The Chicago Tribune has officially endorsed Barack Obama as the presidential candidate most suited to lead this country during these times of uncertainty. After reading their endorsement, I felt hopeful that there are still people in this country that are able to exercise logic.
Though I don’t base my vote on newspaper or media endorsements, I do find it interesting that this is the first time in the history of newspaper that the editorial board has ever backed a Democratic Presidential candidate. What I find fascinating and amazing is their reason for not backing the Republican Presidential nominee. They compare it to their decision to back Progressive Party nominee Theodore Roosevelt over the Republican nominee William Taft in the 1912. At the time, their decision was “driven by outrage at inept and corrupt business and political leaders.” (If you have the time I would recommend reading the whole article.)
In reference to McCain and the Republican Party, the Chicago Tribune writes…
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.
In reference to Barack Obama, they clearly state that they don’t agree with all his policies, but they feel he is the best candidate to run the country. And this is where logic instead of simple blind support comes in. Of Obama and his candidatecy the Chicago Tribune writes…
[…] We know first-hand that Obama seeks out and listens carefully and respectfully to people who disagree with him. He builds consensus. He was most effective in the Illinois legislature when he worked with Republicans on welfare, ethics and criminal justice reform.
He worked to expand the number of charter schools in Illinois–not popular with some Democratic constituencies.
He took up ethics reform in the U.S. Senate–not popular with Washington politicians.
His economic policy team is peppered with advisers who support free trade. He has been called a “University of Chicago Democrat”–a reference to the famed free-market Chicago school of economics, which puts faith in markets.
Obama is deeply grounded in the best aspirations of this country, and we need to return to those aspirations. He has had the character and the will to achieve great things despite the obstacles that he faced as an unprivileged black man in the U.S.
He has risen with his honor, grace and civility intact. He has the intelligence to understand the grave economic and national security risks that face us, to listen to good advice and make careful decisions.
…It may have seemed audacious for Obama to start his campaign in Springfield, invoking Lincoln. We think, given the opportunity to hold this nation’s most powerful office, he will prove it wasn’t so audacious after all. We are proud to add Barack Obama’s name to Lincoln’s in the list of people the Tribune has endorsed for president of the United States.