Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chicago Tribune endorses Obama

Three powerful endorsements from the Chicago Tribune, LA Times and St. Louis Post Dispatch -- all of which endorsed McCain in the primaries! -- and feel betrayed by the hollow shell of his former self that he's become.
First, the Chicago Tribune, Obama's hometown paper, which has been following him since he was an obscure state senator.  A first, I didn't think much of this -- I thought, "Of course his hometown paper will endorse him, just as the local Arizona paper will surely endorse McCain" -- until I learned that this is the first time in its 161 years of existence that the Tribune has endorsed a Democrat!!!  Here's a friend's take on this:
For the first time in the 161 years of its existence, the Chicago Tribune has endorsed the Democratic Party's nominee for President (That's right, 161 years -- an editorial page so Republican that it could not even bring itself to endorse FDR, once).
Reprinted below is the Tribune's very eloquent yet plain-spoken editorial that speaks to the issues of the day and the challenges we all face as Americans.
Perhaps more importantly, however, Governor Sarah Palin has been traipsing about the country for the past several weeks, complaining that she does not know Barak Obama and asking, "who is the real Barak Obama?" 
Well, gosh darnit, this very Republican board of editors has given her the answer, and it is an answer based on the board's years of observing, interacting and even arguing up close and personal with Barak.  (If I were a moose, I sure wouldn't want to be anywhere near Sarah Palin when, or if, she reads this.)
If you have friends who have forwarded you some of those vile e-mails of unknown origin that attack Senator Obama's grandmother, raise sinister allegations about his wife and family, question his Christian faith or even complain about the name he got from his father, I'd say you now have the perfect response -- and, it's not even anonymous.
Here are key excerpts from this glowing endorsement -- and scathing critique of McCain and the Republican party (my emphasis added):
Many Americans say they're uneasy about Obama. He's pretty new to them.

We can provide some assurance. We have known Obama since he entered politics a dozen years ago. We have watched him, worked with him, argued with him as he rose from an effective state senator to an inspiring U.S. senator to the Democratic Party's nominee for president.

We have tremendous confidence in his intellectual rigor, his moral compass and his ability to make sound, thoughtful, careful decisions. He is ready.

The change that Obama talks about so much is not simply a change in this policy or that one. It is not fundamentally about lobbyists or Washington insiders. Obama envisions a change in the way we deal with one another in politics and government. His opponents may say this is empty, abstract rhetoric. In fact, it is hard to imagine how we are going to deal with the grave domestic and foreign crises we face without an end to the savagery and a return to civility in politics...

The Tribune's decisions then were driven by outrage at inept and corrupt business and political leaders.

We see parallels today.

The Republican Party, the party of limited government, has lost its way. The government ran a $237 billion surplus in 2000, the year before Bush took office -- and recorded a $455 billion deficit in 2008. The Republicans lost control of the U.S. House and Senate in 2006 because, as we said at the time, they gave the nation rampant spending and Capitol Hill corruption. They abandoned their principles. They paid the price.

We might have counted on John McCain to correct his party's course. We like McCain. We endorsed him in the Republican primary in Illinois. In part because of his persuasion and resolve, the U.S. stands to win an unconditional victory in Iraq.

It is, though, hard to figure John McCain these days. He argued that President Bush's tax cuts were fiscally irresponsible, but he now supports them. He promises a balanced budget by the end of his first term, but his tax cut plan would add an estimated $4.2 trillion in debt over 10 years. He has responded to the economic crisis with an angry, populist message and a misguided, $300 billion proposal to buy up bad mortgages.

McCain failed in his most important executive decision. Give him credit for choosing a female running mate--but he passed up any number of supremely qualified Republican women who could have served. Having called Obama not ready to lead, McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. His campaign has tried to stage-manage Palin's exposure to the public. But it's clear she is not prepared to step in at a moment's notice and serve as president. McCain put his campaign before his country.

Tribune endorsement: Barack Obama for president

2:33 PM CDT, October 17, 2008,0,1371034.story

However this election turns out, it will dramatically advance America's slow progress toward equality and inclusion. It took Abraham Lincoln's extraordinary courage in the Civil War to get us here. It took an epic battle to secure women the right to vote. It took the perseverance of the civil rights movement. Now we have an election in which we will choose the first African-American president . . . or the first female vice president.

In recent weeks it has been easy to lose sight of this history in the making. Americans are focused on the greatest threat to the world economic system in 80 years. They feel a personal vulnerability the likes of which they haven't experienced since Sept. 11, 2001. It's a different kind of vulnerability. Unlike Sept. 11, the economic threat hasn't forged a common bond in this nation. It has fed anger, fear and mistrust.

On Nov. 4 we're going to elect a president to lead us through a perilous time and restore in us a common sense of national purpose.

The strongest candidate to do that is Sen. Barack Obama. The Tribune is proud to endorse him today for president of the United States.


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