Second opinion: excerpts from commentary in other publications
While the weight of the big newspaper endorsements for the presidential candidates is always questionable, it is interesting to see some conservative voices going for Barack Obama this year. The Chicago Tribune endorsed Obama, even though the paper hasn’t gone with a Democrat for president in a century-and-a-half. Other notable defectors include the Salt Lake Tribune, the Denver Post and columnist Christopher Hitchens.
As of Sunday, the endorsement tally on editorandpublisher.com stood at 57 for Obama and 16 for McCain, with the Republican’s biggest backers to date being the Boston Herald and New York Post. Here’s a look at what they said:
Chicago Tribune editorial, Oct. 17
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.
Boston Herald editorial, Oct. 1
Another sobering start to an exceedingly sobering week ” but one which points to the need for a political leader who is steady in the face of crisis, mature in judgment and able to reach across the aisle to break the gridlock that has for too long gripped Washington.
That man is Sen. John McCain and at this critical moment in history, this paper is pleased to endorse his candidacy for president of the United States.
McCain won a lot of hearts and minds around here in 2000, and we can’t help but wonder how history might have been different had he won his party’s nomination and the White House back then.
But there is no going back. There is only the future and it is impossible to envision the future of this great nation being put in the hands of an articulate but inexperienced first-term senator from Illinois.
Christopher Hitchens in Slate, Oct. 13
Last week’s so-called town-hall event showed Sen. John McCain to be someone suffering from an increasingly obvious and embarrassing deficit, both cognitive and physical. And the only public events that have so far featured his absurd choice of running mate have shown her to be a deceiving and unscrupulous woman utterly unversed in any of the needful political discourses but easily trained to utter preposterous lies and to appeal to the basest element of her audience.
Obama is greatly overrated in my opinion, but the Obama-Biden ticket is not a capitulationist one, even if it does accept the support of the surrender faction, and it does show some signs of being able and willing to profit from experience. With McCain, the “experience” is subject to sharply diminishing returns, as is the rest of him, and with Palin the very word itself is a sick joke. One only wishes that the election could be over now and a proper and dignified verdict rendered, so as to spare democracy and civility the degradation to which they look like being subjected in the remaining days of a low, dishonest campaign.
Daniel Henninger, the Wall Street Journal, Oct. 16
If John McCain fails in the next 19 days to catch Barack Obama, his slow response to the the financial hurricane of 2008 will be Exhibit A.
Call it Katrina Dysfunction Syndrome. The McCain camp should have seen the symptoms. On Wednesday Sept. 24, Sen. McCain announced he was suspending his presidential campaign to return to Washington, likening the financial crisis to 9/11. Arriving in Washington, McCain quickly discovered that his troops in the Republican Congress were in disarray. Congressional Republicans hadn’t really been led by anyone for at least a year. It was no surprise that the Paulson Plan, which indeed was controversial, broke the GOP into factions.
The in-fighting over the Paulson Plan among conservatives neutralized Sen. McCain at the exact moment that the U.S. electorate was focusing like a laser on the crisis.
In politics, the Katrina catastrophe principle ” do something! ” trumps everything. Republicans at the presidential level have now violated it twice. Live and learn.
Matthew Continetti in the Weekly Standard, Oct. 27 edition
It’s time to face facts. In-your-face liberalism is about to make a comeback. And this time it will be on steroids.
Next year the Democrats will control both houses of Congress, most likely with comfortable, perhaps filibuster-proof majorities. If there is a Democratic president, too, Washington will host one of the most liberal governments in American history. Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid are more than ready to make staggeringly liberal changes in the country’s economic, social, and foreign policy.
To get a sense of the Democrats’ ambitions, listen to them discuss the deficit. They spent the last eight years bemoaning the deficit, which they blamed on the Bush tax cuts. They continually lambasted the Republicans for fiscal irresponsibility. They promised to enact “pay-as-you-go” budget rules and restore accountability.
Thing is, now that power is within their grasp, the Democrats have chucked all that silly talk out the window. They can’t wait to raise taxes on high-earners, dividends, capital gains, corporations, oil companies, and estates. But this tax increase is not meant to balance the budget. It’s in the name of “fairness,” and “patriotism,” and whatever revenue it raises will quickly be spent.
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