Maureen Sullivan, Copy Editor: Obama It's been a long time since I've been actually excited about a Democratic candidate—not just voting my principles against those of the GOP. (Though with this ticket, there's almost as much of that this time around as well. I'm frankly sickened by GOP rally participants who yell racial epithets and tell a black cameraman to "sit down, boy," yet are supposed to represent the "real America." No wonder world opinion of the United States is so low.) Finally, after an inhumanly stiff Al Gore and a truly uninspiring John Kerry, comes Barack Obama: frighteningly smart, incredibly articulate, insanely cool under pressure. The first time I saw him interviewed during the primaries, I was shocked at his authenticity: no canned lines or delivery—this man spoke like a human being, not an automaton. It was my first glimmer of hope for a Democratic ticket in a long, long time. Click here to read the rest of Sullivan's entry.
John Swansburg, Associate Editor: Obama
Unless I'm mistaken, I am Slate's only Obamican. Back when the primary season began, I was ambivalent about Obama and Clinton—I thought either would be a formidable general-election candidate. So I decided to register as a Republican and vote in New York's GOP primary. It wasn't that there was a Republican whom I liked more than either Democrat—it's that I really liked the idea of voting against Rudy Giuliani, who scares the living daylights out of me. (His sneering speech at the convention may be the lowlight of my time in the party.) Of course, by the time the primary rolled around, Rudy wasn't even in danger of winning his home state, and I'd learned a valuable lesson about trying to meddle in the other party's affairs. (Actually, I've sort of enjoyed being a Republican—makes it really easy to avoid the insufferable Obama organizers prowling the streets of New York asking people whether they're Democrats. Nope!) I ended up voting for John McCain in the primary, but like my comrades Christopher Buckley and Colin Powell, I'm breaking ranks for the general election.
Ellen Tarlin, Copy Editor: Obama
I cannot think of one reason not to vote for Barack Obama: He's pro-choice; he's anti-war; he wants to get out of Iraq and finish the job in Afghanistan; he wants to fix health care; he's pro-gay rights (though won't go all the way to being pro-gay marriage); he wants to cut taxes for the real middle class; he's calm, cool, collected, even-handed, unflappable. He seems like an exceptional human being, a good politician, and someone who can begin to repair the damage Bush has done to our relationships with our allies and to our standing in the world. He's got class. As for the accusation that he doesn't have enough experience: No one has enough experience. Nothing prepares you for the presidency. Nothing can. But Obama has the temperament and the humility to surround himself with smart people and let them do their jobs.
Click here to read the rest of Tarlin's entry.
June Thomas, Foreign Editor: Obama
Two words: Supreme Court.
Garry Trudeau, "Doonesbury" Cartoonist: Obama
Julia Turner, Deputy Editor: Obama
I'm voting for Obama. Not because I'm confident he'll be a great president. He is inexperienced. He faces military and economic calamities. And—as The Best and the Brightest attests—filling the White House with whip-smart technocrats won't necessarily make for good policy. But I'm confident that he'll try to protect things I care about, like the Constitution, education, and choice. I also think his marriage to Michelle, which appears to be an equal partnership when it comes to decision-making and child-rearing, demonstrates feminism in practice at least as well as a Clinton presidency (or, certainly, a Palin vice-presidency) would.
Jacob Weisberg, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, The Slate Group: Obama
No surprise here: I'm voting Obama. I've been following his career since he was in the Illinois Senate and rooting for him to run for president since the spring of 2006, when I read his first book and interviewed him for a magazine story. I came away from that encounter deeply impressed by Obama's thoughtfulness, his sensitivity to language, and his unusual degree of self-knowledge. This guy is the antidote to the past eight years. He's wise where Bush is foolish, calm where Bush is rash, deep where Bush is shallow. My admiration for him has grown steadily over the past 22 months. Unlike McCain, Obama hasn't allowed running from president to distort his beliefs or his character. His campaign has been true to what he thinks and who he is as a person.
Chris Wilson,Editorial Assistant: Obama
At one point, my plan was not to vote for either McCain or Obama, thinking I could regard the election in a more sobering light when relieved of the burden of choosing a favorite. It was all a mind game; my voting for Barack Obama was a foregone conclusion. I'm a liberal person and I usually vote for Democrats, and while I'm not proud of being a totally predictable voter in this election, I don't mind admitting it. Any further justification would be post facto reasoning for a decision I made by default a long time ago. Plus, I literally wrote the book on Obamamania.
Tim Wu, Contributing Writer: Obama
Most of all, I like his obvious inner calm. It suggests that his decisions will come from somewhere other than expediency, anger, or fear. It's like electing Obi-Wan Kenobi as president.
Emily Yoffe, "Dear Prudence" Columnist: Obama
Please, please, Barack, don't become another Jimmy Carter.
Barack Obama: 55
John McCain: 1
Bob Barr: 1
Not McCain: 1
Noncitizen, can't vote: 4