Staff Editorial: 2008 presidential endorsements

Our choice for Democrats: Hillary Clinton

The Democratic party is primed to make a run at the post-Bush White House with a group of strong, diverse and passionate candidates. Yet one candidate has come to the forefront with her experience and realistic expectations. As the Democrats look toward the presidency with wide eyes and lofty goals, The Hatchet endorses Hillary Clinton for the party’s 2008 presidential nomination.

Unlike election seasons past, the Democratic field has presented numerous viable candidates that have reinvigorated the party’s voters. Many Americans, regardless of party alignment, are ready to change the perception of the U.S. on the world stage. The option of electing the first female or black president of the United States is an exciting opportunity that is long past due. The differences between the two top contenders, Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, and their policies are minuscule.

Although experience and a resume are not the sole matters in a presidential election, Clinton presents the best option on this front. This page recognizes Obama for his political savvy, idealism and personality. While Obama’s idealized view of the future and focus on the optimism of hope has been a breath of fresh-air to this election cycle, but realistically has little bearing on policy and results in the White House. The young senator has limited experience on the federal scene and leaves many wondering what he would actually be able to accomplish in the Oval Office.

Although John Edwards’ passionate populist policies are appealing to some, they are an element that could divide the party in a general vote. His time spent running for president has eclipsed his time in the federal government, which has led to drastic and seismic shifts in policy.

Clinton has been able to take away valuable experience from past failures, like her health care propositions of the past and how they have transformed. Although she voted for the war in Iraq and against the troop surge, Clinton’s plan for Iraq highlights patience and a realistic notion of the complexities in handing the situation.

It is that sort of ability, to know how Washington works behind the scenes, that solidifies this endorsement. Clinton would need little adjustment time upon entering the Oval Office, making day one the start of change.

Republican Primary Pick: John McCain

When considering the contenders in the Republican primary, The Hatchet sees only one candidate who can effectively use political experience and charisma to harness both the primary ballot and put up a fight in the 2008 presidential race. Arizona Sen. John McCain can provide the Republicans a much needed makeover, while bringing the party’s traditional values back to the forefront of American politics.

While his policies honor the traditions of the Republican party, they do not cross the line into the extremist views that have characterized the the GOP for the last decade. His pro-life stance addresses abortion through states’ rights. His emphasis on a governmental devolution extends to gay rights as well, which he again believes should be decided by individual states.

McCain’s military experience led him to support the war in Iraq. He was also the first to admit when the strategy had to be shifted. He then proposed the surge, indicating an adaptability crucial to the character of a commander in chief. While unpopular, the surge has proven to be successful, further indicating McCain’s ability to devise realistic foreign policy that goes beyond the rhetoric spewed by other candidates.

This versatility flies in the face of the obstinate religiosity that the Bush administration has come to represent. McCain’s experience in Congressional politics also serves to reaffirm his ability to manage interest groups while maintaining his personal principles. Other Republican contenders may come from illustrious backgrounds in state governments, but they lack the experience required to manage the pressures of Washington politics. For candidates like Mitt Romney, this task will be insurmountable, as he has failed to solidify his position on numerous issues, making it impossible for him to successfully address them.

Mike Huckabee, a last-minute contender, certainly has the charm to win the nomination. Huckabee, though, does not provide a new meaning to the concept of a Republican White House. Being strictly opposed to abortion, gay marriage and governmental expansion of healthcare, Huckabee provides too narrow a view for a 21st century America.

Rudy Giuliani’s notorious image from New York politics disqualify him as a serious contender for the Republican nomination. His miscalculation in the primary process raises questions about how he would manage this mammoth government.

Time and time again, McCain has received criticism from within the party for not adhering to Washington’s polarized divide. His ability to withstand such disapproval and continue to stand for his beliefs assures this page that he would not hesitate to call things like he sees them, whether on the Senate floor or in the Oval Office.

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