We face perhaps one of the closest presidential races in our history Nov. 6. When deciding for whom to vote, we must always take a look at how the candidates stand on the issues and what decisions they have made.
President Barack Obama has faced a tough set of circumstances since winning in 2008. He inherited a declining economy and terrorist threats at home and abroad. He faced a Congress that seemed determined not only to do little, but also to rebuff his every move.
The Democrat had some tough choices to make, and though his decisions did not please everyone, he did so with marked determination and conviction.
We can look to his track record of accomplishments in the presidency: Killing Osama bin Laden, helping to reinvigorate our auto industry, pushing through health care reform, making strides to improve our overall economy, getting us out of Iraq and on the way out of Afghanistan, taking a stand against Wall Street abuses and offering ways to make our country more energy-efficient and independent.
Where Obama has shown consistency and strength of convictions, Mitt Romney has been swayed by the need for acceptance by his party’s base and deep pockets. The Republican candidate we see today is decidedly different than the one we saw as governor of Massachusetts. He was far more centrist than his Republican handlers would like, and he has taken a giant step to the right since starting his campaign for the presidency.
Also, his decision to withhold his tax returns makes us wonder what he has to hide, and whether this is indicative of the sort of presidency he would have if elected.
We have decided to stay with Obama because we have seen that he will put the interests of the people before the needs of his party, his financial backers and his self-interests.
Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand has also proven herself worthy of re-election to the U.S. Senate with her efforts for our area.
She has worked hard independently and with fellow New York Sen. Charles Schumer to shine a light on the issues facing us. She’s helped bring federal financial assistance to local farmers and others hurt by last year’s flooding and this year’s drought, worked on dairy reform, shown strong support for small businesses and helped bring an end to the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy concerning gay servicemen and servicewomen.
Gillibrand also has contributed to much-needed transparency to Congress by posting her official daily meeting schedules, personal financial disclosure forms and earmark requests online.
She is an upstate resident who has made strides to improve our lives and our government. We support Gillibrand’s re-election.