Sunday, January 27, 2008

25 - 12 - 8 Obama, Hillary, Edwards, hut.

It is Sunday today. Typically, we don't work very hard on Sunday.
But today, Lennon insisted that we say something about Senator Barak Obama and his smashing performance in South Carolina. It isn't often a two-to-one margin. Wow.
We desperately hope Mr. Obama's resounding defeat of Mrs. Clinton in South Carolina yesterday (55%-27%, with Mr. Edwards collecting 18% CNN) reverberates throughout the nation on February 5, when many states select delegates to the national convention.

In spite of South Carolina's It does not appear that super Tuesday will be decisive. Mr. Edwards' third has been close enough to keep him in the race, and his sizable number of delegates should allow him to help set the Democratic platform or even secure the Vice-Presidency.
We feel that Mr. Obama has a single policy weakness -- overzealous support of US international trade policies such as those discussed in "Globalization and Its Discontents" by Joseph Stigletz. It is our hope and belief that Mr. Edwards will use his clout at the convention to moderate Senator Obama's inner free-trader.
That proviso aside, we believe Mr. Obama is more liberal, will be more focused on domestic issues, and is generally more in line with our point of view here. We believe he will be elected by a historic margin over any of his potential GOP rivals except McCain. We think Obama is the only Democrat in the field who can defeat McCain. Finally, we think Mr. Obama is the candidate most likely to play well with the legislature during his administration - and therefore the most likely to get something done. We at Small Answers believe government should get things done.
And really, even if our worst fears were correct, and the IMF and World bank were to return to their practices of the 1980s in Latin America and elsewhere, that would still be far preferable to another Clinton administration for several reasons.
On Inauguration Day, it will already have been 20 years since someone named anything but Bush or Clinton has been head of state. Not very characteristic of a republic, if you ask us. Senator Clinton will drive GOP turnout in the November election. Perhaps she would still defeat her GOP rival, but Democratic numbers in the legislature would suffer if she were atop the ballot.
Her policy strong points just aren't that in line with our values here at Small Answers, either. Mrs. Clinton and former president Clinton are basically Eisenhower Republicans, without the plan for interstate highways. That's what we hope for in Republicans (think Ramstad, Arlen Specter, or McCain in 2000), but not what we look for in an ideal Democratic presidential candidate.
Senator Clinton's policy flaw is her hawkishness on military policy and executive power, a fault much more serious, in our opinion, than Obama's flirting with ill-considered international trade policy -- besides, we think Senator Clinton will have a hard time rounding up 60 votes in the Senate, even for her Eisenhower Republican agenda, even if the make-up were to remain the same or turn bluer.
We did not consider the positions of the Skipper(AL) or the Professor (JNP) on the war in making our endorsement decision. We are convinced neither would authorize a new war and that neither could do anything about the current war in their capacity as a Senator. In short, we feel it is about as relevant to a US senate race as it was to my race for the Minnesota House in 2006 -- not the least bit relevant.
The presidential endorsement is something else entirely. We feel it is likely that the GOP will nominate a pro-war, pro-military enlargement, hawkish candidate. We want an anti-war, dovish candidate who appreciates the "walk softly" aspect of carrying Teddy's big stick.
That candidate is not Hillary Clinton. That candidate is Barak Obama. That's our choice.

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