For president SN&R endorses

See last week’s full proposition endorsements.

Proposition 91: Transit Funds—NO

Proposition 92: Community Colleges—NO

Proposition 93: Term Limits—YES

Proposition 94-97: Indian Casinos—NO
Democrat, Barack Obama
The race for the Democratic nomination for president features two candidates that have a shot at actually moving into the White House in January of 2009: Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama.

We support Obama. It’s not just because his life story is inspirational, though it is. It’s not just because he can give a hell of a speech, though he can. We favor Obama because he has the potential to be a groundbreaking figure in American political life, a force that just might manage to cut through what Al Gore calls our “utterly bizarre” national dialogue and inability to solve our most pressing problems. Obama has a unifying style and manages to take progressive positions on issues without alienating the opposition. On the contrary, it’s hard to imagine a Clinton presidency that wouldn’t push the country into an unprecedented new era of polarized politics.

We’re aware, of course, that neither Obama nor Clinton are running campaigns about how the ultra-wealthy and their mega-corporations control far too much of what happens in American life. But the candidates who do this tend to become marginalized and seem unable to speak convincingly to the mixed-up, blue-red, pop culture-drenched people of this nation. Dennis Kucinich, the only contender to “speak truth to power” in this realm, is so far out of the sphere of electability that all we can offer is appreciation for his involvement. We like John Edwards for his class focus and populist appeal, but he remains an only slightly less marginal candidate in this race.

There is little doubt that Obama has a better shot than Clinton at winning against any nominee the Republicans put up. You don’t have to believe the polls on this (though they confirm it), because most of us already know it from anecdotal experience.

Obama had the judgment to stand against the war in Iraq from the start. He wants Guantanamo Bay closed. He will cut taxes for working families and raise Social Security caps on wealthy earners. He will double emissions standards and is the only candidate to support letting California enforce its own green agenda. Obama is the best choice for president on February 5.

Republican, Ron Paul
We like Ron Paul, but his libertarian view (he’s against government regulations and opposes taxes) would not help America solve most of its major problems, from the climate crisis to health-care needs. We do admire his opposition to the war and his call to end the war on drugs (and we’re not just saying this to please SN&R staffer with the giant Ron Paul poster in his window!). Paul would make a good GOP protest vote.

Green, anybody but Nader
We know he’s not the reason Al Gore lost in 2000, and we haven’t forgotten his worthy history as consumer crusader. But if you’re a registered Green, please, please don’t encourage Ralph Nader with your vote on the February 5 ballot. He’s flirting with the possibility of a run on the November ballot, and that would be bad for the Greens, the Democrats and the country.