The Miami Hurricane’s Editorial Board met at noon on Nov. 2, 2008, to discuss the endorsement of a candidate for president of the United States. The meeting was open to all staff members on the content side of the newspaper as listed in the masthead located on page 2, which includes the news and assistant news editors, sports and assistant sports editors, photo and assistant photo editors, multimedia editors, EDGE editor, Opinion editor, webmaster and the editor at large. Only those who are responsible for the management of content (section editors and assistants, the editor-in-chief) were permitted to vote.
Discussion lasted 30 minutes, as members of the board discussed the two major candidates. At the conclusion of the 30 minutes, a vote was called, and the final result saw six supporting Sen. John McCain and six supporting Sen. Barack Obama. Therefore, it was decided that two separate arguments would run in the Nov. 3, 2008, edition of The Miami Hurricane, instead of one endorsement, ensuring that no arbitrary tiebreaker was used.
It is rare in American electoral history that citizens get the opportunity to go to the polls and vote for a transformative figure. Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt, Kennedy and Reagan come to mind. Sen. Barack Obama is one of those transformative figures.
Ever since he catapulted onto the national stage at the 2004 Democratic National Convention with his keynote address, Obama has captured the imagination of millions of Americans. Those Americans see a chance to put the country on a new path, a path of equity, a path of reason and a path of global cooperation.
The image of the United States has taken an enormous hit over the past eight years. The foreign policy of the Bush administration has made America despised by former allies. Who better to repair that image than a man who is already beloved around the globe for his ability to listen to what other countries might say, instead of subscribing to the “Bush Doctrine” approach of shooting first and dealing with global fallout later? Sen. Obama is just the man to restore our image.
In our current political climate, many feel bipartisanship is dead. Who better to revive it than a man who in just four years in the Senate is known for his willingness to reach across the aisle? With the widescale crises the new president will be left with, it’s absolutely critical that whoever takes the leadership seat will be able to work with his opponents. Whether it be nuclear nonproliferation with Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana or transparency in federal spending with Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Obama has shown the determination and temperament to work with people with whom he may not agree.
Sen. John McCain is known as the “Maverick.” While it was once true that he was the outlier of the GOP, the “Democrat’s favorite Republican,” he has sold his soul for the Republican nomination. The man who once condemned religious zealots like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson as “agents of intolerance” in 2000 spoke at Falwell’s Liberty University in 2006, seeking to shore up his base for the race for the presidency. The same man who said he would run an honorable campaign saw that very campaign drag out red herrings like William Ayers and Rashid Khalidi against Obama and accused segments of America that don’t agree with the Republican viewpoint as being not “real America.” The only time he spoke against such politicking is when he shunned a woman who called Obama an Arab, countering that he was a “good family man,” as though the two are mutually exclusive. The same man who criticized Obama as untested picked easily the most inexperienced and unprepared candidate for vice president in the modern era (Dan Quayle must be relieved). If this much has changed about the man during the campaign, how can we know what will happen should he enter 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?
John McCain’s service as a Senator and a soldier are beyond commendable and every American should thank him for his remarkable sacrifices. But being a prisoner of war is not an automatic qualification for the highest office in the land. Good judgment, good policy ideas and an ability to lead a divided and concerned nation are. That’s why Sen. Barack Obama is the best candidate for the presidency of the United States of America.
To read the endorsement of Sen. John McCain, click here.