THE PILOT ENDORSES: Top of the Ticket: Obama and Biden
History is about to turn a page as the United States prepares to elect either its first black president or its first female vice president.
Whichever party wins, the Republic will survive. However the election goes, we hope Americans will live up to their heritage as a big-spirited people by closing ranks behind the winners and putting this long, shamefully ugly campaign behind them.
Of the two national tickets, The Pilot believes the Democratic team of Sens. Barack Obama and Joe Biden offers greater promise of providing the visionary, transformational leadership needed to guide the country through the difficult days ahead.
Obama has set forth a positive program for achievable progress. He has picked a good, solid partner in Biden. Whether the goal is realizing the dream of universal health care or achieving an honorable American exit from Iraq or helping restore economic confidence, the Democratic candidate has surrounded himself with experienced advisers who know how to turn ideas into action. An Obama administration would also have a greater chance of restoring America's grievously damaged image in the eyes of the world.
Sen. John McCain is a good man at heart. He has served his country faithfully, even heroically. But he has been an unimpressive candidate -- erratic, cranky, leaping from one position to another like a man on an icy river jumping frantically from floe to floe as the current sweeps him toward a cataract.
McCain has also shown questionable judgment in his choice of a running mate. Though Gov. Sarah Palin gave his campaign an initial political boost, her words and actions since have raised serious doubts about her suitability to be placed a heartbeat away from a 72-year-old president. Rather than focusing on a positive platform, McCain and Palin have presided over a largely negative campaign that has tried to make outrageous hot-button words like "terrorist," "socialist" and "communist" stick on an opponent who is none of those things.
These are the desperation tactics of a campaign that has lost its way. The electorate clearly senses that. Encouragingly, a majority of American voters seem level-headed enough to look beyond the slime and smear and slander and cast their lot with the candidate they think offers the most real and meaningful change.
Considering the dirt thrown his way, Obama has campaigned with forbearance, dignity and intelligence -- a reflection on how he might approach the presidency. A candidate of his stature and vision comes along perhaps once in a generation. Given the chance, we think Barack Obama will be the kind of uniter and inspirer this great country cries out for.
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