The New York Daily News has endorsed Obama for President. From the endorsement:
Millions of Americans vest great hope in Barack Obama – and there is good reason why. It has been a long time since many have felt the government was in their corner. And here came an accomplished, fresh figure – a black man, at that – with plans for restoring the faith.
The agenda is sweeping, but the theme is clear. Whether on tax fairness or health care or the cost of college, Obama pushes the balance toward the working and middle classes and those further down the ladder.
To be sure, this endorsement is filled with praise for McCain and questions for Obama. But in the end, the Daily News comes to this:
In sum, we are banking on practicality trumping political dogma in an Obama White House. The fantasy that the U.S. can move toward energy independence without fully committing to domestic drilling and nuclear power must be banished. The reality that America can’t make strides toward universal health care without fiscal discipline elsewhere must sink in.
At this critical juncture, the nation must elect a President who will renew bipartisanship and hard-headed pragmatism to rescue America’s standard of living, secure the country from global threats, whether of arms or of climate, and lay a foundation to meet 21st century challenges.
That is our hope for Barack Obama.
Endorsements have also come from The Miami Herald, The Philadelphia Inquirer , and The Oregonian in Portland. This brings the editorial endorsement tally to about 66 Obama v. 18 McCain. The Editor & Publisher says the NYT should be endorsing Obama tomorrow. Not shocking, no? Colin Powell is scheduled to be on Meet the Press in the morning and rumor’s been circulating for days that he may endorse, as well. We’ll see.
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.
Another not surprising endorsement. Here’s an excerpt:
Obama showed steadiness in a moment of anxiety, with Americans’ portfolios withering and policymakers scrambling to do something – anything – to staunch the panic. The Illinois senator was similarly deliberative – in contrast with McCain’s quick-draw provocation – when Russia invaded Georgia in August.
In those crises, and in the hot lights of three debates, Obama demonstrated a presidential depth and temperament. His performance under the unrelenting scrutiny of the past 20 months has helped quell the “experience issue” for a 47-year-old senator who was elected in 2004.
Obama’s selection of Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate suggests that he would encourage vigorous input in his administration. Biden, 65 and a senator since 1972, has established himself as one of Washington’s pre-eminent authorities on foreign policy – and a man who is famously unafraid to volunteer his opinion.
McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, has been largely sequestered from the news media since her selection in late August. She has yet to have anything resembling a traditional news conference, where the full range of her knowledge and views can be explored. Her avoidance of questions and reliance on cue-card talking points in the one vice presidential debate did nothing to allay doubts about whether the 44-year-old governor of two years is capable of assuming the reins of the presidency. Her selection was but an act of political calculation by McCain.
The erstwhile appeal of “maverick” McCain, 72, has been further undercut by his tack to the right on the Bush tax cuts (which he initially resisted), his newfound allegiance to the religious right (in 2000, he called its leaders “agents of intolerance”) and the low tone of his campaign in recent weeks (with attempts to portray Obama as a “pal of terrorists”).
Throughout a campaign that has been intense – and at some points ugly – Obama has kept his composure and maintained a vision of optimism that has drawn an unparalleled wave of young people into the political process. His policies and his persona have offered hope to a nation that is deeply polarized, swimming in debt, mired in war and ridden with anxiety. He taps into that treasured American reservoir – patriotism – with his calls for sacrifice and national service.
Barack Obama is the right president for these troubled times.
Not surprising, but here’s an excerpt from the endorsement:
THE NOMINATING process this year produced two unusually talented and qualified presidential candidates. There are few public figures we have respected more over the years than Sen. John McCain. Yet it is without ambivalence that we endorse Sen. Barack Obama for president.
The choice is made easy in part by Mr. McCain’s disappointing campaign, above all his irresponsible selection of a running mate who is not ready to be president. It is made easy in larger part, though, because of our admiration for Mr. Obama and the impressive qualities he has shown during this long race. Yes, we have reservations and concerns, almost inevitably, given Mr. Obama’s relatively brief experience in national politics. But we also have enormous hopes.
Mr. Obama is a man of supple intelligence, with a nuanced grasp of complex issues and evident skill at conciliation and consensus-building. At home, we believe, he would respond to the economic crisis with a healthy respect for markets tempered by justified dismay over rising inequality and an understanding of the need for focused regulation. Abroad, the best evidence suggests that he would seek to maintain U.S. leadership and engagement, continue the fight against terrorists, and wage vigorous diplomacy on behalf of U.S. values and interests. Mr. Obama has the potential to become a great president. Given the enormous problems he would confront from his first day in office, and the damage wrought over the past eight years, we would settle for very good.
Mr. Obama also understands that the most important single counter to inequality, and the best way to maintain American competitiveness, is improved education, another subject of only modest interest to Mr. McCain. Mr. Obama would focus attention on early education and on helping families so that another generation of poor children doesn’t lose out. His budgets would be less likely to squeeze out important programs such as Head Start and Pell grants. Though he has been less definitive than we would like, he supports accountability measures for public schools and providing parents choices by means of charter schools.
A better health-care system also is crucial to bolstering U.S. competitiveness and relieving worker insecurity. Mr. McCain is right to advocate an end to the tax favoritism showed to employer plans. This system works against lower-income people, and Mr. Obama has disparaged the McCain proposal in deceptive ways. But Mr. McCain’s health plan doesn’t do enough to protect those who cannot afford health insurance. Mr. Obama hopes to steer the country toward universal coverage by charting a course between government mandates and individual choice, though we question whether his plan is affordable or does enough to contain costs.
The next president is apt to have the chance to nominate one or more Supreme Court justices. Given the court’s current precarious balance, we think Obama appointees could have a positive impact on issues from detention policy and executive power to privacy protections and civil rights.
But Mr. Obama’s temperament is unlike anything we’ve seen on the national stage in many years. He is deliberate but not indecisive; eloquent but a master of substance and detail; preternaturally confident but eager to hear opposing points of view. He has inspired millions of voters of diverse ages and races, no small thing in our often divided and cynical country. We think he is the right man for a perilous moment.