Ohio paper goes with Obama

22 Oct

Ohio is the number one battleground state for the presidency.

So, it can mean something when the state’s biggest newspaper makes its endorsement.

The Plain Dealer picks Barack Obama.

The following are selected portions of that editorial.
You can read the whole thing here.


“Today, we recommend President Obama’s re-election.

And yet our endorsement this year comes with less enthusiasm or optimism.

Obama has changed – and it’s more than gray hair.
The unifier of 2008 now engages in relentless attacks on his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.

The big dreamer of 2008 offers little in the way of a second-term agenda.
There is a world-weariness unseen four years ago.

In fairness, the Obama of 2008 often warned his swooning audiences that change would be slow and painstaking.
The four years since then surely have been far more trying than he or almost anyone could have imagined.

Obama’s leadership has made a difference when it mattered most.

Much of what beset America during Obama’s first term lay outside his direct control.
The bobsled slide into recession was in full motion when he took office.

The economic calamity has been global; recovery, sporadic and weak.
Obama’s attempts to reach across the aisle politically were met with unbending resistance, even belligerence.

And yet, Obama has often been his own worst enemy.

[The] litany of missed opportunities, as much as the grim economic statistics that have become America’s unacceptable new normal, left us sorely tempted to endorse Governor Romney this fall.

Like President Obama, he is a man of public achievement and private honor.

He was born to wealth and power, but used those advantages well: building a prosperous business; rescuing the 2002 Winter Olympics; being a leader in his church and serving as an effective governor.

It is the track record of a man who gets things done.
No wonder so many frustrated Americans appear eager to elect him.

But which Romney would they elect?

The rather liberal one who ran for the Senate in 1994?
The pragmatic governor?
The sharply conservative candidate of this year’s GOP primaries?
The reborn moderate of recent weeks?

All politicians change positions over time…

But Romney’s frequent changes raise questions about his core principles and make his lack of policy details all the more troubling.

They make you wonder if he would stand up to the more extreme elements in his own party, especially to the House Republicans who undercut Ohioan John Boehner’s attempts to negotiate a deficit and debt deal.

Romney’s tendency to bluster on foreign policy provides more cause for doubt.

With tens of thousands of young Americans still in harm’s way in Afghanistan, the United States cannot afford to be drawn into new wars without clear national interests at stake or to sap its resources in further open-ended conflicts.

Obama has shown that he favors engagement over bluster, and practical solutions over easy bromides.

That’s what the country needs.

Consider a defining moment early in Obama’s first term – one with special resonance in Ohio: The outgoing Bush administration had used TARP funds to throw a lifeline to General Motors and Chrysler, but the two automakers were still at death’s door.

They wanted more cash and offered vague promises to change their ways.

Public opinion opposed another bailout.
Romney urged the companies to file for traditional bankruptcy — at a time when private-sector credit was frozen even for healthy firms.

Obama told the companies to restructure using the Bankruptcy Court and set conditions for government financing: GM’s chairman had to go.
Excess plants and dealerships had to close.
Chrysler had to be bought out by Fiat.
Contracts had to be renegotiated.

It was unpopular but gutsy.
And it worked.

That’s leadership that deserves a chance to finish the job.”

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