Newspapers and policy go hand in hand, mainly because it's historically been the easiest place to start to make a case for a policy. Editorial and Op-Ed pages are filled with policy ideas every day. Therefore, I check out a lot of opinion pages every day.
And in this process I couldn't help but notice the number of newspapers endorsing Obama. But what's truly shocking is that most of these editorials read the same: 'Obama is thoughtful, introspective, and pragmatic. While we liked John McCain, but he's has run as the guy we liked, and nothing proves that more than his decision to take Sarah Palin. And we really don't like Sarah Palin'. In fact, the Chicago Tribune who had never endorsed a Democrat for President choose Obama—in what my opinion was the best written endorsement—in part because of the Palin pick. But for a look at a lot of other papers, I turn it over to the Reader here in Chicago:
Ouch. From a political stand point, assuming that McCain does lose tomorrow, it will be interesting to see how the Palin pick goes down in history. Was it increditably stupid? Short sighted? Obviously transparent? Did it cost him the electin? Or did the Fall 2008 Credit Crisis hurt McCain more than Palin?
Alaska’s largest newspaper, of course, also endorsed the Obama-Biden ticket. “Despite her formidable gifts,” said the Anchorage Daily News of the state’s own Sarah Palin, “few who have worked closely with the governor would argue she is truly ready to assume command of the most important, powerful nation on earth. To step in and juggle the demands of an economic meltdown, two deadly wars and a deteriorating climate crisis would stretch the governor beyond her range.”
Palin was a godsend to editorial writers penning Obama endorsements for Republican papers. The Courant: “Most worrisome, however, is Mr. McCain’s choice of a running mate . . . who is not yet ready for prime time.” The Record: “[McCain’s] selection of Palin as a running mate was appalling.” The Eagle: “She is a candidate of little intellectual curiosity who appears to be hopelessly unready to be president.” The News-Register: “What could McCain have been thinking . . . ?”
Without Palin, some historically Republican editorial pages might have struggled to find words to reject McCain that their readers would accept, and perhaps even endorsed him against their better judgment. But now they can make the argument they believe in, knowing they’ve got Palin to nail it down. She signs, seals, and delivers the case for dumping the GOP. She’s the closer.
No matter what, it should be a fun topic of discussion for years to come at cocktail parties.
Oh, and check out the differences between the Guardian and Economist endorsements of Obama. Oh wait, there isn't one. Weird.