UPDATE: 16 Newspapers Endorse Obama on Sunday, 2 for McCain
By E&P Staff
Published: October 12, 2008
Barack Obama picked up at least 16 newspaper endorsements this weekend, including six in swing states Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and Missouri. John McCain, as far as we know, gained just two.
The Wisconsin State Journal and The Sun of San Bernardino had backed Bush in 2004. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch called Obama's opponent, John McCain, "the incredible shrinking man" who had made a horrific pick for his running mate.
Backing Obama: In Ohio, The Blade in Toledo and the Dayton Daily News; the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Tennessean of Nashville, the Wisconsin State Journal. the Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times, and in California the Fresno Bee, Sacramento Bee, Contra Costa Times, The Herald of Monterey, and The Sun of San Bernardino (which had picked Bush over Kerry), plus the New Bedford Standrd-Times in Massachusetts.
Joining the Obama team in battleground states were the Muskegon (Mich.) Chronicle, the Lehigh Valley (Pa.) Express-Times and Springfield (Ohio) News.
McCain registered two pick ups: The Wheeling News-Register in West Virginia and the Napa Valley Register in California.
E&P is charting every endorsement and the circulation size of each paper (see new chart on Monday). So far Obama leads by a 27-11 margin with at least 300 to go. (In 2004, Kerry edged Bush by about 220-205.) Send us any pick you see, to: [email protected]
Here are excerpts from some of the papers.
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.
For voters pondering the presidential election, there is one key question: Is John McCain or Barack Obama better suited to lead this country in a time of great uncertainty?
The terms of the question help reveal the answer. In this election, Americans are picking a future, not a past. That makes Barack Obama the better choice for president of the United States.
By electing Obama, voters will make a clear break from the policies of the past eight years.
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 universalcondemnation 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.
In making political endorsements, this editorial page is guided first by the principles espoused by Joseph Pulitzer in The Post-Dispatch Platform printed daily at the top of this page. Then we consider questions of character, life experience and intellect, as well as specific policy and issue positions. Each member of the editorial board weighs in.
On all counts, the consensus was clear: Barack Obama of Illinois should be the next president of the United States....
John McCain has served his country well, but in the end, he may have wanted the presidency a little too much, so much that he has sacrificed some of the principles that made him a heroic figure in war and in peace. In every way possible, he has earned the right to retire.
Finally, only at this late point do we note that Barack Obama is an African-American. Because of who he is and how he has run his campaign, that fact has become almost incidental to most Americans. Instead, his countrymen are weighing his talents, his values and his
beliefs, judging him not by the color of his skin, but the content of his character.
That says something profound and good " about him as a candidate and about us as a nation.
NAPA VALLEY REGISTER
In the hurly-burly of a presidential campaign, voters can get caught up in distractions from attack ads to zingers delivered during debates.
We must not forget that we are hiring for the most important job in the nation, and that the basis for our decision must be which candidate will best execute the Office of the President of the United States and preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
In the view of the Register, that candidate is Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
McCain has the experience and the ability to lead this country in a time of enormous challenges and uncertainty, and his policy proposals in several areas are superior to those of his dynamic rival, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.
WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL:
America is at a pivotal point in its history " a difficult time that demands talented leadership to renew our nation's spirit and pull us together to meet the incredible challenges ahead.
The right leader for the time is Barack Obama.
The Wisconsin State Journal endorses the dynamic and youthful senator from Illinois for president.
Far more than his opponent, Obama represents a new direction. He has shown he can inspire and lead people to action. And his relatively short time in corrupt, self-absorbed, terribly-failed Washington, D.C., may actually be a key strength. Obama is not stuck in the status quo of the Capitol crowd or its long-failed Congress.
Obama doesn't just give pretty speeches. He speaks to people's best instincts, encouraging them to shine.
Obama is best-equipped this election to make America feel good about itself again. That's a powerful feeling " one that could go a long way toward invigorating our economy and national sense of purpose.
Obama is convincing in his call for a new kind of politics in Washington. His life story and history-making bid for the White House also have forced the rest of the world to view America in a new and more positive way.
An Obama presidency will immediately give America more clout and credibility around the globe. It will immediately win over and win back allies and friends.
As much as other nations may fear American power and influence, they fear our potential decline even more.
American must not decline. America must remain a beacon of freedom, democracy, innovation and prosperity.
And that's why voting for the first-term senator is worth the risk.
THE BLADE of Toledo:
AS THE nation wavers precariously at the precipice of economic ruin, American voters must decide who has the knowledge, steadiness, judgment, and inspirational qualities to lead us effectively out of that morass, for the next four years and beyond.
For guidance in arriving at this momentous decision, the election of the next president of the United States, we can look to the sober lessons of history. Without exaggeration, the country faces a transformational election on Nov. 4, not unlike that of 1932, which prefaced Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal and a long slog out of the Great Depresssion....
We believe the person best equipped by temperament and intellect to firmly grasp the reins of government and guide it safely forward in these uncertain times is Barack Obama.
Like another member of Congress from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln, Senator Obama initially rose to prominence on the strength of soaring oratory. Over the past 18 months of the grueling campaign, his background has been thoroughly inspected and dissected by the press and a political opposition dedicated to keeping him from the White House.
The man who has emerged is young (47) but well-educated and accomplished, both as a state legislator and a member of the United States Senate. He is somewhat professorial but not stodgy, and in our direct contact with him he proved to be one of few politicians at his level with the capacity to actually listen to others and appreciate what they have to say.
During the campaign, Senator Obama also has shown himself to possess steely self-control, a single-minded focus, and endearing good humor in the face of specious attacks on everything from his biracial origin to his boyhood upbringing to his acquaintances during his political career in rough-and-tumble Chicago.
His calm and deliberate demeanor is particularly important because steadiness at the helm of government will be necessary to extricate the United States from its current crisis of confidence, both in politics and economics...
America needs a new direction, not just because the current administration's economic policies - not to mention its war-bound foreign policies - have contributed to our current problems, but because we have lost our way in terms of the proper relationship between government and the people and, more importantly, the responsibility we owe each other. Americans who view the future with optimism do not - even in the face of terrorism - give up the basic freedoms our revolutionary forefathers died to secure.
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.
As a president from another era suggested, Americans should ask themselves: Am I better off than I was eight years ago? Four years ago? The answer is obvious and, therefore, the option on Nov. 4 is clear.
Historically, Ohio has had a critical role in presidential elections and appears poised once again to be a key in deciding who sits in the Oval Office for the next four years. This is an awesome responsibility, and one that cannot be taken lightly. For the future of Ohio and America, there is only one reasonable choice for president: Barack Obama.