Nation Forum: A panel of legal analysts assesses the damage the Bush presidency has done to the judiciary--and what the next administration must do to repair it.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sent to Chill Baby, Chill by Dan Suffoletta
FROM THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE EDITORIAL BOARD
Tribune Endorsement: Barack Obama for President
2:33 PM CDT, October 17, 2008
The strongest candidate to do that is Sen. Barack Obama. The Tribune is proud to endorse him today for president of the United States.
On Dec. 6, 2006, this page encouraged Obama to join the presidential campaign. We wrote that he would celebrate our common values instead of exaggerate our differences. We said he would raise the tone of the campaign. We said his intellectual depth would sharpen the policy debate. In the ensuing 22 months he has done just that.
The change that Obama talks about so much is not simply a change in this policy or that one. It is not fundamentally about lobbyists or Washington insiders. Obama envisions a change in the way we deal with one another in politics and government. His opponents may say this is empty, abstract rhetoric. In fact, it is hard to imagine how we are going to deal with the grave domestic and foreign crises we face without an end to the savagery and a return to civility in politics.
This endorsement makes some history for the Chicago Tribune. This is the first time the newspaper has endorsed the Democratic Party's nominee for president.
Obama chose a more experienced and more thoughtful running mate - he put governing before politicking. Sen. Joe Biden doesn't bring many votes to Obama, but he would help him from day one to lead the country.
McCain calls Obama a typical liberal politician. Granted, it's disappointing that Obama's mix of tax cuts for most people and increases for the wealthy would create an estimated $2.9 trillion in federal debt. He has made more promises on spending than McCain has. We wish one of these candidates had given good, hard specific information on how he would bring the federal budget into line. Neither one has.
His economic policy team is peppered with advisers who support free trade. He has been called a "University of Chicago Democrat" - a reference to the famed free-market Chicago school of economics, which puts faith in markets.
Obama is deeply grounded in the best aspirations of this country, and we need to return to those aspirations. He has had the character and the will to achieve great things despite the obstacles that he faced as an unprivileged black man in the U.S.
It may have seemed audacious for Obama to start his campaign in Springfield, invoking Lincoln. We think, given the opportunity to hold this nation's most powerful office, he will prove it wasn't so audacious after all. We are proud to add Barack Obama's name to Lincoln's in the list of people the Tribune has endorsed for president of the United States.
Generals aren't the only ones who make endorsements. There was a time when the voters were fairly ignorant about politics and needed newspapers to tell them how to vote. Those times are gone (well, the second part, anyway). Nevertheless, the newspapers keep trying. It is not clear how much effect these endorsements have, except possibly when a strongly Republican newspaper endorses a Democrat or vice versa. One surprising endorsement came yesterday when the Houston Chronicle, the leading newspaper one of the reddest states in the country, endorsed Obama. Another surprise was the Obama endorsement from the Salt Lake Tribune the leading newspaper in the reddest state of them all, Utah. Other papers endorsing Obama are the LA Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the NY Daily News. McCain's major endorsements have largely come from papers such as the San Francisco Examiner, the New York Post, the Columbus Dispatch, and the San Diego Union-Tribune, but all these are Republican oriented and all endorsed Bush in 2004. Editor and Publisher keeps score on endorsements. The current tally is Obama 105 to McCain 33. Here is the complete list. For comparison purposes, the final endorsement score in 2004 was John Kerry 213 over George Bush 205.
One of the great untold stories of this race so far is just how much McCain is being damaged on health care.
As Ben Smith has noted, Obama is blasting his rival on the airwaves primarily on this topic (Anybody who watches TV or listens to the radio in Washington, D.C. can testify to this.)
And McCain has not pushed back with any major ad campaign. His campaign aides have denounced Obama's claims through the media, but, in yet another example of how the Democrat's financial advantage is coloring the race, the shots have been unanswered on the air.
So many, many voters now are concerned about what will happen to their healthcare were McCain to be president.
According to a NYT/CBS poll earlier this month, 54% of voters surveyed said they were not confident McCain would "make the right decisions on health care." Only 10% said they were very confident he'd do so.
Further, there is anecdotal evidence that Obama's paid media onslaught has gotten people thinking about health care.
McCain held a conference call last night with Nevada voters and what is he asked about twice? His health care plan
by: Evan Halper and Michael Rothfeld, The Los Angeles Times
YPM, a group hired by the GOP, allegedly deceived Californians who thought they were signing a petition. YPM denies any wrongdoing. Similar accusations have been leveled against the company elsewhere. Sacramento - Dozens of newly minted Republican voters say they were duped into joining the party by a GOP contractor with a trail of fraud complaints stretching across the country. Voters contacted by The Times said they were tricked into switching parties while signing what they believed were petitions for tougher penalties against child molesters. Full Story Here»