The CZ Presidential Endorsement Goes To…

January 4, 2008

*drum roll please*

Barack Obama

I’ve been waiting quite a while to announce which way I was leaning in the race, mostly because I wanted to see a few of the debates (just to be sure).  So here it is; The Official Chamber endorsement, for whatever its worth. But unlike all those newspaper endorsements that have been coming out in recent weeks, I’m not going to lay out the case for Barack in one entry. Instead, I’ve decided to break it up a bit. I guess you can consider this post part I.

I’ll start out with what I feel is one of the most important differentiating factors between Obama and the rest of the leading candidates: Iraq.

Unlike Clinton and Edwards, Obama would not have given George Bush a blank check to wage war with the October 2002 AUMF.  Here is a late-2002 video of an interview with the (then) state legislator, where he shared his views on the subject (h/t Andrew Sullivan):

That’s some impressively keen insight, and it scores a lot of Chamber points.  It’s this type of wisdom that makes someone presidential.

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  1. I’m sticking to Edwards for now, but if he drops out I’ll certainly switch over to Obama. I agree that he scores major points for being against the invasion of Iraq from the beginning. And if that was the only issue, I would be supporting him as well.

    As it stands, I agree with Edwards on so many other things that I’m willing to accept his apology for the Iraq vote. At least he can admit he was wrong. Hillary won’t even give us that much. She always does the “if I knew then what I know now” thing, which really isn’t the same as admitting she was wrong.

  2. I severely question Obama’s overall inexperience and I think that his ambition has gotten in the way of building more experience. After all, he was sworn in as a Senator in 2005 and announced his bid for President in Feb of 2007. That only gave him 2 years in Federal government before turning his attention elsewhere. Is this the sort of person that we want at the helm?

    Ambition and so-called insight can’t make up for real life experience. His dealings in national and foreign issues are terribly limited, and his Illinois and Senate track record his very heavy on anti-poverty measures and not a whole lot else.

    I was severely disappointed to see Biden get shafted. I think he was the best choice on the Dem side. But he didn’t fit the pop-culture views on what a Democratic presidential candidate should be.

  3. CZ, I’m glad you’ve finally seen the light!
    Newer, I like Edwards for his stand against corporate-greed, but he’ll never get anything through Congress – even though we now hold it, because lobbyists still have way too much power.
    Arc, Biden is a great Senator, I think he serves America best in that capacity. Also, I see Obama’s rapid ascendancy as a huge plus. He came from nowhere by grit and determination. That’s exactly the kind of leader we need.

  4. Looks like I beat you with my blog endorsement CZ, HAHA! Difference is, no one reads my blog anymore and with good reason…that was my first post there in weeks.

    Oh, I’m so happy to have a fellow Obama supporter! Now help me defend him over at Atlas Shrugs….LOL. He does NOT look like Mr. Potato Head!

  5. alz- Where you may see inexperience, I see a fresh perspective, and someone uncorrupted by Washington power players. The man can always surround himself with good people, and I imagine that’d he’d do just that.

  6. President Giuliani. You’ll need to learn how to spell it correctly, or you can just call him President Rudy if you can’t.

  7. Confidence…I like that.

  8. Edwards did not shine at the debate tonight, did he?


  9. I missed it.

    /watching football

    BTW- Since you mentioned Giuliani:

    The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that Senator Barack Obama has opened a ten-percentage point victory over former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, 47% to 37% (crosstabs available for Premium Members). A month ago, they were tied at 43%. The survey also found Obama with a six-point lead over Mitt Romney, 45% to 39%. That’s a slight improvement for Obama who led Romney by four points a month ago.

    Uh oh.

  10. Welcome onboard!

    I’m supporting Obama too.

    Many bloggers have been hoodwinked into supporting Edwards because they’ve bought into his populist shtick but let’s not forget that as recently as 2004, Johnnyboy was running as the DLC’s candidate. He also voted for Bush’s Iraq war and only did a 180′ on it after the opinion polls showed most Americans wanted the war to end.

    Barack Obama is a fresh face. He’s not a part of the Bush/Clinton dominance of the presidency that goes all the way back to 1988 when Poppy Bush ran for and was elected president. Obama has worked for poor people since his was an Illinois legislator. He’s smart, compassionate, a gifted speaker and he truly cares about this nation and all its people.

    I think Obama has a very strong chance of becoming our next president.

  11. personally, I have an innate fear of politicians who are too ambitious. It drives me to question their motives and intentions. A good politician should be a reluctant leader who is in place because the nation has a need for somebody of his caliber. People like Obama who come in and just have this crazy drive to work their way up to the top just scare the hell out of me because they haven’t really earned the right to be there.

