The Hartford Courant, the oldest continuously published newspaper in the nation, broke a 244 year tradition and endorsed Obama today. This is only their second endorsement of a Democrat in their history. The first was Bill Clinton. The Courant says,
The times cry out for a leader of Mr. Obama’s mettle. Americans have suffered through years of losses, from the nearly 3,000 people who died on Sept. 11, 2001, through the more than 4,000 American troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and the tens of thousands wounded. More than a million people have lost their homes through foreclosure. Economists are warning that the United States is facing the gravest economic threat since the Great Depression.
Republican Sen. John McCain has failed to persuade us he could wake the nation from this seven-year nightmare.
The St. Petersburg Times also endorsed Obama, saying:
His approach to creating a fairer tax policy and expanding health care with a blend of public and private coverage stands up well to scrutiny. His determination to rely more on diplomacy than force in foreign policy and to seek a timely, orderly withdrawal of troops from Iraq remains the most pragmatic approach. His acknowledgement that more troops are needed in Afghanistan should reassure those concerned about his willingness to use military force where needed. His energy proposals, while opening the door more than necessary to offshore drilling, are bold and balanced. As the economic crisis has mushroomed, he has responded with an appropriate mix of caution and sound principles grounded in reality.
About McCain, they offered:
Most disturbing has been McCain’s choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. It was a reckless decision based on political calculations, not the country’s best interests. There were many more qualified candidates, including Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. While Palin is an aggressive campaigner who has her own independent streak, she is clearly not prepared to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. Contrast McCain’s most important decision as a presidential candidate with Obama’s thoughtful selection of Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, an experienced hand comfortable on the world stage and well versed in foreign policy.
Is anybody tracking the number of newspaper endorsements each candidate has received?
UPDATE… add the Anchorage Daily News to the Obama camp.
It is Sen. Obama who truly promises fundamental change in Washington. You need look no further than the guilt-by-association lies and sound-bite distortions of the degenerating McCain campaign to see how readily he embraces the divisive, fear-mongering tactics of Karl Rove. And while Sen. McCain points to the fragile success of the troop surge in stabilizing conditions in Iraq, it is also plain that he was fundamentally wrong about the more crucial early decisions. Contrary to his assurances, we were not greeted as liberators; it was not a short, easy war; and Americans — not Iraqi oil — have had to pay for it. It was Sen. Obama who more clearly saw the danger ahead.