Thursday, January 31, 2008
Is endorsing Barack Obama the new cool? Not long ago, Hillary Rodham Clinton was the seemingly inevitable front-runner for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Obama was the insurgent. He was pulling in young voters, independents and new voters, but he lacked the blessing of the party’s heavyweights.That last line is clearly my sentiment. After Dennis, who? Wait for Nader? Wait for Gore? Cannot support any Repug promoting war. Paul? A bit too...? Hillary - never liked the DLC crowd. Obama, I am slowly coming your way - unless...
That’s changed. Obama’s success in moving beyond the traditional party base — combined with serious Clinton fatigue — is leading many seasoned Democratic leaders to rethink their earlier assumptions. John Kerry, Patrick Leahy, Claire McCaskill and Tom Daschle, among others, have lined up behind Obama, and the last few days brought Obama a surge of new, high-profile endorsements from such luminaries as Ted Kennedy and Nobel laureate Toni Morrison.
Obama has good judgment, which trumps mere experience every time. On Iran, he called for engagement and a toning down of bellicose rhetoric. Clinton was instead fanning the flames by voting for an amendment favored by the Bush administration that called the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. Obama’s judgment was vindicated when the National Intelligence Estimate asserted that Iran had already stopped its nuclear weapons program. On Pakistan, Obama consistently raised questions about the unqualified U.S. support for Pervez Musharraf — and was vindicated again as it became increasingly clear that Musharraf was neither a democrat nor a reliable U.S. ally against extremism.
There’s been such a rush to endorse Obama that I’m starting to feel a bit left out. Admittedly, I’m not a senator or a Nobel laureate, but … I’m starting to think I should endorse him myself. Why should Ted Kennedy get to have all the fun?