This story was written by Editorial Board, Oregon Daily Emerald
Oregon's primary election is now just eight days away - though with our state's mail-in ballot option, the voting process is well under way. While the Republican presidential nominee has long been decided, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have waged extraordinary, even historic campaigns in their bids for the Democratic nomination. They have each raised millions of dollars; they've debated each other more than 20 times; they're battle tested.Since the 2006 midterm elections, many political insiders had Sen. Clinton tapped as the Democrats' inevitable answer to George W. Bush when his term ended in Jan. 2009. But she now finds herself second in the party to her rival, the senator from Illinois, Barack Obama. His youthful idealism has thus far transcended partisanship, and the manner with which he has invigorated young voters, and Americans in general, calls for recognition despite his relative lack of political experience.Upon further examination, it seems that Obama's rapid ascension from obscurity to prominence requires a redefinition of the idea of political experience. Clinton has logged more time in the U.S. Senate and unquestionably has more connections, yet the political climate among Democrats does not bode well for experience. In the eyes of Democratic voters, experience led the country into Iraq, to the brink of recession and away from its core ideals of individual freedom and responsibility.People are looking for a new kind of experience. Not political experience, but authentic American experience. Young Americans in particular are fed up with idea of political insiders, despite theirs or anyone's inability to describe what exactly an insider is. Similarly, many of Obama's staunchest supporters can't even describe what it is about him they most like. They talk about passion, inspiration, hope, but they don't talk about experience. They aren't looking for experience this time; they want something new.Obama's political ambitions are matched by his desire to do good for average Americans, and his platform reflects this. He wants to make higher education more affordable by creating a $4,000 tax credit for people who want a college education, and he wants to end the war in Iraq and restore our nation's reputation as a global leader.Hillary Clinton also has the interests of the American people in mind and has equally impressive ideas for higher education. But when it comes time to deliver on those promises for change, Obama will be better equipped to do so. Barack Obama is the right choice for the Democratic nomination, and he deserves your vote.