For much of my adult life, I've supported Democrats for the most part. I served in the Clinton Administration and have supported many worthwhile causes of the Democratic Party. Most recently, I was an enthusiastic and visible supporter of Senator Hillary Clinton's primary campaign.
When Senator Obama won the Democratic primary I did my own research on him with an open mind (see below) and now find that I cannot support Barack Obama for President of the United States.
I will vote for Senator John McCain because the differences between the two candidates are so vast and profound. If you look at each of their records and experience, there really is no comparison.
First, John McCain said he would accept federal funding for his campaign and is keeping his word. Senator Obama promised to do the same but changed his mind once the money started rolling in.
Senator Obama does not have sufficient leadership experience, nor has he been tested in difficult times. He has never held an executive leadership position and I am not comfortable making him the leader of the greatest nation on earth as his first real executive job. His running mate, Senator Biden said "I think he can be ready, but right now I don't believe he is. The Presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training."
In barely two years in the U.S. Senate, Obama became known as the most liberal senator in the Congress. Americans are sick of the bitter partisanship exhibited in Congress, and Senator Obama has a thin record of reaching across the aisle.
Senator McCain, on the other hand has honorably served America for many years, from commanding the largest squadron in the US Navy, to a long, distinguished career in the Congress marked by bipartisanship and pragmatic leadership.
With most pollsters predicting strong gains in both houses of Congress for the Democrats, we need a President who will provide a balance of power. Our government is in many respects controlled by special interests. I hope that John McCain, will put country before party, to lead the executive branch. He has fought for years to reform the system. He has crusaded for years against earmarks and government waste.
Today we face difficult challenges, including an unpopular war that we must win. We also have a weakened economy, a crisis in our financial system, an energy crisis compounded by dependence on foreign oil, a mounting national debt, unprecedented annual deficits, and a population that seems to be consumed by celebrity and entertainment.
All of the promises invoked by the candidates don't count for much. It is really the ability of a leader to unite opposing forces for the common good that will prove the worth of the next president.
Senator McCain is a true leader and a genuine American hero. Our country and our children deserve the best leadership available. Of the two choices we are given there is but one proven leader. I hope you too will support and vote for John McCain for President of the United States.
May God Bless America…..and you.
Mark W. Erwin U.S. Ambassador, Ret.
(Ambassador Erwin served as United States Ambassador to Maruritius, the Republic of the Seychelles, and the Federal Islamic Republic of Comoros. The results of his personal research about Barack Obama, in his words, appear below.)