barackobama.jpgIllinois Senator Barack Obama made a plea for a positive campaign, insisting that the “reality tv show” mentality fed by the 24-hour news cycle is “not why we are here.” Describing America as being in a “sobering place” Obama said this is “not a contest; it is a serious moment for America. The American people understand that. Every candidate will have something serious and valuable to offer. Campaigns should not be about making each other look bad but about how we can offer something good for this precious country of ours. Our rivals won’t be each other or the other party but cynicism.”

Instead Obama proposed a “discussion” of the issues and set forth goals: health care for all Americans by the end of the first term of the next President, energy independence and a national security policy. Touting his early opposition to the Iraq war — “a tragic mistake” — he said “whether you were for or against the war in the beginning, we each have the obligation to set forth in clear unambiguous terms how we are going to get out of Iraq.” Concluding with a call to “turn the page” he said noted that “for every attack ad out there, there are real patriots fighting and dying in Iraq, [so] we must free ourselves from the constraints of politics and offer hope.” We have offered plans; we need now to offer hope to the American people.

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[Photo by JEFF FUSCO via PW]

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