In an election as close as this year's Presidential race (where the polls in virtually every swing state are within the margin of error), newspaper endorsements can be important. While they are unlikely to sway a supporter of one candidate or the other, a compelling newspaper endorsement can provide the type of independent validation of a candidate that is important to an undecided voter. And picking up even a small number of undecided voters can be the margin of victory, especially in a close swing state.
Over the past few weeks, a growing number of major newspapers, many located in swing states like Ohio and Florida, have endorsed President Obama's bid for re-election. These endorsements tend to make three basic points: (1) that President Obama has offered strong, steady leadership in bringing our country out of the economic and foreign policy messes that the Bush-Cheney Administration left us with, (2) that the Obama Administration has an impressive track record of accomplishments on keeping our nation safe, improving the economy, supporting the middle class, expanding access to health insurance, promoting equality, etc., and (3) that Romney bounces between promoting a reactionary redux of the Bush-Cheney years and changing his positions so often that no one really knows what he believes. In summary, they provide a compelling case for re-electing President Obama.
Below are excerpts from a sampling of the recent newspaper endorsements of President Obama. We will provide excerpts from additional endorsements in our next post. In the meantime, please take action to help win this election by sharing these endorsements with anyone you know who is undecided, commenting on and sending letters to the editor supporting these endorsements, and volunteering with the Obama campaign to help get out the vote. And if your local newspaper has endorsed President Obama, please let us know in the comments section below.
Four years ago, in endorsing Democrat Barack Obama for president, we noted his intellect, his temperament and equanimity under pressure. He was unproven, but we found him to be presidential, in all that that word implies.
In that, we have not been disappointed. This is a serious man. And now he is a proven leader. He has earned a second term.
Americans have a clear choice between two presidential candidates with starkly different ideas for spurring the economy, providing for the health of our people, defending our interests abroad, educating our children and protecting our environment. We believe that President Barack Obama’s progress on these issues merits him a second term in the White House.
Four years ago on this page, we endorsed Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona over Obama. We wrote that we were impressed with Obama, but McCain would “bring the Iraq war to a successful conclusion, work to end American dependence on foreign oil, reduce America's output of climate-changing gases and begin the rebuilding of our economy.”
The Democratic president has done all those things and more. He is calm under pressure and courageous in standing up for the rights of all Americans, including the poor, veterans, the elderly, women, gays and immigrants. In contrast, we’ve sometimes found it hard in the last few weeks to tell just what Obama’s challenger, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, really stands for.
Months before the presidential election in 2008, the world’s financial system ground to a standstill — thanks to a system so devoid of regulations and enforcement that banks and financiers no longer trusted each other.
That’s the mess Barack Obama stepped into when he took office in 2008. Obama engineered a turnaround. In the hands of a president less pragmatic, less cool under pressure, it might not have happened.
After his first four years, Obama is a proven leader.
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Republican nominee Mitt Romney at times makes us optimistic that he would do a creditable job as president. But he changes positions on issues so frequently we’re uncertain what he actually would do in office.
Obama has been tested and found equal to the task of being president. We think the country is in better shape than it was four years ago, and we think it will be in even better shape if he wins another term in office.
Obama has shown that he favors engagement over bluster, and practical solutions over easy bromides. That's what the country needs.
Consider a defining moment early in Obama's first term -- one with special resonance in Ohio: The outgoing Bush administration had used TARP funds to throw a lifeline to General Motors and Chrysler, but the two automakers were still at death's door. They wanted more cash and offered vague promises to change their ways. Public opinion opposed another bailout. Romney urged the companies to file for traditional bankruptcy -- at a time when private-sector credit was frozen even for healthy firms.
Obama told the companies to restructure using the Bankruptcy Court and set conditions for government financing: GM's chairman had to go. Excess plants and dealerships had to close. Chrysler had to be bought out by Fiat. Contracts had to be renegotiated.
It was unpopular but gutsy. And it worked. Ohioans today are making cars in Lordstown and Toledo. They're making parts and steel for Ford, Honda and other automakers. They're back on the job.
That's leadership that deserves a chance to finish the job. Re-elect President Obama.
Four years ago, Barack Obama offered an inspiring message of hope and change to an uneasy nation bogged down in two wars and facing economic collapse. The rosy idealism quickly gave way to the harsh realities of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The recovery has proven more difficult than anyone imagined. But conditions would be far worse without the president's steady leadership. This is not the time to reverse course and return to the failed policies of the past. Without hesitation, the Tampa Bay Times recommends Barack Obama for re-election as president.
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Obama has capably steered the nation through an incredibly difficult period at home and abroad, often with little help from Congress. The next four years will not be easy for whoever occupies the Oval Office, but Obama has been tested by harsh circumstance and proven himself worthy of a second term.
What matters are his real accomplishments and the direction he proposes for the years ahead.
On both those counts, he has succeeded far more than his critics contend. We recommend the re-election of Barack Obama on Nov. 6.
President Obama entered office with two wars raging and the economy in freefall. The U.S. auto industry was collapsing, and Osama bin Laden remained at large. The solutions to the first two issues were far from perfect, but show progress. The solutions to the latter two we’d say are a success.
Slow progress is better than no progress. We feel the pillars are in place for more, and hopefully quickened, progress in the days ahead.
We feel the best way to continue that progress to re-elect President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on Nov. 6.
And it is that word — progress — that we urge voters to keep in mind when casting their ballots. Voters are not simply choosing between two men — President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney — they are selecting two philosophies of governing and of life.
In the world of Barack Obama, raised by a single mother and grandparents, propelled to the top through his own hard work, intelligence and drive, we all do better when we come together. He has never forgotten the struggles of his youth, understanding better than most the necessity of individual initiative. To Obama, government is not the enemy. It is not dispenser of all wisdom or wealth, either. Government is the safety net that catches the weak, the sick, the old and the very poor. It is also our collective will in action — building, defending and securing our nation. Obama will not privatize Social Security or reduce Medicare to a voucher system that costs too much while not guaranteeing treatment. He understands that Medicaid, which underwrites medical care for the very poor, must be protected from budget slashers who think nothing of leaving sick people at the emergency room door while asking for more tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.
Mitt Romney’s world is very different, one of privilege and wealth, where in his view, 47 percent of all citizens are takers who won’t assume responsibility for their lives. He had the good fortune to be born in a two-parent home, and should be credited for taking his comfortable start and building a fortune with it. He is a model of a citizen, a good father, husband and church member, contributing to his greater community with both his time and treasure. However, his vision for the United States — with almost half the population moochers — will not lift the least of us up. Instead, it will continue to divide the country along class lines, further splitting us between the haves-a-lot and everyone else.