OBAMA FOR THE DEMOCRATS
January 31, 2008 -- Democrats in 22 states across America go to the polls next Tuesday to pick between two presidential prospects: Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
We urge them to choose Obama - an untried candidate, to be sure, but preferable to the junior senator from New York.
Obama represents a fresh start.
His opponent, and her husband, stand for déjà vu all over again - a return to the opportunistic, scandal-scarred, morally muddled years of the almost infinitely self-indulgent Clinton co-presidency.
Does America really want to go through all that once again? It will - if Sen. Clinton becomes president.
That much has become painfully apparent.
Bill Clinton's thuggishly self-centered campaign antics conjure so many bad, sad memories that it's hard to know where to begin.
Suffice it to say that his Peck's-Bad-Boy smirk - the Clinton trademark - wore thin a very long time ago.
Far more to the point, Sen. Clinton could have reined him in at any time. But she chose not to - which tells the nation all it needs to know about what a Clinton II presidency would be like.
Now, Obama is not without flaws.
For all his charisma and his eloquence, the rookie senator sorely lacks seasoning. And on national security, his worldview is beyond naive - blithely unware that America must defend itself against those sworn to destroy the nation.
Meanwhile, Obama's all-things-to-all-people approach to complex domestic issues also arouses scant confidence. "Change!" for the sake of change does not a credible campaign platform make.
But he remains a highly intelligent man, with a strong record as a conciliator. And, again, he is not Team Clinton.
That counts for a very great deal.
A return to Sen. Clinton's cattle-futures deal, Travelgate, Whitewater, Filegate, the Lincoln Bedroom Fire Sale, Pardongate - and the inevitable replay of the Monica Mess?
No, thank you.
And don't forget the Clintons' trademark political cynicism. How else to explain Sen. Clinton's oft-contradictory policy stands: She voted for the war in Iraq, but now says it was a bad idea. She'd end it yesterday - but refuses to say how.
It's called "triangulation" - the Clintonian tactic by which the ends are played against the middle.
Once, it was effective - almost brilliant. Today, it is tired and tattered - and it reeks of cynicism and opportunism.
Finally, Sen. Clinton stands philosophically far to the left of her husband, and is much more disciplined in pursuit of her agenda.
At least Obama has the ability to inspire.
Again, we don't agree much with Obama on substantive issues.
But many Democrats will.