Newspaper endorsements tell a historic tale

On Sunday, the reliably Democratic newspaper, the New York Daily News, endorsed Mitt Romney for president. The paper endorsed Barack Obama in 2008, and its switch in allegiance is as bold as it is unexpected. The Daily News is now one of 11 major papers that supported Obama in 2008, but has now thrown its support behind Romney. The really bad news for Obama is that only one paper, the San Antonio Express-News, has switched direction—they endorsed McCain in 2008—toward him.

This is of particular importance because most mainstream papers—like the overwhelming majority of mainstream media news sources—are leftist by nature. They really have nothing to gain by bucking the liberal line; in fact, it is quite the opposite. Most readers take the endorsements with a grain of salt anyway, knowing that a paper’s endorsement of any particular candidate has much more to do with partisan politics than it does with qualifications and abilities. Had the New York Daily News endorsed Obama, few would have thought much of it; it was expected, in other words. By throwing its readers this early November curve though, the Daily News is making a clear statement that partisan politics is no longer enough. Their willingness to question the empty promises from Team Obama speaks loudly.

In their editorial, the authors of the endorsement wrote the following:

“Four years ago, the Daily News endorsed Obama, seeing a historic figure whose intelligence, political skills and empathy with common folk positioned him to build on the small practical experience he would bring to the world’s toughest job. We valued Obama’s pledge to govern with bold pragmatism and bipartisanship. The hopes of those days went unfulfilled.”

Notice that the writers made it clear that they bought fully into Obama’s campaign promises of “hope and change,” and are changing their endorsement to Romney, in part, for the lack of seeing any of these bold promises come to pass. The Daily News editorial staff—along with ten other national papers—doesn’t seem to think that another four years of “hoping and changing” is what America needs right now.

Notice also that the Daily News piece talks about the “historic figure” of Barack Obama. This phrase betrays much of what motivated the Daily News to endorse Obama in 2008. Far too much emphasis was placed on the “unprecedented” and “historic” nature of the “first black president.” It took less than six months for most Americans to realize that the color of Obama’s skin could do nothing for his ineptitude. Historic or not, his election to the highest office is bankrupting the United States, not just now but for decades to come. Honestly admitting this does not take away from the “historic” aspect of his election, but it does indicate that other factors must be considered when voting for the President of the United States. The New York Daily News seems to understand this now; let’s hope that many other Americans will also have this same epiphany before tomorrow. The bumper sticker sums it up well: “If you voted for Obama in 2008 to prove you’re not a racist, vote for someone else in 2012 to prove you’re not an idiot.”