    There is a certain kind of experience that is necessary to become a good leader. Anybody who has been in the military knows that, because the most ambitious, rank-oriented people are the worst leaders to have around. It’s the ones who work their way up and prove heir mettle time and again and win over the people they work with that prove to be the most valuable leaders out there.

    The same can be applied to politicians.

  12. I’ll concede Obama is a good choice for Democrats. I cannot accept that he has what it takes to be President. I am also at a loss to imagine that an equally experienced and capable person whose name was say Mike O’Bama would be having the same surge of popularity.

  13. People like Obama who come in and just have this crazy drive to work their way up to the top just scare the hell out of me because they haven’t really earned the right to be there.

    You don’t run for president if you lack drive.

    Of course, some people, Hillary Clinton for one, seems to think she’s entitled to be the next president because she was married to a president and her married name should be enough to make people fal down and bow before her.

  14. CZ, I just thought of something. At LGF you always said you were more of a moderate, or an independent. Yet, Obama is not. He’s definitely a liberal.

    Just sayin.

  15. Every political test I’ve taken has put me left of center, but still well within the “moderate” field. I’d refer to myself as independent because I try to stay intellectually honest and avoid ingesting the partisan talking points at face value.

    And I don’t consider Obama to be that liberal. Not Kucinich or Gravel liberal.

  16. Obama not *that* liberal?

    LOL — Come on, CZ.

    “In the Senate, Obama’s liberal voting record belies the centrist themes he strikes on the stump.

    The liberal lobbying group Americans for Democratic Action gives Obama a 100 percent voting rating – 5 points to the left of Sen. Ted Kennedy, who gets a 95 percent grade.

    Obama backed a withdrawal of troops from Iraq, supported international funding for groups that provide abortion, and opposed reauthorization of the Patriot Act.

    And a Congressional Quarterly review found Obama has a near-perfect partisan voting record, casting his lot with the Democratic Party line 97 percent of the time – higher than Clinton and dead even with Sen. John Kerry (Mass.).”

    From Ian Bishop at the NYPost.

    So…to the left of Ted Kennedy. Proven fact. What say you now, CZ?

  17. What say you now, CZ?

    First off, I’d say that you really outta learn how to link to articles.

    Second, I don’t really care if the ADA likes his voting record (which they list at 97.5, btw). Most of the criteria that they’re using to score the candidates can’t be applied to Obama, so you can really take the rating with a grain of salt IMO. Also, Senate voting records would be a wishy washy criteria for gauging how one would be as president, since as a Senator he’s only representing his constituents in Illinois.

    No one is going to find a candidate that they are in 100% agreement with. If his voting record suggests he’s a liberal, I don’t really have a problem with that as much as I have a problem with the lies, stupidity, disregard for the constitution and the rule of law and incompetence that has become the hallmark of the current administration. So, looking at who he is, what he’s said, and his positions on the issues that are important to me, he’s the best of the bunch.

    I should also say that I haven’t ruled out voting for a Republican, either. Should Clinton get the nomination and depending on who gets the nod on the GOP side, for example, it might happen.

  18. I’m not arguing with your choice, I’m arguing with your touting yourself as definitely not a liberal, then endorsing a very liberal candidate.

    Strikes me as hypocritical, it does.

  19. Strikes me as hypocritical, it does

    Yoda, is that you?

    Anyway, your NY Post selection even states that his campaign has “centrist themes”, so the question would be whether I’m basing my decision on his campaign platform or his voting record (which, admittedly, doesn’t have a real long history). Based on what I posted in my previous comment, I’d say that the former would be the more pertinent choice.

    If I endorse the campaign platform, and that platform is “centrist”, I guess I don’t see how that makes me a hypocrite.

  20. Oh, I see. You think embracing a campaign platform at face value no matter what is REALLY underneath it makes you intellectually honest.

    Uh huh. Gotcha.

  21. I have to agree with Moses here. Clinton, while batty, is actually more moderate than Obama is in most political tests. Whether this is a campaign ploy by her to try to appeal to the moderate liberal crowd or not is a different story. Either way, Edwards and Obama have gone severely liberal while Clinton has eased down her leftist extremism.

  22. I didn’t say “no matter what”. I didn’t mean to belittle the voting records (since I already brought up Clinton and Edwards votes on the AUMF), but the fact that his record makes a liberal group happy doesn’t mean that I should be alarmed that he has a campaign platform that appeals to both liberals and centrists, or that he wouldn’t make a good president. If there’s some glaring contradiction in his position, I’d certainly like to know about it.

