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Five Reasons Why Obama Won the '08 Election

Steady Leadership and Calm Temperament

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Five Reasons Why Obama Won the '08 Election

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Reason #2 - Steady Leadership and Calm Temperament

As of October 21, 2008, Barack Obama earned more than 120 newspaper endorsements, versus 33 for John McCain.

Without exception, every Obama endorsement referred to his presidential-like personal and leadership qualities. And all echo the same basics about Obama's calm, steady, thoughtful nature, versus McCain's impetuousness and unpredictability.

Explained The Salt Lake Tribune, which has rarely endorsed a Democrat for president:

"Under the most intense scrutiny and attacks from both parties, Obama has shown the temperament, judgment, intellect and political acumen that are essential in a president that would lead the United States out of the crises created by President Bush, a complicit Congress and our own apathy."

Summed The Los Angeles Times: "We need a leader who demonstrates thoughtful calm and grace under pressure, one not prone to volatile gesture or capricious pronouncement... as the presidential race draws to its conclusion, it is Obama's character and temperament that come to the fore. It is his steadiness. His maturity."

And from The Chicago Tribune, founded in 1847, which has never before endorsed a Democrat for the presidency: "We have tremendous confidence in his intellectual rigor, his moral compass and his ability to make sound, thoughtful, careful decisions. He is ready...

"Obama is deeply grounded in the best aspirations of this country, and we need to return to those aspirations.... He has risen with his honor, grace and civility intact. He has the intelligence to understand the grave economic and national security risks that face us, to listen to good advice and make careful decisions."

In contrast, during the past two months of the '08 presidential campaign, John McCain acted (and overreacted) inconsistently, unpredictably, and without forethought. Two examples of McCain's unsteady leadership were his erratic behavior during the financial markets meltdown, and in his poorly-vetted pick of Sarah Palin as his running mate.

John McCain served as the perfect foil to highlight Obama's solidly grounded leadership skills.

Obama's even-keel temperament made him seem well-suited to be President for these troubled, turbulent times.

And the mere image of ultra-volatile, careless John McCain in the White House was enough to scare the majority of the electorate into supporting Obama.

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