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Letter: A reflection of American ideals

I suspect that this newspaper's endorsement of Sen. John McCain came by way of Forum Communications where the Forum has historically toed the Republican line.

A head-to-head comparison of the two presidential candidates before they entered politics is revealing. The son and grandson of four-star admirals, McCain was born into the military aristocracy more than 72 years ago in the Panama Canal Zone.

Born with the proverbial silver spoon, he attended a private prep boarding school in Virginia, and followed his father and grandfather to the Naval Academy at Annapolis, where he acquired many demerits and graduated fifth from the bottom of his class of 899.

He gained a reputation of something of a party animal during flight training and managed to crash two planes and once collided with power lines.

Following his return from captivity in Vietnam, McCain resumed his playboy ways with extramarital affairs while still married to his first wife, Carol, who had been seriously injured in an automobile accident during his absence. He began dating Cindy Hensley, the daughter of a wealthy beer distributor, about one year before he divorced Carol. He quickly married Cindy after his divorce from Carol became final.

His serial polygamy was rewarded with Hensley money and political connections that were helpful in launching his 26-year political career in Washington.

There were no silver spoons for Sen. Barack Obama.

Born to a mother still in her teens and a father who was gone before he could know him, Obama was raised largely by his working-class grandparents, who were from Kansas.

An exceptional intellect and hard work gained him a degree from Columbia University and a law degree from Harvard, where he was editor of the law review and graduated magna cum laude.

In a country full of people who talk the talk of Christianity, he walked the walk of what Jesus taught by spending most of his time using his talents to assist those with the least, the poor, and the disenfranchised.

So, which candidate comes closest to reflecting the real American ideals? You decide.