By Dan Gelber
Wed May 7, 2008
Since the beginning of this primary slog I have been conflicted. I like both Obama and Clinton and believe either would be markedly better than the alternative. But only one can be the Democratic nominee and we have to end this sooner than later. As a superdelegate from the rogue state of Florida (currently under penalty from the DNC) my vote doesn't count. But if it did, I would say it's time to move on and choose Senator Barack Obama. Here is why.
Sen. Obama has made his case with the pledged delegates and that will not change in the upcoming weeks. As much as I think our primary system is absurd, it is the system under which we operate and to ask superdelegates to overturn the pledged delegate results is both elitist and decidedly un-Democratic. Furthermore, too much is at stake in November to continue debating amongst ourselves. We must draw the stark contrasts between the Democratic plan for America's future and the Republican agenda.
But what about Florida? To my chagrin, the Democratic candidates agreed to not compete in states that interfered with the four pre-selected early states, regardless of how or why a state's primary conflicted. (Did I mention how absurd the primary system is?) Nevertheless, if you include the votes of Florida's Jan. 29 primary – or even Florida and Michigan both – Obama still prevails. That said, I firmly believe that Senator Obama should support including Florida's primary, and I hope he will.
But what about Reverend Wright? I’m sure everyone has a few associates – even close ones – that are, or become, embarrassing. I judge Senator Obama on his own merits and he has demonstrated himself, unlike his former minister, to be a thoughtful and uniting force.
Doesn’t he have a Jewish problem? Yes, but only because the Internet doesn’t have a truth key. Don’t believe everything you read in a viral chain email. As an American Jew, a strong and secure Israel is a paramount concern of mine. Not a single fiber in my body worries that Sen. Obama will not cherish Israel with the same fervor I would expect of any American President. Anyone who says otherwise is simply trying to exploit passions for Israel for partisan gain – and that is truly endangering to Israel.
The list could go on, but here is the rub. I believe the ingredients most lacking in government these days are political courage and honesty, which I define as telling the public what they need to hear rather than merely what they want to hear. Too few public officials demonstrate these qualities. Most run away from political honesty because they believe the public will punish leaders that feed them anything other than a diet of vacuous platitudes and rank populism. The closer I watch Obama, the more I listen to him, the more I become utterly convinced that he is one of those rare people in politics that is not afraid to speak honestly and, if necessary, act courageously. And that is the tonic our nation sorely needs.
So, for me, it is Obama.
Source: Daily Kos