The Associated Press

We see America the way Barack Obama sees America.

Our future requires a steady, intelligent and, as former Secretary of State Colin Powell said, a "transformational" leader to guide us into a new era. Obama brings deep intellectual curiosity, equanimity and discipline.

The ground under America is moving. A generational change is under way with or without Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., or Barack Obama, D-Ill.

The core concerns are more about the future than the past, be it eight years ago or one day ago. They are about the moment and the movement to engage Americans in ways not seen before, especially against a backdrop of economic strife unmatched since the Great Depression.

McCain is correct that it's time to stand up. "Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. We're Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history," he said at the Republican National Convention.

However, the ways of the past, which we believe McCain understands, will not work in this new America. The future requires new tools and new expertise. A premium must be placed on more than just love of country. We must re-embrace American ideals and lead the world on a stronger path to prosperity and peace.

The time is now and the leader is Barack Obama. The Star endorses Obama for president of the United States.

Like a race car driver going into a turn, a leader must see not only what confronts our nation today but envision where we come out on the other side. Obama sees how the United States is connected to other nations through our economic, immigration, national security and energy policies. No one can thrive alone.

Obama sees a foreign policy where force is but one tool. He envisions countries collaborating to confront bad actors and shared challenges such as global warming, poverty, terrorism, disease and religious extremism.

Obama sees a health-care system in which children can go to the doctor and families aren't forced into bankruptcy by medical bills. He experienced the same hardships many American families face. While his mother was dying of cancer, she battled her insurance company for care.

He embraces the strength of the free market, but sees that, in the United States today, the market doesn't meet people's health-care needs. He knows the heavy toll that inequitable public policies take on people's lives. We agree with Obama that health care should be as affordable and accessible to as many people as possible.

Obama sees an economy creating jobs through innovation, helping families stay in their homes and lifting the middle class and small businesses. He would reduce taxes for the majority of Americans and not raise taxes on those making less than $250,000.

Obama sees education as an investment in America's prosperity, political system and national security. He would expand early childhood education and protect funding for public schools. A college education is out of reach for many Americans. He would help make it more affordable through tuition tax credits.

He's proved himself with his nuanced understanding of complicated issues. His vision is not built on rhetoric. He offers substantive, detailed policies and the acumen to make these changes a reality.

He demonstrates leadership by surrounding himself with smart people who will strengthen his administration. For vice president Obama chose Joseph Biden, a U.S. senator with 35 years of experience, a foreign policy expert qualified to be president.

Obama made a responsible, pragmatic and intelligent choice that shows us he puts the nation above party politics.

This moment in history requires courage to change. Our nation must find a way to restore the confidence that our government is of the people, by the people, for the people — all of our people.

We share Obama's vision of America. And we share his urgency.