What makes it especially persuasive is that Zakaria doesn't pretend it's a no-brainer, or that Senator McCain isn't a worthy candidate.
He simply makes a persuasive case of Obama, and deals with rather than ignores his candidate's shortcomings (calling Sarah Palin a "rabble rousing ultra conservative" however, betrays Zakaria's biases however).
Zakaria makes a point I've made privately. Simply put, the most impressive thing Obama's done has been this campaign. If he runs his White House like he ran his highly professional, disciplined campaign that will have (assuming he wins) defeated two seasoned political professionals, the country will have strong leadership:
Let's be honest: neither candidate has past experience that is relevant to being president, except that they have now both run large, multiyear, multimillion-dollar, 50-state campaigns. By common consent, McCain's has been chaotic and ineffective, while Obama has run a superb operation, and done so with little of the drama and discord that usually plague political machines.He also doesn't shy away from one of Obama's biggest strengths - the symbolic message his election would have at home and abroad:
Imagine what people around the world would think if they saw America once again inventing the future. And imagine how Americans would feel if they saw their country once again fulfilling its founding creed of equal opportunity, if they saw that there really were no barriers in their country, not even to the highest office in the land, not even for a man with a brown face and a strange name.An Obama presidency means that the nation's leading politican (President Obama), entertainer (Oprah Winfrey) and athlete (Tiger Woods)will all be African-Americans. This is not a little deal.
Note: this is NOT an endorsement - just a plug for some civil, well reasoned political debate we're getting too little of these days. Before anyone accuses me of being in the bag for Senator Obama, please be assured I'll publish a similarly thoughtful case for Senator McCain.