This is funny:
Americans on Nov. 4 will choose between two presidential candidates with great strengths but also significant weaknesses.
Democrat Barack Obama is eloquent and charismatic. He has enthralled millions of new potential voters and brought hope to many Americans who for far too long have felt excluded from full participation in the democratic process, particularly African-Americans and young people. He promises a sharp break from past policies at a time when much of the public longs for a change in the nation’s direction. Obama also offers the potential to shape an administration with an inclusive and collaborative style of leadership, a quality lacking in Washington for far too long.
If elected, however, he also would be the most inexperienced president in modern American history, only four years removed from service in the Illinois Senate. And experience matters greatly in a president, particularly in the area of foreign affairs.
So the Star’s editorial board thinks Obama has the opportunity to be a transformational leader who will help our country get past the failures of the last eight years, but he’s too inexperienced. Though I don’t agree with them on the experience thing, I think it’s a fair assessment.
Republican John McCain has a long and distinguished record of service to the nation. His personal sacrifices, including more than five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, deserve the gratitude of all Americans. He has been a strong, bipartisan leader in the Senate, pushing, among other issues, for reforms in the campaign finance system and pork barrel spending.
McCain, however, has delivered a muddled message on how to confront the economic challenges facing the nation. He also is unlikely to provide a sharp enough break from the Bush administration’s policies on the economy and foreign relations. His running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, also has limited experience, raising concerns about her readiness to lead the nation if needed.
McCain, they remind us was a war hero who used to be mavericky. They worry that he is too much like Bush and they’re concerned about Palin’s ability to step up as president. Again, that’s a fair assessment.
But even given those assessments, it seemed like an Obama endorsement might make more sense, if they are interested in looking toward the future and making a clean break with Bush’s policies.
Dennis Ryerson, the paper’s editor, has a column in today’s paper in which he discusses their decision-making process. This sentence seems to sum it up:
We considered the newspaper’s traditional positions; it had not endorsed a Democrat for president since 1964.
So in other words, rather than endorse Obama and piss off their many wingnut readers, they decided to not endorse.
It may be cowardly of them, but it certainly can’t be good for the McCain campaign. In a year when newspaper endorsements, even very conservative newspapers, are going to Obama, I imagine the McCain people were expecting the Star to be a reliable endorsement for them. This piece must sting.
But still, I lost some more respect for the Star today. In the past, I most often disagreed with them, but at least I could respect their different point-of-view. This choice was pathetic and doesn’t speak well to their ability to take stances on issues that their readers might disagree with.