1) The country is a mess;The Obama campaign picked up over 50 more newspaper endorsements in the past few days, including the Detroit Free Press, Buffalo News, Cleveland's Plain Dealer, Palm Beach (Fla.) Post, New York's Daily News, Miami Herald, Philadelphia Inquirer, Portland's The Oregonian, Denver Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Salt Lake Tribune, Kansas City Star, and Chicago Sun-Times.
2) John McCain is a disappointment;
3) The biggest disappointment from McCain is Sarah Palin, who is a blithering idiot; &
4) Obama is the president the country needs.
Two big surprises came from deep in the heart of Texas, with the Houston Chronicle and Austin American Statesman coming out for Obama today.
The Houston Chronicle endorsed a Democrat for the first time since Johnson (who was a home grown Texan) in 1964. Like many of the Conservative newspapers that have jumped ship on the Republican candidate, John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin made their decision fairly straight-forward:
Perhaps the worst mistake McCain made in his campaign for the White House was the choice of the inexperienced and inflammatory Palin as his vice-presidential running mate. Had he selected a moderate, experienced Republican lawmaker such as Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison with a strong appeal to independents, the Chronicle's choice for an endorsement would have been far more difficult.Other newspapers that switched from George W. Bush to Barack Obama included the New Haven (CT) Register, The Times-Reporter in New Philadelphia (Ohio), The Stockton (Ca.) Record, Pasadena (Ca.) Star-News, Naples (Fla.) Daily-News, and Canton (Ohio) Repository, among others. In total 25 newspapers that endorsed George W. Bush in 2004 have now given their support to Barak Obama.
Another prominent newspaper of these 25 is the Chicago Tribune, which has never endorsed a Democrat since it's inception in 1847. This newspaper has known Barack Obama for years longer than the rest of this nation, as they mentioned in their endorsement. I am posting it in full here:
However this election turns out, it will dramatically advance America's slow progress toward equality and inclusion. It took Abraham Lincoln's extraordinary courage in the Civil War to get us here. It took an epic battle to secure women the right to vote. It took the perseverance of the civil rights movement. Now we have an election in which we will choose the first African-American president . . . or the first female vice president.
In recent weeks it has been easy to lose sight of this history in the making. Americans are focused on the greatest threat to the world economic system in 80 years. They feel a personal vulnerability the likes of which they haven't experienced since Sept. 11, 2001. It's a different kind of vulnerability. Unlike Sept. 11, the economic threat hasn't forged a common bond in this nation. It has fed anger, fear and mistrust.
On Nov. 4 we're going to elect a president to lead us through a perilous time and restore in us a common sense of national purpose.
The strongest candidate to do that is Sen. Barack Obama. The Tribune is proud to
endorse him today for president of the United States. On Dec. 6, 2006, this page encouraged Obama to join the presidential campaign. We wrote that he would celebrate our common values instead of exaggerate our differences. We said he would raise the tone of the campaign. We said his intellectual depth would sharpen the policy debate. In the ensuing 22 months he has done just that.
Many Americans say they're uneasy about Obama. He's pretty new to them.
We can provide some assurance. We have known Obama since he entered politics a dozen years ago. We have watched him, worked with him, argued with him as he rose from an effective state senator to an inspiring U.S. senator to the Democratic Party's nominee for president.
We have tremendous confidence in his intellectual rigor, his moral compass and his ability to make sound, thoughtful, careful decisions. He is ready.The change that Obama talks about so much is not simply a change in this policy or that one. It is not fundamentally about lobbyists or Washington insiders. Obama envisions a change in the way we deal with one another in politics and government. His opponents may say this is empty, abstract rhetoric. In fact, it is hard to imagine how we are going to
deal with the grave domestic and foreign crises we face without an end to the savagery and a return to civility in politics.
This endorsement makes some history for the Chicago Tribune. This is the first time
the newspaper has endorsed the Democratic Party's nominee for president.The Tribune in its earliest days took up the abolition of slavery and linked itself to a powerful force for that cause--the Republican Party. The Tribune's first great leader, Joseph Medill, was a founder of the GOP. The editorial page has been a proponent of conservative principles. It believes that government has to serve people honestly and efficiently.
With that in mind, in 1872 we endorsed Horace Greeley, who ran as an independent against the corrupt administration of Republican President Ulysses S. Grant. (Greeley was later endorsed by the Democrats.) In 1912 we endorsed Theodore Roosevelt, who ran as the Progressive Party candidate against Republican President William Howard Taft.
The Tribune's decisions then were driven by outrage at inept and corrupt business and political leaders.
We see parallels today.
The Republican Party, the party of limited government, has lost its way. The government ran a $237 billion surplus in 2000, the year before Bush took office -- and recorded a $455 billion deficit in 2008. The Republicans lost control of the U.S. House and Senate in 2006 because, as we said at the time, they gave the nation rampant spending and Capitol Hill corruption. They abandoned their principles. They paid the price.
We might have counted on John McCain to correct his party's course. We like McCain. We endorsed him in the Republican primary in Illinois. In part because of his persuasion and resolve, the U.S. stands to win an unconditional victory in Iraq.
