It's been one long election season, almost two years long, and a lot of us are glad that Election day is a scant five days away.
There have been a lot of endorsements for both McCain and Obama, and many of us, regardless of party affiliation or position (right, left or center) are struggling with a lot of issues related to both candidates*.
One endorsement that caught my attention today was that of The Economist, an international publication I've read and respected for a very long time.
Probably not surprising, given that it's an "international" publication, and the rest of the world has all but elected Senator Obama for President already, the wise folk behind the Economist have cast their vote for Obama as well.
But it's their thought process that had me nodding in agreement in various places, starting with their hesitation with choosing Senator McCain, despite his record as a relatively moderate Republican:
They go on on what voting for McCain would mean for moderates:
The Economist then goes on to ask the same question of Obama's candidacy, especially in a global context:
And then go to make a powerful point on Obama's accomplishment to date, with my favorite line in the whole piece (marked in bold):
A man who started with no money and few supporters has out-thought, out-organised and outfought the two mightiest machines in American politics—the Clintons and the conservative right."
They go on to articulate the one concern most moderates and independents would have choosing Senator Obama:
Worryingly, he has a poor record of defying his party’s baronies, especially the unions. His advisers insist that Mr Obama is too clever to usher in a new age of over-regulation, that he will stop such nonsense getting out of Congress, that he is a political chameleon who would move to the centre in Washington. But the risk remains that on economic matters the centre that Mr Obama moves to would be that of his party, not that of the country as a whole."
The piece ends of course with their endorsement of Senator Obama:
But the same goes for Mr McCain on at least as many counts, not least the possibility of President Palin. And this cannot be another election where the choice is based merely on fear. In terms of painting a brighter future for America and the world, Mr Obama has produced the more compelling and detailed portrait. He has campaigned with more style, intelligence and discipline than his opponent. Whether he can fulfil his immense potential remains to be seen.
But Mr Obama deserves the presidency."
We're in uncharted waters in so many ways, especially given the extraordinary perfect storm of global forces that promise to keep the economy and financial markets deeply unsettled for a long time to come. Not to mention all the uncertainty of our long-term standing in the world to come.
The Economist has made it's choice.
One may disagree with their decision, but the process by which they made it is pretty sound.