January 30, 2008
With an historic presidential election on the horizon, the good news is many of our neighbors have looked up and taken notice.
The contests in both major political parties have been ongoing for a year now, and there's still 278 days remaining until the national election on Nov. 4.
But today, just five days before next week's "super Tuesday" event, there remains no certain nominee in either party. Boston voters will have an opportunity to make their preferences known, and for once, the vote in our state will count for something on a national level.
Thanks to a vigorous contest between the two main rivals for the Democratic nomination, Senators Clinton and Obama, the eventual nominee is likely to remain in doubt beyond next week, and there's a possibility now that the decision might go right up to the nominating convention in Denver in late August.
Still, this early mid-winter contest works to focus attention on the importance of choosing a new president and the competition helps draw distinctions between the choices.
For eight years now, it's been widely assumed that Hillary Clinton would be a formidable candidate. Since John Kerry's close loss in 2004 - a campaign that saw the Clintons, husband and wife, largely in the background - the New York junior senator has been the favorite to win her party's endorsement. That there instead has been a tough competition within the party has been invigorating, with multiple candidates offering a variety of choices.
This week, heirs to the great political legacy of John F. Kennedy have made their views known, and endorsed the candidacy of another charismatic political leader, Senator Barack Obama.
"Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things," Caroline Kennedy wrote in the New York Times. "In those rare moments, when such a person comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible. We have that kind of opportunity with Senator Obama."
In our view, this year's election has a chance to be not just historic, but a transformative event, a passing of the torch to a new generation. From our view, we agree with Caroline Kennedy and her uncle, Ted, our senior senator. Senator Barack Obama is our choice to be the Democratic nominee, and we will vote that way in next Tuesday's primary election.
- Ed Forry
City of humble champions
The current run of sports success is a phenomenon in this town, a privileged skein for once long-suffering Boston fans. Since the Red Sox seven straight wins yielded the World Series trophy last October, the Celtics current 35-8 record, and the Patriots' undefeated season, the combined record is 60 wins, 8 losses - an 88 percent winning percentage.
On Sunday, the Patriots can complete a "perfect" season, and we hope they will. But these are just games, mere professional sporting events, and we must guard against the creeping arrogance that can accompany such success.
Let us remember: We are Bostonians, not New Yawkers. Let's not become like the Yankee fans we have always derided.