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Monday, October 20, 2008
Highly respected foreign affairs journalist and commentator Fareed Zakaria endorsed Barack Obama for President. No doubt right-wing pundits will now accuse Mr. Zakaria of being a communist terrorist sympathizer.
To watch McCain address the current economic crisis is to see a man out of step with his time. His responses have been a recitation of old slogans—cut taxes, limit the government, cut spending—that are largely irrelevant to today's problems. Does anyone really believe that tackling earmarks will get credit markets functioning? In some ways, McCain's intellectual fatigue reflects the exhaustion of the ideological revolution begun by Reagan and Thatcher. The country needs fresh thinking that is ready to accept new facts and new ideas. It's a new world out there...
McCain's problem is not only one of substance but perhaps more crucially of temperament. Throughout the campaign, he has been volatile and impulsive. He moves suddenly and unpredictably—one day suspending his campaign, the next urging that the chairman of the SEC be fired, the third blaming Democrats for the economic crisis.
Obama's broader economic agenda—health-care reform, infrastructure investments and a major push for alternative energy—are large solutions to the growing problems of our times. They are not radical, but neither are they overly constrained by the fear of seeming liberal. Bill and Hillary Clinton were always careful not to stray too far from the country's comfort zone. Obama is pushing to change the parameters of that zone. That's leadership.
On foreign policy, Obama is cool to McCain's hot, discriminating about the fights he wants to pick. He argues for greater international cooperation and the aggressive use of diplomacy. He sees a world in which America doesn't have to get adversarial with everyone and tries instead to work with other countries—of whatever hue—to solve the common problems we face...
I admit to a personal interest. I have a 9-year-old son named Omar. I firmly believe that he will be able to do absolutely anything he wants in this country when he grows up. But I admit that I will feel more confident about his future if a man named Barack Obama became president of the United States.