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Editorial: McCain's leadership is best for America

On Nov. 4, America's citizens will go to the polls to choose between two unlikely candidates -- John McCain, an imperfect senator or Barack Obama, a rookie senator.

While both candidates ran successful campaigns to capture their party's nomination, the next president faces a multitude of challenges, including a growing federal deficit; a failing financial system; a declining economy, wars on three fronts -- in Iraq, Afghanistan and on worldwide terror; a declining housing market; and a tarnished American image abroad.

We believe McCain is the best choice to lead our country through the uncertainty of the next four years.

McCain has been tested over the decades -- first as a veteran and a prisoner of war and then as an independent leader in the House and the Senate. He also has demonstrated leadership on a number of issues.

Obama is a unique and talented candidate -- a good communicator who is energetic and intelligent. However, he only has three years of experience in the U.S. Senate along with some state legislative experience.

A traditional conservative, McCain has not been afraid to work with Democrats -- like Sen. Russ Feingold on campaign finance reform; or to stand up to Republican leaders -- like he did to President George W. Bush on the issue of torture.

Obama has a lack of experience on foreign policy. His vice presidential pick of Sen. Joe Biden addressed this issue. However, Obama would have the final say in his administration and we're not sure the next president will have time for on-the-job training.

McCain is not the perfect candidate. His opposition to farm programs and ethanol incentives shows a lack of understanding on these issues. His pandering to the far right during this campaign is not the McCain we have come to know. In addition, his choice of Gov. Sarah Palin, who is not articulate and has ethical concerns, was disappointing.

While Obama has style and personality, a president cannot lead America and the world on style and personality alone. He is a great speaker who can thrill a crowd with hope, but he hasn't demonstrated he is the best candidate to defend America from foreign and domestic threats.

Finally, American voters should consider whether they want the presidency, the House and the Senate to be under the control of one party. We all should remember what happened when the Republicans controlled Congress and the White House.

We believe McCain is the top choice for president on Election Day. His seasoned leadership and independence can best handle the challenges and threats of the next four years.