The formal act of endorsing a candidate is generally (and properly) limited to editorial pages and elected officials whose constituents might be influenced by their choice. The rest of us shouldn’t assume anyone cares. My avoidance of offering a formal endorsement until now has also been affected by the pull of old friendships and my reluctance as a teacher and commentator to be openly partisan. But my conscience won’t let me be silent any longer.
I believe that Barack Obama should be elected President of the United States.
Although Hillary Clinton has offered solid and sensible policy proposals, Obama’s strike me as even more so. His plans for reforming Social Security and health care have a better chance of succeeding. His approaches to the housing crisis and the failures of our financial markets are sounder than hers. His ideas for improving our public schools and confronting the problems of poverty and inequality are more coherent and compelling. He has put forward the more enlightened foreign policy and the more thoughtful plan for controlling global warming.
He also presents the best chance of creating a new politics in which citizens become active participants rather than cynical spectators. He has energized many who had given up on politics. He has engaged young people to an extent not seen in decades. He has spoken about the most difficult problems our society faces, such as race, without spinning or simplifying. He has rightly identified the armies of lawyers and lobbyists that have commandeered our democracy, and pointed the way toward taking it back.
Finally, he offers the best hope of transcending the boundaries of class, race, and nationality that have divided us. His life history exemplifies this, as do his writings and his record of public service. For these same reasons, he offers the best possibility of restoring America’s moral authority in the world.
Dear Friends and Fans:
LIke most of you, I’ve been following the campaign and I have now seen and heard enough to know where I stand. Senator Obama, in my view, is head and shoulders above the rest.
He has the depth, the reflectiveness, and the resilience to be our next President. He speaks to the America I’ve envisioned in my music for the past 35 years, a generous nation with a citizenry willing to tackle nuanced and complex problems, a country that’s interested in its collective destiny and in the potential of its gathered spirit. A place where “…nobody crowds you, and nobody goes it alone.”
At the moment, critics have tried to diminish Senator Obama through the exaggeration of certain of his comments and relationships. While these matters are worthy of some discussion, they have been ripped out of the context and fabric of the man’s life and vision, so well described in his excellent book, Dreams From My Father, often in order to distract us from discussing the real issues: war and peace, the fight for economic and racial justice, reaffirming our Constitution, and the protection and enhancement of our environment.
After the terrible damage done over the past eight years, a great American reclamation project needs to be undertaken. I believe that Senator Obama is the best candidate to lead that project and to lead us into the 21st Century with a renewed sense of moral purpose and of ourselves as Americans.
Over here on E Street, we’re proud to support Obama for President.
Dear Fellow Pennsylvanian,
Based on the experiences that I have had in my seventy-five years and my assessment of what I think our nation needs to make real the change that is so needed, I am proud and now feel compelled to endorse Senator Barack Obama.
This is not something that I do regularly but as I listen to the candidates in this race, I am struck that we continue to hear about the problems and the same challenges that we have been talking about for decades. Protecting jobs here in Pennsylvania, breaking our dangerous and costly addiction to foreign oil, making health care accessible and affordable – these are neither new issues nor new ideas. And yet we have failed to make real progress.
As a grandfather and a citizen of this community I think Barack Obama’s, thoughtful, strategic approach is important for America. When I hear how excited young people seem to be when they talk about this man, I believe he will do what is best for them which is to inspire them to be great Americans.
This time, we can’t afford to wait. Our country needs a new direction and a new kind of leadership – the kind of leadership, judgment and experience that Senator Obama has demonstrated in more than 20 years of public service, and in a particularly impressive way in this campaign. Senator Obama has rejected the say-and-do anything tactics that puts winning elections ahead of governing the country. And he has rejected the back-room politics in favor of opening government up to the people. Barack Obama is the one candidate in this race who can finally put an end to business as usual in Washington and bring about real change for Pittsburgh and the country as a whole. He has inspired me and so many other people around our country with new ideas and fresh perspectives.
True sports fans know that you support your team even when they are the underdogs. Barack Obama is the underdog here but it is with great pride that I join his team.
When I think of Barack Obama’s America I have great hope. I support his candidacy and look forward to his Presidency.
Daniel M. Rooney,
Owner and Chairman, Pittsburgh Steelers
Obama, it is.
Mike Gravel is a decent man. He should not be president, but he should be respected.
Hat-tip to Melissa McEwan.