We have been waiting for an indication as to where the Texas press will line up on the 2008 Presidential Race. Thanks to Shawn Williams at Dallas South, we now know who the Dallas Morning News is endorsing: Barak Obama. And, for the very obvious reasons below:
DMN editorial board recommends Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination
America is at a historic crossroads as a woman, a Hispanic and an African-American vie for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. Two of those candidates, Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, were finalists for our recommendation – not because of ethnicity or gender but because they most closely aligned with our positions on major domestic and international issues.
Mr. Obama is our choice because of his consistently solid judgment, poise under pressure and ability to campaign effectively without resorting to the divisive politics of the past.
Race is not an overriding factor for us. But it is undeniable that America has failed to heal its racial wounds, including here in Dallas. We need a motivated leader capable of confronting the problem, and no candidate is better equipped than Mr. Obama. His message isn't about anger and retribution. It's about moving forward.
There's been lots of noise about his lack of experience. It is a legitimate concern, considering he's a 46-year-old first-term senator. But Mr. Obama's experience in elective office matches that of Abraham Lincoln before he became president. And he has served more time on Capitol Hill than four of the past five White House occupants.
If youthful inexperience were such a liability, it has failed to resonate despite his opponents' best efforts. Mrs. Clinton, by contrast, flip-flopped over a plan to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Her campaign accepted donations from questionable sources. When Mr. Obama's support recently surged in early primary states, her campaign tried to smear him over drug use in his youth.
It's a tired ploy that has failed in four previous presidential elections. Bill Clinton twice won election after admitting he'd smoked (but not inhaled) marijuana. George W. Bush won despite an alcohol problem and drunken-driving conviction at age 30.
Mrs. Clinton called Mr. Obama "irresponsible" and "naive" for saying he would talk to leaders of rogue nations like Syria and Iran. Considering the current failed strategy of confrontation and diplomatic isolation, we think Mr. Obama is wise to include direct negotiations among his tools to reduce regional tensions.
Mr. Obama drew criticism for saying he would pursue terrorists, if necessary, by sending troops into Pakistan. The fact is, U.S. troops have been going into Pakistan for years in pursuit of terrorists. All Mr. Obama did, in effect, was to keep that option open for the future. To say otherwise is to declare Pakistan a sanctuary for America's enemies.
Mr. Obama, the son of a white American mother and black Kenyan father, spent part of his childhood in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country.
His life experience gives him a unique perspective and a greater ability to build diplomatic bridges.
We don't always agree with his positions, but we recognize his potential to unite disparate political factions and restore cooperation between the White House and Capitol Hill.
Americans are tired of divisive, hard-edged politics. Democrats would inspire a refreshingly new approach by choosing Mr. Obama as their 2008 candidate.
FOOTNOTE: Texas is a George Bush "red state", but recently there have been "blue" pockets cropping up across the state. Maybe even Texans are getting tired of their native son.