By: E&P Staff
While the vast majority of newspapers have already, or long ago, backed a candidate for president, some are just now making their choices known. In this camp are Newsday, the major Long Island daily, the Arizona Daily Star in John McCain’s Arizona (Tucson), and the Jackson Clarion-Ledger in deep-red Mississippi.
Like most of the other papers, they endorsed Barack Obama. See our full endorsement tally elsewhere on this site. We will update that list on Monday.
The Jackson paper is the largest in Mississippi and just the latest daily to switch from backing Bush in 2004 to Obama today. Well over 50 other papers had already made that switch. Another new one in this category: The Long Beach (Ca.) Press-Telegram.
Only about half a dozen have taken the reverse route.
The chain of Shaw Newspapers has now published editorials backing John McCain, with the decision coming down from CEO Tom Shaw. He even signed the editorial.
From the Jackson editorial: “McCain shall always remain a hero and honored veteran who demonstrably loves his country and has served above and beyond the call of duty in time of peace and in time in war, as a military man and as a civilian public servant.
“But, with all this said, that is the past and this is the present. This election is precisely not about the past but about the future and who best should be leading the country into it.
“In those matters, Sen. Obama outshines McCain, foremost on policies.”
The Tucson editorial opened: “We see America the way Barack Obama sees America.
“Our future requires a steady, intelligent and, as former Secretary of State Colin Powell said, a ‘transformational’ leader to guide us into a new era. Obama brings deep intellectual curiosity, equanimity and discipline. The ground under America is moving.”
It criticized McCain’s Palin pick indirectly, asserting that Obama “demonstrates leadership by surrounding himself with smart people who will strengthen his administration. For vice president Obama chose Joseph Biden, a U.S. senator with 35 years of experience, a foreign policy expert qualified to be president. Obama made a responsible, pragmatic and intelligent choice that shows us he puts the nation above party politics.”
The Shaw Newspapers editorial stated: “We know that Illinois Sen. Barack Obama has inspired interest in the election during the past several months. Obama has proved to be an intelligent and charismatic campaigner whose career ascent has been phenomenal. However, we believe that his plans for America lack substance. The naivete he has displayed when discussing matters of foreign policy and national security are of significant concern to us.
“Past elections haven?t always presented us good choices. In this election, each candidate offers qualities that will appeal to Americans. This campaign has been good for the nation and inspirational.
“However, when hype and party affiliation are set aside, there is only one candidate fit to lead our nation. That candidate is John McCain.”
Here is an excerpt from the Newsday editorial:
Leading the nation through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, two wars and excruciating anxiety about what the future holds will demand intellect, judgment, pragmatism and the more intangible ability to nourish the American spirit.
The need to make fundamental changes in how we power our cars, heat our homes, pay our doctors, earn our livings and secure our retirements is unnerving. The times demand a president who can see promise beyond the peril and articulate that vision for the rest of us. We believe this profile best fits one candidate in this race for the White House: Democrat Barack Obama.
In this marathon of a campaign, Obama has shown the discipline and demeanor for the job. He has articulated a more compelling vision and strategy for the nation than has Republican John McCain, at a time when both are desperately needed. Obama has railed eloquently against the politics of fear and ideological combat, and promoted inclusiveness and cooperation. He has a strong grasp of the nation’s economic problems, a more urgent commitment to the green energy revolution and a better plan for expanding access to health care. On issues such as Iraq, taxes and trade, he should practice the bipartisanship he promises, but has yet to demonstrate, by remaining open to alternative views. Still, on balance, Obama offers the better way forward.
When he launched his improbable presidential run, early impressions of the Illinois senator didn’t go much beyond a man with limited experience who could deliver a great speech. Critics derided his ability to charge up a crowd with soaring rhetoric, calling it just talk. But it’s more than that. Obama has an uncommon ability to explain and inspire. Those are vital components of national leadership as we struggle to understand and tame the complex economic forces eating away at the value of our homes and nest eggs, and making jobs and credit harder to come by.