  23. Contradictions? Research Obama’s stance on war funding. Now that’s some acrobatic flip-flopping.

    Something even scarier? His stance on Pakistan. You took that into consideration when you endorsed him, right, CZ? No honest intellectual would, would they?

    Interesting concept, isn’t it? Withdraw the troops from Iraq where we are defeating alQaeda, and invade an ally, destabilizing an already unsteady democracy and handing their nukes to the already salivating terrorists. How…oh, how shall I say it? How f*cking stupid.

  24. I’ll agree that it appears that he changed his mind on war funding, given some of his statements that he made when he was a state senator. I don’t really blame him too much for that. Closer examination of the bills structure and the reality that appropriations also funded the war in Afghanistan, and are needed to support the troops in Iraq, he revised his earlier rhetoric and voted for it.

    I don’t think that Obama proposed “invading” Pakistan in the way that we invaded Iraq. He proposed taking action if there was intelligence on a threat that Musharraf was unable (or unwilling) to do anything about. Suppose we had intelligence that those nukes were compromised? I’d like to think that the ability to act within the borders of Pakistan would be an option that would be on the table.

    It’s a tricky situation, to be sure, and I think that most serious observers would say that our “alliance” with Pakistan is really nothing more than Musharraf’s balancing act of pacifying us while doing what it takes to maintain power, so I think you overstate the value of that concept. But the idea was that the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan is the real epicenter of the threat, and we have already spent way too many resources putting out the fire that we started in Iraq. I think the option before us is to phase out our commitment to Iraq in a responsible way (forcing the Iraqis to take control of their own destiny) and focus them where they should have been in the first place.

  25. So you really would support invading Pakistan because in your opinion it’s not really our friend, while at the same time pulling out of Iraq and letting it destabilize completely.

    I can just see what the ME would look like after 4 years of a liberal as POTUS. While here at home, higher taxes, socialized healthcare and the deterioration of the social security program.

    Complete chaos. Well thank God Obama is unelectable because it appears all the other *cough* intellectually honest libs will nominate him.

  26. Pakistan certainly isn’t our ally like Britain is our ally, and if it came right down to it as a last resort, sure, we’d do what has to be done to deal with whatever situation might arise. This wouldn’t be done recklessly, rather considerate to all possible outcomes. The bottom line with Pakistan I think is that nobody fully trusts Musharraf. He’s clearly playing both sides.

    I do think it’s interesting that you’ve spent the entire thread trying to convince me of how liberal Obama is, only to change direction and warn of his hawkishness, though.

    WRT Iraq, remember that there is still a whole year before Obama could conceivably take office, and a lot can change in that time. I’d assume (or hope) that the Iraqis would be a lot closer to being able to take control of their own country and security and less reliant on us. In the very least, we’ll be forced to draw down troops to pre-surge levels in the interim solely based on logistics. That, and the powers that be in Iraq have already expressed a desire for the drawdown. Come Jan. 09, you might already see a significant reduction in our presence there.

  27. What I have pointed out (unwittingly assisted by you), is the hypocrisy of the liberal mindset.

    Obama’s position on ending the war in Iraq makes him sound like a pacifist so libs will vote for him. Then he justifies invading Pakistan, in a lame attempt to sound hawkish, which not only do you swallow it whole, you defend, spin and rationalize it.

    So Obama gets to have his cake and eat it, too. This is a great example of liberal hypocrisy and inconsistency but only one of many.

  28. Well, if he really is a lib in moderate clothing, we may very well find out.

    As for “liberal hypocrisy and inconsistency”, I’m not sure if I’d go there. Bush went from saying “I don’t think our troops ought to be used for what’s called nation building” to “spreading freedom”. That’s a trillion dollar turnaround, as it turns out.

  29. Let’s keep the focus on Obama, shall we? Or else we’ll have to assign one of your insulting little avatars to you.

    You say if he really is a lib in moderate clothing, you’ll find it out later. I see. Endorse now, find out the truth later. It’s the liberal way to go.

    And so very intellectually honest…HA…well maybe to some.

  30. Like I said before, I’m left of center on most issues, so if he’s liberal it’s really not going to bother me that much.

    BTW- you brought up LGF earlier. What was your nic over there?

  31. […] notice that Barack Obama is scoring more and more key nods from various entities (in addition to mine, of […]

  32. I can’t vote, but I like Obama too. His comments on Pakistan were misinterpreted, though the phrasing showed a lapse of judgement on his part.

  33. […] Bush’s Home Stretch Why Obama, Part I: Immigration January 23, 2008 When I announced that the Chamber would be endorsing Senator Barack Obama for president in ‘08, I promised to […]

  34. Thanks for support how I can thank you?

    By the way, what do you think about this icons site?

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