Obama is winning the newspaper endorsement battle. The latest endorsements, from the Chicago Sun-Times and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, both Kerry backers in 2004, bring the lopsided score to 58 for Obama v. 16 for McCain. The Atlanta paper could be key, as Georgia is now unexpectedly in play. A surprise endorsement was from The Salt Lake Tribune, which backed Bush in 2004. Had McCain chosen Mitt Romney as his VP, he certainly would have secured the SLT’s backing.
A huge endorsement for Obama yesterday came from the Los Angeles Times, which hasn’t endorsed a presidential candidate in 30 years. From the endorsement:
Indeed, the presidential campaign has rendered McCain nearly unrecognizable. His selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate was, as a short-term political tactic, brilliant. It was also irresponsible, as Palin is the most unqualified vice presidential nominee of a major party in living memory. The decision calls into question just what kind of thinking — if that’s the appropriate word — would drive the White House in a McCain presidency. Fortunately, the public has shown more discernment, and the early enthusiasm for Palin has given way to national ridicule of her candidacy and McCain’s judgment.
Obama’s selection also was telling. He might have scored a steeper bump in the polls by making a more dramatic choice than the capable and experienced Joe Biden. But for all the excitement of his own candidacy, Obama has offered more competence than drama.
He is no lone rider. He is a consensus-builder, a leader. As a constitutional scholar, he has articulated a respect for the rule of law and the limited power of the executive that make him the best hope of restoring balance and process to the Justice Department. He is a Democrat, leaning further left than right, and that should be reflected in his nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court. This is a good thing; the court operates best when it is ideologically balanced. With its present alignment at seven justices named by Republicans and two by Democrats, it is due for a tug from the left.
Please read the rest of the endorsement and check out the other endorsements listed above. For a running tally of endorsements and the latest news on who is picking whom, see The Editor and Publisher.