Dallas Morning News recommends Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee for Democratic/Republican nominations

As soon as I grabbed my copy of the Dallas Morning News today, I turned straight to the Points opinion section to see who the paper would endorse for the Democratic and Republican nominations.  To my surprise, The News recommended Barack Obama on the Democratic side, and Mike Huckabee for the Republicans.

I'm not sure which was the bigger shock: the endorsement of the young Black U.S. Senator, or the Arkansas Governor who wasn't on the radar screen two months ago.  Editorial Page Editor Keven Ann Willey said the early recommendations were necessary because it was likely that both presidential nominations could be decided by January or early February. 

Barack Obama Recommendation


I've leaned towards Obama since he announced his bid to become America's first Black President.  John Edwards impressed me when I saw him up close and personal at the Young Democrats of America convention (I was present as a member of the media), but I haven't really heard Hillary Clinton's message through the long campaign.  Obama

Here are some of the highlights from Obama's Dallas Morning News endorsement.

  • Mr. Obama is our choice because of his consistently solid judgment, poise under pressure and ability to campaign effectively without resorting to the divisive politics of the past.
  •  We need a motivated leader capable of confronting the problem, and no candidate is better equipped than Mr. Obama. His message isn't about anger and retribution. It's about moving forward.
  • Mrs. Clinton called Mr. Obama "irresponsible" and "naive" for saying he would talk to leaders of rogue nations like Syria and Iran. Considering the current failed strategy of confrontation and diplomatic isolation, we think Mr. Obama is wise to include direct negotiations among his tools to reduce regional tensions.
  • Americans are tired of divisive, hard-edged politics. Democrats would inspire a refreshingly new approach by choosing Mr. Obama as their 2008 candidate.

I'm not so sure if America really is tired of "divisive, hard-edged politics."  It seems like the country only cares when there are clear lines of demarcation: Black vs. White, Democracy vs. Communism, Liberals vs. Conservatives.  Obama seems interested in doing what's right for America, especially those who have been neglected by their own government.  If given a chance, Obama can help all Americans feel that greatness is within their grasp.

Mike Huckabee Recommendation


My wife is from Arkansas, so I was familiar with Huckabee before he announced his Presidential aspirations.  Not only was I aware of his time as governor of the state, but also his 100 pound weight loss back in 2004.

In discussing Huckabee's time in Little Rock with my in-laws, they were impressed with his term in office.  All accounts are that Huckabee could play to both sides of the aisle, but that was one of the things I said about George W. Bush back in 2000.

Here are some of the highlights from the Morning News' endorsement of Mike Huckabee.

  • Many Republican voters are dissatisfied with the GOP presidential candidates this year. We share that frustration. But one of these men is going to be the party's nominee. Of this field, Mike Huckabee is the best choice.
  • Mr. Huckabee established a respectable record of fiscal responsibility in Arkansas. Rather than run up deficits, he backed raising taxes to pay for needed infrastructure, health care and education. That's called prudence, and it was once a Republican virtue.
  • A liberal Arkansas professor told The New York Times Magazine that Mr. Huckabee was a good governor. ''When he first came to office, people like me were worried about the religious aspect," she said. "And he is very orthodox on gays, guns and God. But he knows there's more than just these issues."
  • And he is one social conservative who's acutely aware of the call to racial healing. In 1997, when Little Rock Central High commemorated integration's 40th anniversary, Gov. Huckabee delivered a magnificent speech about race, justice and reconciliation that left many in the audience weeping.

I'd heard of the accounts of the 1997 speech where Huckabee shared the podium with then President Bill Clinton.  However I was unaware of Huckabee's standing as an ordained Baptist minster until I read a recent Newsweek article regarding his faith and the role it plays in his politics.  Besides serving as pastor of several churches, Huckabee is a former president of the Arkansas Baptist Convention.

The Dallas Morning News editorial staff says another man from Hope (Arkansas) and a man with the audacity of hope are both fit to be President.  I share their opinion, giving the edge to the junior Senator from Illinois because of his demeanor, his intelligence, his voting record, and his life experience.  

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