San Jose Mercury endorses Obama
by Drummond, Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 03:26:38 PM EST
This is a nice endorsement to have. The SJM is not only a paper read by a very large number of Hispanics, it is also a paper with considerable respect among progressives for having covered stories other mainstream sources have ducked.
And every little bit helps in California as he chips away at Clinton's lead.
From the editorial:
What tips the scales in Obama's favor is the freshness of his approach and the lack of political baggage he would bring to the White House.
Obama would dramatically change the nation's approach to foreign policy and domestic issues. While the substance might not differ substantially from Clinton's in many areas, he would have more cross-over appeal to independents and Republicans, whose support will be needed to bring about significant change.
Obama is the only candidate who opposed the Iraq war from the outset. His ethnic background and his upbringing give him a unique world view. He has the best chance to change how the world looks at the United States and restore the respect it has squandered during the past eight years.
While Clinton has a deep understanding of health care issues, her failed attempt to reform the system during her husband's first term dogs her steps. She chose experts with similar views and did not broadly engage stakeholders, which made her end result easy to shoot down. Obama can start fresh, and seems to understand the urgency.
He also brings a solid approach to the issues of climate change, education, election reform and stem cell research.
The nagging doubt about Obama is his lack of experience. He has worked hard to prepare for the White House, and it's not clear another six years in the Senate would necessarily make him a better president. Ronald Reagan showed that the most effective presidents have clear vision, good judgment and the ability to spur change.
For Obama, the important thing will be surrounding himself with intelligent and experienced advisers with a range of viewpoints and no reluctance to disagree with him. Abraham Lincoln's "Team of Rivals" would be the example here. Then it's a matter of deciding when to heed experience and when to follow his own instincts. Obama is smart enough to make good choices.
I'll be curious to see if this editorial reflects support in the high tech industry, which is known for its independent political streak.