The Nation: Obama For President

Editors Say Democrat’s Ability To Forge Progressive Majority Makes Him The Best Choice


As this year’s front-loaded primary calendar took shape, capped off with the February 5 Super-Mega-Duper Tuesday, many voters once again resigned themselves to watching from the sidelines as a few early states got the privilege of choosing the party’s nominee. Yet despite a schedule tailor-made to benefit the establishment candidate and confer an early victory, we are, somewhat miraculously, in the midst of the most contested primary race in 24 years. We are all Iowans now.This state of affairs is thanks almost entirely to the campaign of Barack Obama, who, because of his background and his relatively brief time in the national spotlight, is a truly improbable contender for the presidency. This magazine has been critical of the senator from Illinois for his closeness to Wall Street; his unwillingness to lay out an ambitious progressive agenda on health care, housing and other domestic policy issues; and for post partisan rhetoric that seems to ignore the manifest failure of conservatism over these past seven years. But as Christopher Hayes argued in our cover story last week, Obama has also exhibited a more humane and wise approach to foreign policy, opposing the Iraq War while Hillary Clinton voted for it, and has been a reliable progressive ally over the course of his career. While his rhetoric about “unity” can be troubling, it also embodies a savvy strategy to redefine the center of American politics and build a coalition by reaching out to independent and Republican voters disgruntled and disgusted with what the Bush era has wrought. Most important, we feel his candidacy, in its demonstrated investment in organizing and grassroots activism as well as his personal appeal, represents the best chance to forge a new progressive majority. For these reasons we support Obama for President.

Obama’s brand of grassroots politics should serve him well in the coming weeks. He has already galvanized a new class of supporters, delivered on the promise of turning out new voters and raised an astonishing amount of money from hundreds of thousands of small donors. In the February contests in caucus states, he can leverage his superior organizing, and in liberal primary states like Maryland and Wisconsin, he can leverage his progressive support in the wake of John Edwards’s exit. But the Obama coalition is relatively weak among Latino voters, as well as among the core Democratic constituencies of the elderly and the working class, who are most focused on bread-and-butter basics: making the economy work for the non-rich. As a moral and political imperative, he would do well to seize the mantle of equitable redistribution and broad economic security for those who live their lives on the precipice of bankruptcy and disaster.

While some will fret about the effect on the eventual nominee of a prolonged battle, the upwelling of small-d democratic enthusiasm in this primary — all those impassioned e-mails, phone calls, canvassing sessions and Facebook postings — has reaped real results: record turnout in the first four contests and on Super Tuesday. While the GOP appears to be on the verge of nominating old war (mongering) horse John McCain, Democrats will likely remain divided, and that’s quite all right. Primaries are more than just the means of choosing a nominee; they are an opportunity to weave together networks capable of pushing the country, inch by inch, in a new direction. There’s nothing quite like the novel experience of casting a meaningful vote to stoke the aspirations and energies of citizens of conscience. As we move toward November, we’ll need all the energy we can get.via//CBS News

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Posted in Democrats, Elections, Politics, Western Media
2 comments on “The Nation: Obama For President
  1. whydidyoudoit says:

    According to the demographics, I should be voting for Hillary Clinton: I’m a white, 60-year-old, highly educated woman from the Northeast. But I’m voting for Obama. I’ve waited all my life for a viable woman candidate for the presidency, but this is not the right woman. I want a woman of the highest ability and virtue, who would serve as a glorious role model to all young women. Hillary Clinton is not that woman.
    She rode into power with her husband, and together they’ve acquired a long and seriously flawed history of self-serving and secretive financial and political dealings. The most cursory research will prove that true. She started out her political life supporting the racist Barry Goldwater. She is as comfortable with deception and trickery as George Bush. When I hear woman saying, “Oh, but that’s how you get things done in Washington,” I literally cringe.
    I am passionately supporting Barack Obama. He can beat the Republicans; she cannot. Obama has attracted Independents and even Republicans to his camp, and in a general election they would vote for him, but not for Clinton. Clinton voted for the war, and has never apologized for it. Obama has spoken out against it from the beginning. Obama brings us hope–and not just that. Take a serious look at his ideas and experience.
    Please, I beg of you, Sisters young and old: wait for the right woman. Then we can be proud.

    Diane Wald

  2. whydidyoudoit says:

    Solis Doyle, is dispensable, she has served her purpose to help us win the latino vote in the big states. We no longer need her or the latino vote to capture the white house. The women and black vote will now carry the Hillary campaign the rest of the way. Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton replaced campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle with longtime aide Maggie Williams on Sunday. Ms. Clinton believes Maggie Williams is a better choice to target the women vote. Clinton said in a statement. “I am lucky to have Maggie on board and I know she will lead our campaign with great skill towards the nomination.” This is a race to the white house, not a popularity contest. If the latino community feelings are hurt because Ms. Doyle services is no longer needed, I will address those issues after I am president.

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