I have heretofore put Obama's policies and shifts in policies in the best possible light, believing him to be idealistic and principled. But at the moment he appears to be primarily a tough-minded, realistic Chicago-style pragmatic politician, while McCain is sometimes the more principled. Latest point of reference:
John McCain opposes the heavy 54 cents a gallon U.S. tariffs on Brazilian ethanol imports, saying that the Brazilian product made from sugarcane "is much more efficient than ethanol from corn." He also wants to end subsidies for U.S. ethanol production, which he blames for "destroying the market" and "causing a serious problem with inflation."
Barack Obama opposes removing the tariff on Brazilian ethanol and supports the substantial ethanol subsidies which benefit corn farmers, especially huge agribusiness corporations like Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. Obama has advisers and prominent supporters with close ties to the industry. Next to Iowa, Illinois is the largest producer of corn in the United States. Ethanol subsidies cause a rise in food prices and hurt the poor around the world.
Nevertheless, I will continue to support Obama because his policies are much more in line with mine than McCain's will ever be, and I believe he wants to be as idealistic and principled as he can be within the limits of what getting elected requires.
The New York Times, June 23, 2006