Three major US newspapers endorse Obama

It’s an interesting feature in US politics. As polling day approaches, newspapers will publish an editorial endorsing one of the candidates.

CNN reported that the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune have endorsed Barack Obama as their choice for President of the United States.

Here are snippets of what they had to say about the rationale behind their choice.

Washington Post:

…it is without ambivalence that we endorse Sen. Barack Obama for president.

The choice is made easy in part by Mr. McCain’s disappointing campaign, above all his irresponsible selection of a running mate who is not ready to be president.

Mr. Obama’s temperament is unlike anything we’ve seen on the national stage in many years. He is deliberate but not indecisive; eloquent but a master of substance and detail; preternaturally confident but eager to hear opposing points of view. He has inspired millions of voters of diverse ages and races, no small thing in our often divided and cynical country. We think he is the right man for a perilous moment.

Los Angeles Times:

We need a leader who demonstrates thoughtful calm and grace under pressure, one not prone to volatile gesture or capricious pronouncement. We need a leader well-grounded in the intellectual and legal foundations of American freedom. Yet we ask that the same person also possess the spark and passion to inspire the best within us: creativity, generosity and a fierce defense of justice and liberty.

Indeed, the presidential campaign has rendered McCain nearly unrecognizable. His selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate was, as a short-term political tactic, brilliant. It was also irresponsible, as Palin is the most unqualified vice presidential nominee of a major party in living memory. The decision calls into question just what kind of thinking — if that’s the appropriate word — would drive the White House in a McCain presidency. Fortunately, the public has shown more discernment, and the early enthusiasm for Palin has given way to national ridicule of her candidacy and McCain’s judgment.

Obama’s selection also was telling. He might have scored a steeper bump in the polls by making a more dramatic choice than the capable and experienced Joe Biden. But for all the excitement of his own candidacy, Obama has offered more competence than drama.

We may marvel that Obama’s critics called him an elitist, as if an Ivy League education were a source of embarrassment, and belittled his eloquence, as if a gift with words were suddenly a defect. In fact, Obama is educated and eloquent, sober and exciting, steady and mature. He represents the nation as it is, and as it aspires to be.

Chicago Tribune:

On Dec. 6, 2006, this page encouraged Obama to join the presidential campaign. We wrote that he would celebrate our common values instead of exaggerate our differences. We said he would raise the tone of the campaign. We said his intellectual depth would sharpen the policy debate. In the ensuing 22 months he has done just that.

This endorsement makes some history for the Chicago Tribune. This is the first time the newspaper has endorsed the Democratic Party’s nominee for president.

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.

Obama chose a more experienced and more thoughtful running mate–he put governing before politicking. Sen. Joe Biden doesn’t bring many votes to Obama, but he would help him from day one to lead the country.

We do, though, think Obama would govern as much more of a pragmatic centrist than many people expect.

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.

Author: Gerald Giam

Gerald Giam is the Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC. He is a member of the Workers' Party of Singapore. The opinions expressed on this page are his alone.

5 thoughts on “Three major US newspapers endorse Obama”

  1. Dear Gerald,

    I like the commentary by the Los Angeles Times.

    “…. His (McCain) selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate was, as a short-term political tactic, brilliant. It was also irresponsible, as Palin is the most unqualified vice presidential nominee of a major party in living memory….”

    I do totally agree that Palin is good for a short burst of popularity. Unfortunately, an election is more a marathon than a 100m dash. Palin has shown herself to be utterly incoherent and lacking views on foreign policy, economy, healthcare..etc. its is utterly embarrasing to see her performance in the interview for Katie Couric.

    In fact, Palin looks more comfortable appearing on SNL than on the election stage.

    The only other Veep that comes close is probably Dan Quayle.

    I do hope that Obama wins. He can bring much sanity, dignity, governance and statesman to the office. Having said the above, McCain had demonstrated himself to be a decent man in defending Obama and clarifying to his myopic supporters that Obama is not a terrorist.


  2. Haha good that you mentioned Dan Quayle. But McCain’s “Bill Ayers” attacks on Obama show his desperation to the point of being unethical. I think Colin Powell’s endorsement was the most significant.

  3. Hi Gerald,

    you know that I have always been a fan of Colin Powell. I strongly respect this man as one of the last few statesmen in US. To him its not about politics but doing the right thing for US and the world. He is hardly every sway by soundbites or ideology but by a practical realism.

    So to me, Powell’s endorsement (a man who has served in Carter, Reagan, Bush Snr, Clinton and Bush Jr’s administration), speaks volume about Obama’s standing.


  4. Since when was invading Iraq on spurious grounds an act of ‘practical realism’? Whether or not Powell personally supported that act of foolishness, he certainly used his public credibility to make the case for it. I remember people saying at that time ‘well Powell supports it so it can’t be that crazy’. How many mistakes does he have to make before he loses his credibility?

  5. Hi Twasher,

    Iraq war was perhaps one of his biggest mistake. He was mislead by the neocons in the administration, primarily Cheney, Rumsfeld…etc. of course as it turns out he was totally sidelined by these guys… perhaps that was one reason why he left the administration and refuse to be part of bush jnr second term.

    it is next to impossible to not make mistake while one is in office or for that matters in life. I am not sure how many mistakes can one make before one loses credibility but his standing has still remain strong to this day and despite the Iraq war he still commands vast respect unlike Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gates…

    I think this speaks volumes about the man.

    Nevertheless, we are all entitled to our opinions.


Comments are closed.