Our picks: McCain and Obama | AspenTimes.com

Our picks: McCain and Obama

In this election season, perhaps more than any other, endorsements seemingly have flowed like scotch whiskey at a presidential convention.Earlier this week, Camelot made a splash when Sen. Edward Kennedy picked Barack Obama, and Rep. Patrick Kennedy, along with Caroline Kennedy, selected him as well. The New York Times opted for Hillary Clinton and John McCain, and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger gave McCain the nod. Chuck Norris has put his muscle behind Mike Huckabee, Oprah has jumped on the Obama-wagon, and the list goes on.The editorial board at The Aspen Times has wondered if its worth making an endorsement at all. Were not so grandiose that we expect Anderson Cooper or Hannity & Colmes to interrupt their broadcasts to announce our picks.We simply consider our endorsements which we offer now because the Colorado caucus is set for this coming Super Tuesday as one more voice in a chorus of opinions about whom should lead the United States for the next four years. So without further ado, The Aspen Times endorses John McCain and Barack Obama for the nominations of the Republican and Democratic parties, respectively.In selecting McCain, we can certainly relate to him more than the other remaining candidates, such as Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, whose political viewpoints frankly scare us. We also like Ron Paul, but recognize he has no chance of winning his partys nomination. We feel that neither Huckabee nor Romney could give the Republican Party the makeover it needs in the wake of one of the worst presidential reigns in U.S. history. Make no mistake, the Grand Old Party is in shambles. If theres one candidate who can restore it, we believe it is McCain a military veteran whose bipartisanship (such as his stance on stem cell research) has irked his Republican colleagues, a sign that hes unafraid to put his personal principles before partisan pressures.We dont agree with McCains positions on social issues such as abortion or gay rights. However, to McCains credit, he feels these issues belong in the hands of the states, not Washington.The shining star so far in this campaign season, however, clearly has been Barack Obama. Perhaps the biggest knock against the senator from Illinois is his naivete and relative lack of experience, but his idealism is indisputable, and its had a galvanizing effect on a country growing more cynical by the day.Charisma alone doesnt foster sound policy or healthy foreign relations, but we also like Obamas positions on issues from energy efficiency to Guantanamo, and we think that he has the judgment and intellect to navigate thorny issues like immigration. He consistently has opposed the war in Iraq, and, like McCain, has reached across the aisle during his time in the Senate. Sen. Clinton, meanwhile, has proven to be a formidable candidate, but we have serious reservations about the Clintons moving back to the White House. Since 1981, either a Bush or Clinton has been in the White House as either a president or vice president. Pardon the rhetoric, but its time for a change beginning with the surname.On Tuesday, Feb. 5, we encourage Roaring Fork Valley Democrats and Republicans to attend their caucus meetings and throw their support behind Barack Obama and John McCain.