Holy Shit! Chicago Tribune Re-Endorses Barack Obama

When I was a kid, my family got the Chicago Sun-Times in the morning and the Chicago Daily News in the evening (remember afternoon newspapers?) My father refused to have the city's sober Tribune in the house because he said it was too conservative.

And in its 160-plus year history, it had never endorsed a Democrat for president — until 2008. Like most of the conservative papers that endorsed Barack Obama that year, it played the Sarah Palin card, citing her complete unreadiness for national office as a reason to avoid electing an elderly McCain to the presidency.

I fully expected the paper to revert to form this year, endorsing the candidate who looked like the kind of person the Tribune always represented back in the day — the patrician wealthy investment bankers and corporate CEOs who lived in places like Kenilworth (like our U.S. Senator at the time, Chuck Percy, who would not be welcome in today's Republican party). Mitt Romney looks like the guy they would have chosen to be the model for the face of the Tribune, the guy appearing in the ads saying "I start every morning reading the Trib."

But they didn't endorse him.


Sure, there's plenty of hooey about the deficit and how he hasn't "done anything" about the looming "insolvency" of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, a transparent dog whistle to cut those programs, even though they're not the cause of the deficit. And there's more hooey about how increasing taxes on the wealthy would have no effect. Whatever. The headline " What kind of America will we leave our children? The Tribune endorses President Obama and urges him to address the nation's debt crisis" is pure Tribune hooey. Those country has a lot of more pressing crises whose solving would solve the debt crisis.

But it praises the president, saying

That rookie, Barack Obama, with quick study and sure gait, led an administration effort to stabilize the U.S. economy. ... That record of pragmatism and focus in a moment of crisis, not his moves in any one policy realm, should help voters decide whether Obama spends the next four years gazing from a window at the Washington Monument -- or reading and writing at his red-brick manse in sweet home Chicago.

It also says,

Four years ago, when we endorsed Obama’s run for the White House, we said he would act with decisiveness and intellectual rigor. Ironically he has shown those attributes most where Americans might have expected them least. That is, in his handling of an unfamiliar realm: world affairs.

The President has also been endorsed by the New York Times, the LA Times & the Washington Post.

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