Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Why I Support Barack Obama

Why I’m Supporting Barack Obama for President

By Darrell Steinberg
California State Senate

On February 5th, California Democrats will play a major role in electing our next President.

For this good fortune, we face a difficult choice between talented and qualified candidates. While every one of them would be an improvement over George W. Bush, Sen. Barack Obama is Democrats' best choice in 2008.

Up until last week I supported former Sen. John Edwards, a passionate advocate for improving the lives of the millions of Americans living in poverty. Whatever happens this year, I hope John Edwards remains in public life – the country needs his important voice.

But I switched to Obama because he's the only candidate who can awaken a significant number of Americans – the apathetic and disengaged – who have turned away from an unresponsive government and, in turn, our civic life.

Just look at Iowa, where younger voters and independents boosted Democratic Caucus turnout from 124,000 in 2004 to 239,000 in 2008. These voters, who do not normally participate in elections in these kinds of numbers, responded to Obama's call for Americans to “build a coalition for change that stretches through red states and blue states.”

With a resume unique among American presidential candidates (he was a paid community organizer before he was a politician), Obama recognizes that increasing public participation in our Democracy is the only way to build a consensus for change to take on our most intractable challenges – like passing universal health care and lessening America’s dependence on oil.

While Obama is a consensus-builder at heart, he’s not afraid to stand on principle, even when it’s not politically expedient – he was alone among the leading Democratic presidential candidates in coming out against the Iraq War from the start.

There’s much more to Barack Obama than I can write about here. Go to BarackObama.com to find out more about the man and how you can join his fight for change, either as a precinct captain in your neighborhood or even as a contributor to his campaign.

No matter which candidate wins the California primary, I believe that a Democrat will occupy the White House in 2009, riding a message of change and leadership to improve our country's standing in the world.

In my view, only Barack Obama can turn that message into a mandate.

Darrell Steinberg represents Sacramento in the California State Senate.

Posted on January 14, 2008
From: California Progress Report
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