The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

October 29, 2008

In our view: Fresh direction

It’s a theme that both presidential candidates have seized upon during this election cycle — that Americans are ready for a fresh direction at a time of great uncertainty.

The Globe’s editorial board did not take the matter of a presidential endorsement lightly. It was a discussion that spanned several weeks, and the vote was not unanimous. But when it comes to that issue of a new direction, the majority of the board believes that Sen. Barack Obama is the candidate best suited to deliver it.

Following the market collapse and the recent Wall Street bailout, we believe that the nation needs a new economic plan.

Obama’s plan to provide tax cuts for middle-income Americans is a welcome one, as is his plan to eliminate capital-gains taxes for small businesses and provide cuts for businesses that create and keep jobs in the United States.

With the war in Iraq well into its fifth year, Obama has said that it is time for the Iraqi government to begin stepping up to take on financial responsibility for its country at a time when our country is spending billions of dollars (not to mention the human cost) each month in our efforts there.

And we agree that beginning a responsible drawdown of American forces will also require Iraq to begin taking more military control of its country, and allow our troops to place more emphasis on al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan, and bringing 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden to justice.

In selecting Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate, Obama made a choice that bolstered his ticket’s foreign policy credentials at a time when our nation’s standing in the world has been diminished.

We are uncomfortable with Sen. John McCain’s selection of Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. With the Palin pick, McCain rallied his base but undercut his theme at the time that experience matters. We remain unconvinced that she is ready to step into the No. 1 spot if needed.

Obama’s ability to transcend generational, racial and partisan divisions, his thoughtful approach to weighty issues and message of bipartisanship resonate with many Americans. There are some who see him as simply a gifted speaker, but his words inspire. We believe that Obama can make those words a reality — making “change” more than just a campaign slogan, but a launching point for a brighter future for all Americans.

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