A new twist is playing out in the newspaper tradition of endorsing presidential candidates. Typically newspapers either pick one candidate or the other; this year, however, more newspapers are taking a third option – not endorsing.
Last month, the newspaper trade publication Editor & Publisher examined the trend of taking a pass on candidate endorsements.
The tradition is not fully dead, though. In a contest where the voters are so closely split between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, seemingly every angle aspect of the race is being closely inspected – even endorsements.
Here are a few highlights among the endorsements:
Tampa Bay Times: We wish the economic recovery was more vigorous, and we would like the president to present a sharper vision for a second term. But 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.
Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer: If re-elected, there is no reason to think that he will not continue to be concerned for the middle-class and the disadvantaged, and that his domestic focus will be on helping people who need it while strengthening the country’s economic underpinnings. Combined with a successful foreign policy, the case is strong: We believe President Obama has earned another term.
The New York Times: The economy is slowly recovering from the 2008 meltdown, and the country could suffer another recession if the wrong policies take hold. The United States is embroiled in unstable regions that could easily explode into full-blown disaster. An ideological assault from the right has started to undermine the vital health reform law passed in 2010. Those forces are eroding women’s access to health care, and their right to control their lives. Nearly 50 years after passage of the Civil Rights Act, all Americans’ rights are cheapened by the right wing’s determination to deny marriage benefits to a selected group of us. Astonishingly, even the very right to vote is being challenged.
The Washington Post:Much of the 2012 presidential campaign has dwelt on the past, but the key questions are who could better lead the country during the next four years — and, most urgently, who is likelier to put the government on a more sound financial footing. That second question will come rushing at the winner as soon as the votes are tallied. Absent any action, a series of tax hikes and spending cuts will take effect Jan. 1 that might well knock the country back into recession. This will be a moment of peril but also of opportunity. How the president-elect navigates it will go a long way toward determining the success of his presidency and the health of the nation. President Barack Obama is better positioned to be that navigator than is his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
Cleveland Plain Dealer: Today, we recommend President Obama's re-election. He has led the nation back from the brink of depression. Ohio in particular has benefited from his bold decision to revive the domestic auto industry. Because of his determination to fulfill a decades-old dream of Democrats, 30 million more Americans will soon have health insurance.
Orlando Sentinel: Romney has a strong record of leadership to run on. He built a successful business. He rescued the 2002 Winter Olympics from scandal and mismanagement. As governor of Massachusetts, he worked with a Democrat-dominated legislature to close a $3billion budget deficit without borrowing or raising taxes, and pass the health plan that became a national model.
Des Moines Register: Voters should give Mitt Romney a chance to correct the nation’s fiscal course and to implode the partisan gridlock that has shackled Washington and the rest of America — with the understanding that he would face the same assessment in four years if he does not succeed.
New York Post: Barack Obama was elected in 2008 with a call for hope and change. Perhaps the change he spoke of could only come with the help of Mitt Romney. America needs more than hope. It needs leadership. That is why The Post today endorses the candidacy of Mitt Romney for president of the United States. Scrape it down to bedrock, and Mitt Romney knows that there is but one issue in this campaign: America’s woeful economy, and the demonstrated inability of President Obama to cope with it.
Houston Chronicle: We do not believe four more years on the same plodding course toward economic recovery is the best path forward for Texas or the nation. And so we endorse the Republican team, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, in the belief that they can do better by Texas and the nation.
Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch: Romney's plan to spur economic growth — a phrase that seems absent from the Obama vocabulary — offers a plausible and pragmatic path to a more energized private sector, the essential element in reviving a robust economy that builds jobs, raises individual incomes, rewards innovation and halts the suicidal expansion of public debt.
ONLINE AND OFF-BASE
Kudos to Kyle Whitmire: of al.com for getting to the bottom of an online meme supposedly involving a University of Alabama student.
He writes: “As the story goes, a sorority girl at the University of Alabama, in some sort of political fit, scribbled a barely literate screed on the back of a pizza box. Amid the debris of a college dorm room, the young woman grits her teeth and scrunches her face as she holds up her homemade sign. A freshly used Sharpie is still between her fingers.
“The pizza box says, ‘A VILLAGE SOMEWHERE IN KENIA IS MISSING THERE IDIOT!! NOBAMA 2012.’ ”
Turns out the tale making the rounds is bogus. Here’s the straight dope.
READER COMMENT OF THE WEEK
“If I'm a poll worker and a dead person comes up to me and shows me ID of any kind, I'M LETTING THAT SLIDE.” – Comment to Star article on state officials announcing they will be keeping an eye out for voter fraud next week.