Sunday, December 16, 2007

McCain Endorsed By Boston, Iowa Papers

Republican presidential John McCain won the endorsement of Boston Globe and the Des Moines Register.

On the Democratic side, the Globe endorsed Barack Obama while Des Moines Register backed Hillary.

The Des Moines Register, Iowa's statewide newspaper, focused on competence and called McCain and Clinton the candidates it believes are most competent and ready to lead:

"The times call for two essential qualities in the next American president," the Register's editorial board said on the paper's Web site. "The times call for competence. Americans want their government to work again. The times call for readiness to lead. Americans want their country to do great things again."
The Register's endorsement is a bad omen for Hillary. The paper has a track record of backing the losing Democratic candidate in the Iowa caucuses. In the past 20 years no Democrat endorsed by the Register has gone on to win the party's presidential nomination.
The paper chose Edwards in 2004, Bill Bradley in 2000 and Paul Simon in 1988. The Democratic caucuses were uncontested in 1992 and 1996.

The Globe's editorial board praised McCain for his straight talk and honesty regardless of the political cost:
The antidote to such a toxic political approach is John McCain. The iconoclastic senator from Arizona has earned his reputation for straight talk by actually leveling with voters, even at significant political expense.

[. . .]

As a lawmaker and as a candidate, McCain has done more than his share to transcend partisanship and promote an honest discussion of the problems facing the United States. He deserves the opportunity to represent his party in November's election.
In Endorsing Obama, the Globe seized upon his inexperience and his audacity of hope:
Obama's critics, and even many who want to support him, worry about his relative lack of experience. It is true that other Democratic contenders have more conventional resumes and have spent more time in Washington. But that exposure has tended to give them a sense of government's constraints. Obama is more animated by its possibilities.

[. . .]

Obama's story is the American story, a deeply affecting tale of possibility. People who vote for him vote their hopes. Even after seven desolating years, this country has not forgotten how to hope.
As the Des Moines Register's track record demonstrates, endorsements don't necessarily mean much. Nevertheless, These two endorsements, along with that of the Manchester Union-Leader, mean much more to the McCain campaign which has shown signs of a resurgence after trailing badly in the polls since nearly imploding earlier this year.

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