The editorial board of The State finds itself faced with a happy dilemma — a choice between two presidential candidates whom we unanimously and enthusiastically endorsed in their primary contests. Now the nation must choose between them, and while we believe either man would make a fine president, we endorse Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
Barack Obama is an inspiring and even transformational figure. He has the intellect and the temperament to lead the nation well in troubled times. On some issues, such as health care, we prefer his proposals to Sen. McCains. If anyone else had won the Republican nomination, we would be endorsing Sen. Obama today.
But we prefer Sen. McCain. First and foremost, he is far better prepared not only to be commander in chief, but to lead the nation as it deals with a complex array of global challenges, from Iran to North Korea, from Russia to Venezuela. Consider two widely different areas of foreign policy, Iraq and Colombia.
Sen. McCain has often led the charge against the Bush administration when it was wrong on national security, from the 9/11 Commission (working with Joe Biden to make that happen) to the use of torture. But the most dramatic case regards Iraq. For years, he insisted we needed to send more troops. When Mr. Bush finally agreed to the "surge," Sen. McCain was Gen. David Petraeus most conspicuous supporter.
The surge worked. Sen. McCain was for it, and Sen. Obama was against. That's no accident. Sen. McCain's support arose from his superior understanding of the situation and how to approach it.
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