IN OTHER WORDS: Obama time

Come January, a new president will take charge of a nation diminished, an America that is far shakier economically, less secure militarily, and less respected internationally than it was eight years before. The nation needs a chief executive who has the temperament and the nerves to shepherd Americans through what promises to be a gruelling period — and who has the vision to restore this country to its place of leadership. Such a leader is at hand. With great enthusiasm, the Globe endorses Senator Barack Obama for president.

As the first black major-party presidential nominee, Obama has strived to make voters comfortable with a “skinny kid with a funny name.” And yet the historical significance of his bid is impossible to ignore. Voters can make no more powerful statement about America’s commitment to inclusion and opportunity than to put forward this man — Barack Hussein Obama, son of a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas — as the nation’s representative to the world. An Obama campaign slogan declared, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” Now it seems prescient, as the nation confronts a financial crisis of historic proportions, as well as all the other policy failures and debt-fuelled excesses of the last eight years. The US has to dig itself out. Barack Obama is the one to lead the way.