It is, though, hard to figure John McCain these days. He argued that President Bush's tax cuts were fiscally irresponsible, but he now supports them. He promises a balanced budget by the end of his first term, but his tax cut plan would add an estimated $4.2 trillion in debt over 10 years. He has responded to the economic crisis with an angry, populist message and a misguided, $300 billion proposal to buy up bad mortgages.McCain failed in his most important executive decision. Give him credit for choosing a female running mate--but he passed up any number of supremely qualified Republican women who could have served. Having called Obama not ready to lead, McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. His campaign has tried to stage-manage Palin's exposure to the public. But it's clear she is not prepared to step in at a moment's notice and serve as president. McCain put his campaign before his country.
Obama chose a more experienced and more thoughtful running mate--he put governing before politicking. Sen. Joe Biden doesn't bring many votes to Obama,
but he would help him from day one to lead the country.
McCain calls Obama a typical liberal politician. Granted, it's disappointing that Obama's mix of tax cuts for most people and increases for the wealthy would create an estimated $2.9 trillion in federal debt. He has made more promises on spending than McCain has. We wish one of these candidates had given good, hard specific information on how he would bring the federal budget into line. Neither one has.
We do, though, think Obama would govern as much more of a pragmatic centrist than many people expect.
We know first-hand that Obama seeks out and listens carefully and respectfully to people who disagree with him. He builds consensus. He was most effective in the Illinois legislature when he worked with Republicans on welfare, ethics and criminal justice reform.He worked to expand the number of charter schools in Illinois--not popular with some Democratic constituencies.
He took up ethics reform in the U.S. Senate--not popular with Washington politicians.
His economic policy team is peppered with advisers who support free trade. He has been called a "University of Chicago Democrat"--a reference to the famed free-market Chicago school of economics, which puts faith in markets.
Obama is deeply grounded in the best aspirations of this country, and we need to return to those aspirations. He has had the character and the will to achieve great things despite the obstacles that he faced as an unprivileged black man in the U.S.He has risen with his honor, grace and civility intact. He has the intelligence to understand the grave economic and national security risks that face us, to listen to good advice and make careful decisions.
When Obama said at the 2004 Democratic Convention that we weren't a nation of red states and blue states, he spoke of union the way Abraham Lincoln did.
It may have seemed audacious for Obama to start his campaign in Springfield, invoking Lincoln. We think, given the opportunity to hold this nation's most powerful
office, he will prove it wasn't so audacious after all. We are proud to add Barack Obama's name to Lincoln's in the list of people the Tribune has endorsed for president of the United States.
Here are some additional excerpts from a number of the endorsements from battleground states:
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Over the past nine months, Mr. Obama, the junior senator from Illinois, has emerged as the only truly transformative candidate in the race. In the crucible that is a presidential campaign, his intellect, his temperament and equanimity under pressure consistently have been impressive. He has surrounded himself with smart, capable advisers who have helped him refine thorough, nuanced policy positions.
In a word, Mr. Obama has been presidential.Meanwhile, Mr. McCain, the senior senator from Arizona, became the incredible shrinking man. He shrank from his principled stands in favor of a humane immigration policy. He shrank from his universal condemnation of torture and his condemnation of the politics of smear.
He even shrank from his own campaign slogan, “County First,” by selecting the least qualified running mate since the Swedenborgian shipbuilder Arthur Sewall ran as William Jennings Bryan’s No. 2 in 1896.
The Denver Post:
The Denver Post's editorial board Friday endorsed Democrat Sen. Barack Obama for president.
The Post thinks Obama is better equipped to lead America back to a prosperous future. In unsteady times, it may seem obvious to gravitate toward the veteran politician, but in this campaign, it's been the newcomer who has had the steady hand.
Dayton Daily News:
Sen. McCain's campaign has been as disappointing as his move toward party orthodoxy. More than his opponent, he has run a relentless stream of commercials that have been discredited by nonpartisan fact-checkers. (Last week, all his ads were negative.)
He has articulated no vision for the country other than to suggest that it should believe in him as an individual, as a war hero of independent judgment.His selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate was stunning. She is shockingly lacking in presidential qualifications.
Some of Sen. McCain's most enthusiastic supporters have been forced to admit this. Her defenders say her resume compares well with Sen. Obama's, but it does not.
Alaska is tiny in population and atypical in its issues. And she'd been governor for only a year and a half when she was tapped. At any rate, as some interviews have shown, she's no Barack Obama.Sen. McCain presents her as a fellow "maverick." Nonsense.
Despite the recent nastiness of his campaign. Sen. McCain is essentially a good man, but he is yesterday's man. His campaign takes its core text from the "Wizard of Oz": Don't mind the man behind the curtain. That man is George Bush, the failed magician who cannot be spoken of lest the American people be reminded of what he has wrought and what party he belongs to.
To make their trick work, Mr. McCain and his running mate, Gov. Palin, trade heavily on being mavericks -- too heavily to be believed.It is true that Mr. McCain has a capricious streak that has made him a thorn in the side of his own party on various issues. Yet while he has not joined the know-nothing brigade in climate change denial, he has picked a running mate who is a diva in the drill, baby, drill chorus of fossil-fuel adulation.
Sen. John McCain, by nature, has shown himself to be incapable of providing the American people with an optimistic vision of the future. Firmly rooted in the failed politics and policies of the past, he cannot guide us on a path he does not see.Senator Obama already has demonstrated that he is a man of the future in the way he has inspired a new generation of voters to become involved in the political process and to actively strive for a better tomorrow.
The readership of the newspapers backing Obama now stands at over 10 million vs. McCain's just under 2.5 million.