This story was written by Editorial Board, The BG News
It's just nice to have a presidential candidate who listens.
More than any other candidate in our lifetimes, Barack Obama cares about the issues, concerns and opinions of the nation's youngest voters. The voice of college students and other young Americans is finally being heard in a country where politicians have made a habit out of appealing to past generations.
The BG News has given full consideration to both candidates before deciding which one to endorse during this historic election. Certainly John McCain has a longer resum than Obama. With a combined 26 years in the House of Representatives and the Senate, on top of his distinguished service in the armed forces, McCain might be the best man for the job in any other year. And by the same token, Obama, elected to his first national office in 2004, generates major concerns about inexperience.
But as students struggle to finance an education in order to enter a job market that is grim and uninviting, young people have been ignored the last eight years. Obama finally seems to be the candidate who will hear our pleas.
Obama's actual platform is certainly more hospitable to younger, degree-seeking voters. His proposed $4,000 tax credit for higher education and plan to simplify the financial aid process will obviously benefit college students. As where George W. Bush was advocating for a ban on gay marriage four years ago during his re-election campaign (something seen as a non-issue by most young people), Obama has built a campaign around universal health care and a tax plan that will help insure the financial well-being of recent college graduates - at least the recent college graduates who don't land jobs making more than $250,000 annually straight out of college.
But as crucial as it is to evaluate the issues, it's also important to touch upon the character and leadership that Obama has shown in his grueling 21-month campaign. College-aged voters have swarmed to Obama's rallies by the tens of thousands during the past year and we have to assume it is in large part the appeal of Obama's earnest, passionate and straight forward message. In an age when cynicism wins the day, when it is easier for a candidate like McCain to try to tear down his opponent by attempting to exploit each minor flaw, Obama has built a campaign on advocating ideals and a message of hope and change (no matter how clich and na've past generations may want to make it seem).
This is why The BG News chooses to endorse the senator from Illinois to be the next president of the United States. But regardless of what we think, let your voice be heard by casting your vote tomorrow.