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JANUARY 9, 2007
© Amir Bey, 2007
All presidential elections are important, but 2008 is crucial due to the criminal and negligent errors that the Bush administration has committed. Americans have the opportunity and necessity to change the direction of this country and the course of world history as well. Although THE NEW TIMES HOLLER! does not have complete faith in the American electoral process, for the first time the paper has decided to endorse a candidate –at this typing there seems to be a reasonable choice. Sifting through the democratic candidates, THE HOLLER! narrowed it down to two of the candidates. Between them the distinctions were easy to draw, yet a final selection was difficult. On the one hand there was the more experienced executive who, over the years, has made many contacts in Washington and around the world, versus the younger, charismatic figure, whose entry into the public eye marked him as an outsider with the potential to initiate the change that this country so badly needs at this time. Are the qualities of the candidate with experience and preparation more substantial than the honesty and talent of the rising star’s promise to be a dynamic leader?

Considering those two, THE HOLLER! decided to endorse Barack Obama over New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. Richardson’s record as the U.S. representative at the UN, Secretary of the Energy Department, Chief Deputy Whip in the Congress, and currently the Governor of New Mexico, whose policies have turned that state’s unemployment problems around, makes him the democratic candidate with the longest and most varied experience, and his integrity, both professional and personal, is not to be ignored. However, Barack Obama’s candidacy, which caught many people by surprise, including THE HOLLER!, which first thought of him as just another polished politician, has generated an energy and response from a broad swath of the populace from around the country and has instilled hope and an interest in people from many countries throughout the world.

It is not only Obama’s message that is compelling. His background is unique for a major American presidential candidate. His father, who died when he was young, was from Kenya, his mother was an American of European descent (it’s interesting that as an African American, he is not a descendant of slaves but of slave owners on his mother's side); his stepfather was Indonesian, and as a child he lived in Indonesia for a few years; he is acquainted with his Kenyan relatives and their way of life. Thus he has lived in an Asian country which is the most populated Muslim nation in the world, and has family ties to Africa. In the U.S. he has taught constitutional law, was an activist in Chicago before becoming a leading state legislator with an impressive record, and eventually became senator of Illinois. He was against the Iraq War, and other failed international policies by the Bush administration, in contrast to most of his Democratic colleagues now running for president. Americans have much to consider when they elect a president. Not only are domestic issues important, but also our responsibilities as a country that is still the most influential in the world should be taken into account.

In this election Barack Obama’s candidacy as an African American and New York Senator Hillary Clinton’s candidacy as a woman has been called historic. However, what would make them truly historic figures are not their race or gender, but their vision and what they will accomplish if either of them succeeds in their quest for executive office. Concerning vision, it must be remembered that the west has had women leaders who have not changed the status quo, such as Margaret Thatcher of the United Kingdom. The western industrialized nations have not yet had a chief executive of color, especially one with the consciousness and ties to the 3rd World that Obama has. If Obama were elected president, what message would that send to the Muslim world, to Africa, Asia and Europe? How would that effect the expectations of people who are apprehensive about the U.S.’s objectives? Yes, the world knows we have military and economic power, but under Bush and Co. we have squandered our political capital and are viewed as being incompetent and worse.

The remaining democratic candidates were rated in this order: Dennis Kucinich; John Edwards; Hillary Clinton; and Maurice “Mike” Gravel of Alaska.

Concerning the Clinton candidacy, we need a change, not the Clinton centrism of the 90s. How far will the U.S. go before it goes from being a democracy to a nepocracy; when will the nepotism stop? We had Bush, then Clinton, followed by Bush and then another Clinton? If Hillary were to win, she most certainly would want a second term, which would mean that we'll have a Bush or a Clinton from 1988 through 2016, when Chelsea Clinton would be old enough to run. Y’know, there’s another George Bush waiting in the wings, the son of the president’s brother Jeb; thirtyish now, I heard him speak a while ago, and he sounded like he wanted to be president. D’ya think he might team up with Chelsea? Then we’d have a Bush/Clinton Clinton/Bush team. THE HOLLER! believes she would be one of the worst choices for president; she would be inept and her lack of genuineness would create a negative effect for the American people. No candidate should be elected soley because they are black, female, or a Clinton, and she is the candidate of presumptive presumption, whose candidacy was first cast as being inevitable. And we would surely get her husband back in the White House, bailing her out of jams like the Des Moines Register endorsement. Supposedly her initial meeting with the editorial board didn’t go so well, there was a misunderstanding and Ol’ Bill straightened the situation out and persuaded the editors that she should be their choice.

Concerning the Repugnants er, Republicans, after careful review, THE NEW TIMES HOLLER!’S all time favorite is still James A. Garfield, who has been dead for well over a century. Nevertheless, he is one of the few principled, humanitarians to run for president from that party in a long time.
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