The Columbian newspaper, which in 2004 endorsed George W. Bush, has endorsed Barack Obama.
But as we examined leadership qualities of both men, we saw Obama’s massive strides in uniting his own Democratic party, even reaching beyond his party to speak to all Americans. McCain, in stark contrast, continues to slog through a fractious Republican Party that often is his worst enemy.
It takes strong leadership skills to enlist record numbers of volunteers and to continually explore new heights in the polls, as Obama methodically demonstrates.
As for judgment, Obama chose a running mate who neither hurt him in the polls nor diverted the spotlight from the main man on the ticket. McCain’s choice has done both. McCain tries to masquerade this recklessness as the virtue of a maverick. Would he use that same recklessness in appointing Supreme Court justices and Cabinet members? Which candidate in recent weeks has shown a presidential demeanor? Which could best restore worldwide respect for the U.S.? Which man has tried to soothe — not stoke — rancor in the homestretch of this campaign? Clearly, that man is Obama.
Wow. This endorsement will make the righties howl, if they have any howling left in them.
It’s been a pretty big day for Obama in newspaper-endorsement land, for what it’s worth. From Editor and Publisher:
The Obama-Biden ticket maintains its strong lead in the race for newspaper endorsements, picking up 16 more papers in the past day, including the giant Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune on Friday afternoon (see separate story), and the Denver Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Salt Lake Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times tonight.
This brings his lead over McCain-Palin by this measure to over 3-1 so far, at 56-16, including most of the major papers that have decided so far. In contrast, John Kerry barely edged George W. Bush in endorsements in 2004, by about 220 to 205.
The readership of the 53 newspapers backing Obama now stands at well over 7 million. He gained two biggies yesterday in The Washington Post and San Francisco Chronicle, and today picked up the Modesto Bee in addition to the larger papers.
An interesting footnote: the Chicago Tribune has never endorsed a Democrat for president. Ever. Something about that Abraham Lincoln guy I think.
Is the political re-alignment of the United States very nearly complete? If you look at the maps Darryl has posted below, it would seem that way. The Republican’s Southern Strategy of 1968 has come to its final and logical conclusion, confining the GOP Party to the South and states that are rather southern in culture. (This isn’t my thinking, it’s put forth by none other than the mastermind of the Southern Strategy, Kevin Phillips, in his book “American Theocracy.”)
It would be nice if we get past our history some day, but the racist incidents and histrionics we are currently enduring in this campaign show we still have a ways to go. I know it’s going out on a limb to try to speak for most Americans, but you have to be pretty tone deaf not to pick up on the genuine longing for a leader who will do a good job and get this country working on the severe challenges we face.