The Vinton Eagle

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

In 2008, Clinton is the best choice for America
by Jeff Holmes

In just four weeks, it will be showtime for Iowa. After more than a year of campaigning, the Iowa Caucuses will finally be here and the full focus of America will be right in our backyard.

And has been mentioned many times, in this newspaper and across the state, we Iowans are faced with the responsibility of setting in motion the process that will elect the next president of the United States.

At least on the Democratic side, we have heard from all the candidates locally. They have visited us and our community and they have each made their case as to why they should be the next leader of the free world. But the time to make a choice has come. And like each of you, we have made a decision.

With that, the Vinton Eagle, Benton County’s largest local newspaper, today offers its endorsement for the Democratic nomination for president to Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY.

After examining each of the candidates, Sen. Clinton offers the complete package for what America needs in 2008. Through eight years as the First Lady during her husband, President Bill Clinton’s administration, she helped shaped policy on a regular basis. And in an election year in which it is essential that we get it right, she is without question, the right choice.

It was 15 years ago when Hillary Clinton championed universal health care in her husband’s campaign. And today, in her own campaign, she has held tight to that cause. Her health care plan would allow all Americans who so choose to have the same coverage afforded to members of Congress and all federal employees. She will see to it that no matter what preexisting condition you have, it will be covered and that any treatment or therapy will be covered in full.

With former Iowa Lieutenant Gov. (and Vinton native) Sally Pedersen, Sen. Clinton recently released a position paper on autism. She plans to budget $700 million a year for research into the causes of autism, therapy and treatment for the children who suffer from it and support for the families who deal with it on a daily basis.

Sen. Clinton wants to see our children’s education grow. She plans to redirect and fully fund No Child Left Behind, the well-known unfunded mandate from the Bush administration. She plans to a take the emphasis away from standardized testing and promote creativity in the classroom. She wants to see more college students go into the field of education and see those teachers be paid in a way that makes them want to stay in the profession.

In the area of foreign policy, Sen. Clinton spent eight years in the White House and the last eight in the Senate with a front-row seat to American foreign policy. She has dealt with these foreign leaders directly in critical situations up close. She has already had her on-the-job training in the White House and in the executive branch.

In the question of women’s health, Sen. Clinton remains pro-choice, but she also champions a plan that would promote education, adoption and foster parenting for children of unwanted pregnancies as an alternative to abortion.

There is no doubt that other candidates in the Democratic field would make good presidents. The top two, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina would make excellent presidents. We could truly be comfortable with either of them in the White House.

But today is not a time to settle for “being comfortable.- Here, in 2007, going into 2008, we need to have the best.

Sen. Obama will be the president of the United States at some point. I have little doubt that will happen, and he will make a fine one. But two more terms in the Senate working directly with another Clinton administration will only better prepare him for his time in the White House.

Sen. Edwards has proven to be strong on the campaign trail and would also make a good president. And Gov. Bill Richardson and Sens. Joe Biden and Chris Dodd have run strong campaigns as well, and likely all of them could serve key roles in a Clinton administration.

But the time has to gone past settling for just a “good- candidate. After eight years of indecision and mismanagement of the presidency, America needs greatness; someone who is already presidential; someone who is ready for the job.

Just last week, Sen. Clinton gave a perfect example of how presidential she is capable of being.

When a man took her campaign headquarters hostage in Rochester, N.H., Sen. Clinton remained in personal contact with law enforcement agencies at all levels. She cancelled her schedule for the day until everything was safely resolved.

When it was resolved, she met with the media and assured the nation that things were under control.

Then, she flew to New Hampshire to meet with those held hostage and with the law enforcement officers who helped resolve the situation.

From a news conference in Washington, to her meetings in New Hampshire, she gave off an feeling of control and confidence and coolness under pressure that was comforting. She was, in a moment of crisis, presidential.

In the current field on either side, only one candidate truly fits that description, and that is Hillary Clinton. On Jan. 3, at your local caucus site, when the opportunity comes up to step up and make your stand for your candidate, make that stand for Hillary Clinton. Carry through with Iowa’s awesome responsibility to make the right choice and choose the next president of the United States.

We urge you all to get to the caucus Jan. 3 and make it happen. Stand up for Hillary; stand up for America.

Copyright © 2007 The Vinton Eagle. All rights reserved.  Reprinted by permission (12/05/07 e-mail from Jeff Holmes).

The Vinton Eagle, the most widely read local newspaper in Benton County, is a weekly with a paid circulation of over 2,500 and readership of over 5,000.  Publisher is Jeff Holmes; he and his wife started this incarnation of the Eagle in June 2005.

In response to questions about how the endorsement was arrived at, Holmes wrote,

"I was at all of the appearances locally of Senators Edwards, Biden, Dodd, Obama, Clinton and Gov. Richardson.  At least one member of my staff was at each as well. I had individual interviews with each candidate.  Rep. Kucinich and Sen. Gravel never visited us.  Additionally, only two GOP candidates (Brownback and Huckabee) came to town."

"Our editorial board amounted to me writing the original, getting input from my staff (five of us), then formulating our final draft."