October 19, 2008
Endorsement watch: Once in a lifetime

For the first time in my life, the Houston Chronicle endorses a Democrat for President.

After carefully observing the Democratic and Republican nominees in drawn-out primary struggles as well as in the general campaign, including three debates, the Chronicle strongly believes that the ticket of Sens. Barack Obama and Joe Biden offers the best choice to lead the United States on a new course into the second decade of the 21st century.

Obama appears to possess the tools to confront our myriad and daunting problems. He's thoughtful and analytical. He has met his opponents' attacks with calm and reasoned responses. Viewers of the debates saw a poised, well-prepared plausible president with well-articulated positions on the bread-and-butter issues that poll after poll indicate are the true concerns of voters. While Arizona Sen. John McCain and his running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin have struck an increasingly personal and negative tone in their speeches, Obama has continued to talk about issues of substance.

The last time the Chron recommended a D for the Oval Office was Lyndon Johnson in 1964. They hit on all the right notes in this one, which will surely have heads exploding all over town. I am more than happy to have been wrong in my prediction.

The Chron is joined by the Statesman, which comes as a pleasant surprise:

Each of the two major presidential candidates fill the air with different words that all say "change," but only Sen. Barack Obama defines change clearly and positively.

It is a time of peril, both at home and abroad, and the nation needs the focused, energetic leadership Obama has projected and delivered since he announced his presidential candidacy in early 2007.

Like the Chron, and unlike a couple of others I'll mention in a second, they actually seem to have been paying attention to the campaign and what the candidates have been saying and doing. Amazing how much better a decision you can make when you do that. Anyone know how long it's been since they last endorsed a Democrat for President?

Meanwhile, the Dallas Morning News wasted no time making hash of Evan Smith's prediction that the five major dailies would go for Obama. It's everything you'd expect from the DMN - they completely ignore the harshly negative and increasingly substance-free tone of McCain's campaign, tout his experience without ever mentioning the words "Sarah Palin", and convince themselves that he's the change we can believe in. As with the Globe-News, you really have to admire their capacity for cognitive dissonance.

Slightly less obtuse but still as unwilling to mention the campaign or the Vice Presidential nominee is the Express News, which adds bonus wackiness points for buying into the idea that Social Security needs to be saved. That would mean privatization in a McCain administration, and hey, who wouldn't want to turn over more of their retirement savings to Wall Street these days?

So that's two for Obama and two for McCain, which frankly is two more for Obama than I'd have expected. The tiebreaker will be cast by the Star-Telegram, which chose today to endorse Dan Barrett in HD97, and Kim Brimer in SD10. I obviously disagree with the latter, but at least they gave a coherent reason for it, unlike some of the other endorsements we've seen lately. The S-T has just about run out of other races in which to make recommendations, so I'm going to guess they'll tackle the Presidential race tomorrow.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 19, 2008 to Election 2008


Posted by: Peter Wang on October 19, 2008 9:20 AM

Just one more reason that Houston is better than Dallas ;).

Posted by: Mike on October 19, 2008 1:43 PM
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