Rolling Stone is backing Democratic Sen. Barack Obama for president, the first time the music magazine has endorsed a contender for the White House during the primary. "The reason for the early choice is twofold," the editors explain in the publication's upcoming issue. "Undoing the damage of the disastrous Bush years will take a leader who can unite a deeply divided nation, and politicians with gifts like Obama's are so rare that it's imperative for each of us to do our part." The magazine has endorsed presidential candidates since 1972, beginning with Democrat George McGovern. Other recent candidates include Democrats Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry. "Obama has emerged by displaying precisely the kind of character and judgment we need in a president: renouncing the politics of fear, speaking frankly on the most pressing issues facing the country and sticking to his principles," wrote Jann Wenner, the magazine's editor and publisher.