Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Obama’s Unexpected Thumbs-up

This is a welcome surprise. North Carolina’s Winston-Salem Journal has not endorsed a Democrat for president of the United States since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, according to Wikipedia. However, it has finally broken that precedent this year. An editorial in the newspaper’s October 14 edition began:
Americans have a clear choice between two presidential candidates with starkly different ideas for spurring the economy, providing for the health of our people, defending our interests abroad, educating our children and protecting our environment. We believe that President Barack Obama’s progress on these issues merits him a second term in the White House.

Four years ago on this page, we endorsed Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona over Obama. We wrote that we were impressed with Obama, but McCain would “bring the Iraq war to a successful conclusion, work to end American dependence on foreign oil, reduce America's output of climate-changing gases and begin the rebuilding of our economy.”

The Democratic president has done all those things and more. He is calm under pressure and courageous in standing up for the rights of all Americans, including the poor, veterans, the elderly, women, gays and immigrants. In contrast, we’ve sometimes found it hard in the last few weeks to tell just what Obama’s challenger, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, really stands for.
The paper goes on to remark:
Under Obama’s policies, including the successful bailout of General Motors, the country averted what could have been a far worse economic disaster, maybe even a depression. The economy is slowly recovering--the national unemployment rate has finally fallen below 8 percent--and the president’s policies of continued government investment in infrastructure and education offer the best hope that the recovery will accelerate. Obama promises to cut spending and raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, but keep taxes where they are for the vast majority.
Its distrust of Romney, particularly on the matter of maintaining and strengthening social programs, is pretty clear:
We like Obama’s health-care plan, finding it far better than that offered by Romney, even if it is largely based on Romney’s own Massachusetts program. We see no sign that Romney, should he succeed in repealing “Obamacare,” would succeed in balancing the many competing health-care interests that Obama worked into a compromise.

We fear that Romney would turn Medicare into a voucher program that would not match the full cost of private insurance for the seniors. His hybrid plan would drive the sickest Americans into a government plan and let the insurance companies cherry-pick the healthiest clients.
You can read the Journal’s entire editorial here.

READ MORE:Why Ohio Early Voting Decision Could Be a Big Deal,” by Greg Sargent (The Washington Post).

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