The Woodbine Twiner (Harrison County, IA)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Democrats - Barack Obama

Change has been more than just a buzzword during this 2008 presidential campaign.

Candidates for the Democratic nomination for president have authored entire books on the subject and many are using the promise of change day-to-day, county-by-county as they zigzag Iowa in the final days before the Jan. 3 caucus.

They discuss change from the current administration; change from our policies in Iraq; change to a more trustworthy government and change toward more a more diplomatic approach around the world - both with our allies and with countries with which we find ourselves in conflict.

After speaking with each Democratic candidate, we endorse Barack Obama for president.

If Obama can run the United States and surround himself with professionals as he has his campaign, we're confident he can be that agent of change.

The junior senator from Illinois has electrified crowds all over the Hawkeye State, yet he's still new enough in the Beltway to inspire our hopes that things can change in Washington, D.C.

We acknowledge the equally talented players in the Democratic race, namely Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd, Delaware Senator Joe Biden and former North Carolina Senator and vice presidential hopeful John Edwards. Dodd and Biden each have three decades of service to their constituents.

Any of these three would make attractive choices for Democrats nationwide and, in fact, Edwards beats the top Republicans - Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain - in several national polls.

But we're looking for something different, something inspiring.

Obama has not forgotten that we must all work together to get things accomplished. Sure, Republicans and Democrats will forever bicker. But Obama gives us some sort of hope that the two parties can work as Americans - not divide as partisans.

We've seen the Clinton parade and want a break from the career politicians.

As we repair our image around the world and begin to focus on issues back home, Obama gives us the hope both can happen.


Republicans - John McCain

If the last few weeks of the political season have taught us anything it's that the Republican race remains a wide-open affair - not just here in Iowa but nationwide. As other candidates rise and fall in both the polls and public opinion, John McCain's commitment to being president has remained staunch and his strength as a solider and senator unquestioned.

After speaking with all the Republican candidates for President, save Rudy Giuliani, we endorse John McCain in the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses.

While we recognize the recent surge with Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has much to do with his likeability, no one in the Republican race has more experience with stepping across the aisle and working with Democrats than McCain.

And McCain is clearly on the right side of the issue when it comes to torture.

On Oct. 26, 1967, McCain's attack plane was shot down during the Vietnam War. He spent the next 5 ½ years being tortured by the North Vietnamese - at times taking several beatings a day. He never broke, however, even after his father was named commander of all U.S. troops in Vietnam.

As our country faces critical accountability questions when it comes to treatment of prisoners during this war time, we must trust that we will elect a commander in chief who will not treat the Geneva Convention agreement as simply a nuisance.

McCain has been tortured and he'll be the first one to stand up and say it's wrong - including the practice of 'waterboarding.'

Of course, torture and is not the issue in which we will elect a president.

McCain has stood firm on his views of fair trade, free trade, NAFTA and the economy.

The veteran senator also picked up the endorsement of Joe Lieberman, a former presidential candidate and Al Gore's running mate in 2000 when the pair won the popular vote but lost the election.

McCain's friends in Washington span from hard right to hard left. While he did support an unpopular troop surge, U.S. casualties have reduced in recent months.

We again defer to McCain's knowledge on this front and hope he continues to show good sense as we try to find a reasonable conclusion to this war.

© 2007  Reprinted by permission (John Beaudoin, Dec. 27, 2007).

Publisher John Beaudoin wrote: "We arrived at our endorsements after speaking with each candidate during 2007 (save Rudy Giuliani). We had one-on-one phone interviews with all the candidates and we even met in person with several candidates from each party.  We went beyond just reading the platforms and hearing the speeches on TV to actually hearing from each candidate about what their views were on the topics that matter most to our readers namely the War in Iraq, Ethanol, immigration and the economy."

Southwest Iowa News includes the The Daily Nonpareil, Shenandoah Valley News, Logan Herald Observer, Woodbine Twiner, Clarinda Herald Journal and Denison Bulletin & Review.