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McCloskeys back Obama

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Monday, February 4th, 2008 at 3:40 pm in 2008 presidential election.

Former Congressman Pete McCloskey’s wife, Helen Hooper McCloskey, sent out a note earlier today that outlined why they support Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

It’s a curious thing on two fronts. McCloskey was a Republican until last year when he quit the party in disgust. Helen is still a Republican by registration but is supporting a Democrat for president.

Here’s what she wrote:

Friends,

As many of you know, Pete became a Democrat last year after not being able to tolerate any longer the Republican party’s internal corruption, abandonment of older values like maintaining a balanced budget and opposing deficit spending; keeping out of unfounded foreign interventions; keeping the government out of the bedroom and private lives; valuing the conservation of our natural resources, and so on and so forth. I couldn’t quite make the leap, but a few weeks ago I did reregister as Decline to State so that I could vote for Senator Obama. Pete too is supporting him.

Having lived many years abroad, I think that Sen. Obama is far the best person to “reintroduce” the US to the international community. There is no question that under the current Administration, the values the US has traditionally stood for, and the kinds of policies than have always made the US shine as a beacon of hope in the world, have been terribly tarnished. Like it or not, we live in a global community and good relations within the context of a sane foreign policy are imperative to our economic future, our national security, and our national identity.

This is particularly so since this Administration has thrown the US into the worst financial standing in our history. We are now the world’s largest debtor nation, a fact that will affect this country for generations. And if you support a strong national defense you better believe that being a debtor nation weakens us at every level. We are now more than ever in our history dependent on foreign investment to keep us afloat- this does not makes us strong. Ironically, the arrogance, ignorance, and profligate spending of the Bush Administration has weakened us economically, politically, and has left us spread too thin militarily. The looming recession is not the end of this sad tale. Our children and grandchildren will wonder what we were possibly thinking when they analyze the last eight years.

As for experience, let’s look at past presidents. Many jump from Governorships to the White House- but a U.S. Senator has as part of his job portfolio under the Constitution, a great deal more international responsibility than a Governor. Senator Obama’s relative youth should be viewed as an asset- and he’s packed more achievement in his years than most people of any age. His depth of knowledge, education and experience- and yes, even his racial make-up- are assets that truly make him the man for the job at this pivotal point in our history, in the opinion of this household.

Finally, Senator Obama values and honors the Constitution more than any leading candidate on the horizon, of either party.

I respectfully hope you will consider voting for him in the primary if you can (if you are a Democrat or a Decline to State voter). If he is the Democratic Party’s nominee, I hope you will then consider voting for this exceptional man in the general election. We can’t afford to keep playing stale partisan games and engage in old divisive behaviors that are clearly not productive. We are all on this Ship of State together. Let’s work together to keep her afloat in the difficult and dangerous waters that lie ahead, and with a bright, young President, bring the country and the world to a healthier and more stable future.

Thanks for reading this.

Helen

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  • RR

    Pete McCloskey has not demonstrated any of the strengths his spouse so admires in Mr Obama. The dangers cited by reason of this country’s sizeable debt are completely off the mark. Wasteful spending and large external debts are causes for concern, but they are demonstrably unrelated. The proportion of GNP being spent on Iraq and Afghanistan is less than what this country spent on Vietnam and Korea, quite aside from World War II. Foreign investment in the USA has ebbed and flowed over the decades; if foreign investment in this country drastically declined, it would more of a cause for concern. This is not 1945, when virtually the whole world was broke and America was the only source of credit. As for past presidents, JFK (1960) was the last sitting senator elected president. He was not, of course, the last Senate member to try for higher office. Neither Roosevelt served in Congress, nor did Reagan or W.J.Clinton, all remarkable leaders. As for devotion to the Constitution, I haven’t the faintest idea what the letter refers to. Ron Paul talks about it more than any other candidate. In fact, when it comes to economic and foreign policy, the McCloskeys seem a lot closer to Ron than they do to Barack.

  • RR

    Pete McCloskey has not demonstrated any of the strengths his spouse so admires in Mr Obama. The dangers cited by reason of this country’s sizeable debt are completely off the mark. Wasteful spending and large external debts are causes for concern, but they are demonstrably unrelated. The proportion of GNP being spent on Iraq and Afghanistan is less than what this country spent on Vietnam and Korea, quite aside from World War II. Foreign investment in the USA has ebbed and flowed over the decades; if foreign investment in this country drastically declined, it would more of a cause for concern. This is not 1945, when virtually the whole world was broke and America was the only source of credit. As for past presidents, JFK (1960) was the last sitting senator elected president. He was not, of course, the last Senate member to try for higher office. Neither Roosevelt served in Congress, nor did Reagan or W.J.Clinton, all remarkable leaders. As for devotion to the Constitution, I haven’t the faintest idea what the letter refers to. Ron Paul talks about it more than any other candidate. In fact, when it comes to economic and foreign policy, the McCloskeys seem a lot closer to Ron than they do to Barack.