GOP papers continue to pick Obama over McCain; Alaska and Texas give Obama more major endorsements
Two large daily newspapers in solid red states led the charge this weekend in newspapers endorsing Sen. Barack Obama for president, Editor and Publisher's website reports.
The Obama lead in editorial endorsements this year turned into a landslide, even a rout today, as dozens of additiional papers backed him, compared to the relative handful for McCain.
Perhaps the biggest symbolic endorsement of all was the Anchorage Daily News, citing the inclusion of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Sen. John McCain's GOP ticket as one reason for endorsing Sen. Obama.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram is the third large Texas daily to endorse Sen. Obama. Sen. McCain's choice of Gov. Palin was one reason cited. However, the paper mostly centered on Obama's ability to reason, engage and keep his cool.
Check out our running list, updated Friday, here. Obama still leads by almost 3-1 in all editorial endorsements. Updated with the latest from today his lead stands at 161 to 59.
Perhaps most tellingly, the Democrat has now gained at least 35 papers that endorsed George Bush in 2004. That year, Bush and Kerry split the 418 endorsements almost straight down the middle.
Two more major papers that had backed Bush in 2004--the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Providence Journal--came out for Obama, joining at least 35 others who had done the same thing already. In another embarrassment for McCain, the Indianapolis Star, which also supported Bush in 2004, revealed that it would not endorse this year.
In other endorsements, Obama continued to overwhelm Sen. McCain, according to the E&P site.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune endorsed Obama online late Saturday (while also backing the Republican incumbent for U.S. Senate, Norm Coleman, over Al Franken). The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also threw its weight to Obama, as did the Des Moines Register. Both papers are in battleground states.
The Hartford Courant endorsed Obama this weekend, making it the newspaper’s second endorsement of a Democratic presidential candidate in its 244-year history.
The St. Petersburg Times in key swing state Florida also endorsed Obama in an online posting (see excerpt below). So did the Charlotte Observer in another key state, North Carolina. Both of those papers went for Kerry in 2004. Ditto for another new Obama backer, the Louisville Courier-Journal.
The Baltimore Sun joined its Tribune brothers and sisters in backing Obama, calling (like so many others before it) Sarah Palin utterly unqualified for higher office. The Star Tribune also highlighted that problem: "Sen. John McCain distinguished himself as an American hero who served his country with honor, but he made a grievous error in his choice of running mate, the newspaper said.
"McCain is well aware that the No. 1 qualification of a vice president should be readiness for the top job. Palin does not have the depth of experience to assure Americans she would be ready to run the country."
The Berkshire Eagle in Massachusetts and the Billings (Mont.) Gazette endorsed Obama today. So did three major papers in New York, the Rochester (NY) Democrat & Chronicle, Syracuse Post-Standard and Albany Times-Union. More for him: the Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot-News, Lansing (Mich.) State-Journal, Reno (Nev.) Gazette-Journal, the Times-Leader of Wilkes Barre, Pa., The Day of New London, CT., The Bay City News and Saginaw News in Michigan, and The Glouceser County (N.J.) Times.
The Cincinnati Enquirer in yet another key state, Ohio, came out for McCain. It had backed Bush in 2004.
Late Saturday, McCain's home state paper in Phoenix, the Arizona Republic, endorsed him on its Web site, saying that it knew him best. The Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence, Mass., also picked McCain. So did the Grand Rapids Press in Michigan and Galveston (Tex.) Daily News.
In another battleground state, however, the York Daily Record in Pennsylvania has switched to Obama after backing Bush in 2004. Other switchers from the GOP to Democratic side: The Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer, The Florence (Ala.) Times Daily and Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger.
The Baltimore Sun: "Senator Obama is a relative newcomer on the national stage. But he has proved to be that rarest of public servants, an inspirational leader who would transcend any enduring racial barriers and call upon the best in the American character, a public servant who also possesses the finely honed political skills necessary to turn the nation's highest ideals into practical policies that benefit citizens."
The Cincy Enquirer declared: "McCain offers up his compelling biography as a war hero, his admirable candor and his centrist independence in an increasingly polarized political environment. A McCain administration would chart a wiser course on the economy than one led by his Democratic opponent, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois. McCain's campaign has recently found a sharp focus on economic and tax issues, allowing voters to draw clear distinctions with policies Obama would pursue.
"And as president, McCain would fill the need for some semblance of partisan balance in Washington, keeping what promises to be a more heavily Democratic Congress from running roughshod on business policy, unions, free trade, health care and more."