My mother’s first contribution to this blog, endorsing Barack Obama for presidency, comes the same day as the Armenian National Committee of America officially backs the Illinois senator. Here is what she has written:

Don’t Vote Black – Vote Obama!  

By Susanna Maghakyan 

New York Timescolumnist Nicholas Kristof sarcastically wrote last week that if we are looking for the most experienced candidate, we should vote Dick Cheney as America’s next president. The Onion, too, wrote a satire story suggesting that from all the candidates Clinton is best qualified – that is Bill and not his wife.

Women are, indeed, underrepresented in state and national governments. The average percentage of women lawmakers in state governments is less than 25% – only half the percent of female citizens across the country. It is natural that there is no “best-experienced” woman candidate although Hillary Clinton has been in politics for a long time. Mrs. Clinton is charming, well-spoken and well-educated. She knows how things happen in the White House and she’d most likely do a good job.

It is not comfort, nonetheless, that people should look for. If we are going to look for experience, we might as well establish a monarchy and develop a professional aristocracy. What is being ignored and devalued is the federal system itself – an entity that, while dependant on the vision of the president, carries a democratic tradition and an experienced history of statecraft. A president is not going to tell a federal employee how to audit a tax payment. The president isn’t going to tell the post office how to deliver mail.

Presidency, I believe, is vision for the country: a vision for improvement, sustainable progress and mutually-respectful unity. The president is also an image to the world – the symbol of American democracy to billions of others on our planet. We can’t and shouldn’t vote for a president who is trained to micro-manage a nation of 300 million. We need a president that can become a symbol for unity at home and an image of rightness abroad.

Voting for a black candidate is wrong. Voting for Barack Obama is right. Because it is not Obama’s color that makes him the most charismatic, educated and well-intentioned candidate. It is Obama’s fearless challenge to the democracy of the dead that can make Americalive longer and freer. It is his courage to put moralpolitik on the same page with realpolitik – as demonstrated in his 2005 visit to authoritarian and oil-rich Azerbaijan where Obama, while acknowledging Azerbaijan’s geopolitical importance, made clear – in an unprecedented action – that he would not deny the World War I Armenian Genocide just because Azerbaijan and Turkey wanted so.

Obama won’t sacrifice democratic values for American interests, but he will do a better job of advancing these interests at the same time.