president – and accurately sees Afghanistan as the front line in the battle against terrorism.

On economics, McCain correctly assessed that he needs “to be educated.” McCain praised the economy’s fundamentals as “strong” on the day that Lehman Brothers failed. McCain champions the sort of deregulation that fueled the subprime mortgage crisis. McCain supported most of Bush’s budgets that turned hard-won budget surpluses into staggering deficits.

Obama warned of the impending subprime crisis, supports tax cuts for poor and middle class families and tax increases for those making more than $250,000. He’ll remove incentives for companies that ship American jobs overseas. He’ll close corporate tax loopholes.

McCain voted with Bush 100 percent of the time in 2008 and 95 percent of the time in 2007, Congressional Quarterly reports, so ask yourself this question: Has the country prospered or suffered under eight years of Bush-Cheney-McCain policies?

There’s no question that the country is far worse off than when Bill Clinton left office. A vote on Nov. 4 for McCain is an endorsement of continuing the failed Bush-Cheney-McCain policies for four more years.

With a financial meltdown, out-of-control deficits, two long, poorly led wars, to name just a few of the problems that constitute the Bush-Cheney-McCain legacy, it’s clear that America cannot afford four more years of the same.

Obama has shown that he has the right ideas, sound judgment, strong character and right temperament to lead this nation.

Please join me in voting for Barack Obama.

Note: This is a special point-counterpoint column written for the Gilroy Dispatch. The McCain endorsement column was written by Dispatch columnist and fellow Dispatch editorial board member Cynthia Walker.

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Responses

  1. […] with McCain on the issues, I have to ask you, which John McCain do you think you agree with? As I wrote earlier this month: McCain is leading an undisciplined, erratic campaign that leaves voters reeling as he ping-pongs […]

  2. […] I’m an avid Barack Obama supporter, I’ve predicted that I’d sometimes disagree with his decisions. I didn’t expect it to happen […]


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