The Times West Virginian

Opinion

October 26, 2008

Middle class concern gives Obama edge for president

There should be no surprise that the 2008 presidential race is going down to the wire.

Former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, recently said that Americans have “good and sufficient” reasons to admire John McCain, the Republican nominee.

Clinton, though he is supporting Democratic candidate Barack Obama, added that McCain, Arizona senator and former prisoner of war in Vietnam “has given something in life the rest of us can’t match.”

Meanwhile, Obama, a senator from Illinois and the first black man with a legitimate opportunity to be president, has earned the endorsement of Colin Powell, Republican and retired general who was President George W. Bush’s first secretary of state.

“I think we need a transformational figure. I think we need a president who is a generational change and that’s why I’m supporting Barack Obama, not out of any lack of respect or admiration for Sen. John McCain.”

The years of the Bush presidency have been a trying period for America. The nation has gone from running a surplus to going deeply in debt. Terrorists attacked on our soil, and the country is involved in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — the latter conflict costing more than 4,000 American lives and about $10 billion a month in a country with a huge budget surplus. Now the country is facing economic crises on several fronts.

Voters have a tough decision to make.

Obama’s reaction to what middle-class Americans are facing has led the Times West Virginian — by a 3-2 vote of the editorial board — to endorse him for the nation’s highest office.

We have no doubt that McCain, like Obama, sincerely wants the best for a country that he has served virtually his entire adult life. However, his reaction to the ongoing economic crisis has been shaky at best.

As recently as September, he was insisting that the fundamentals of the economy were strong. Then, as he slipped behind Obama in most polls, McCain’s campaign attempted to shift focus away from the issue foremost on voters’ minds.

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