In the newest issue of the magazine, fourteen eggheads and eminences wrote short essays announcing whom they'd be voting for and why. We'll be unveiling these responses on The Plank throughout the next two weeks. This is what John Anderson, former third-party presidential candidate, had to say:

There are two compelling traits of Barack Obama's that have led me to make my first presidential primary endorsement since I became a political independent. One: He is a reformer who understands the imperative of opening up our democracy and fixing our broken electoral process. Two: He appeals to independents who believe in progressive principles over party allegiance. In 1980, I ran under the banner of the National Unity Party, believing that a new political force was needed. In Obama's candidacy, even though it is conducted within the two-party system, I sense a larger purpose than partisan victory. He tells the truth, confesses his mistakes, and appeals to our higher civic impulses.

Part one: Randall Kennedy

Part two: Judith Shulevitz

Part three: Erica Jong

Part four: John McWhorter

Part five: Paul Berman

Part six: Graydon Carter

Part seven: Allison Silverman

Part eight: Alan Wolfe

Part nine: John Anderson

Part ten: C.K. Williams

Part eleven: Todd Gitlin

Part twelve: Daniel Alarcón

Part thirteen: Larry Kramer

Part fourteen: Alan Dershowitz