Saturday, February 02, 2008

American-Statesman Endorses McCain, Obama

This morning the editorial board of the Austin American-Statesman jumped into the fray of presidential primary politics and endorsed Senator John McCain on the GOP ticket. Tommorow's paper will carry their endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for the Dems.

On McCain:
A conservative, McCain also is pragmatic - he tries to solve problems, not just make the world, or the nation, work the way ideologues say it should....

We’re also confident that, in fighting terrorism, McCain would not besmirch the honor of the American people. When McCain demanded that Americans be barred from torturing this nation’s enemies, he wielded a moral authority that no other U.S. leader could match....

But he knows that politics is supposed to be about working together to solve problems, not just crushing political enemies. And so he worked with Democrats in Congress to pass campaign finance reform legislation and on a major immigration reform bill that ultimately did not pass.

McCain’s record in Congress is that of a solid Republican. He has a lifetime rating of 82.3 percent from the American Conservative Union. Some conservatives say that rating isn’t nearly high enough. For us, though, it’s an indication that McCain cannot be zipped into anyone’s straitjacket.
On Obama:
At home, we’re divided into red and blue camps. Democrats and Republicans have stoked divisions to advance their party’s interests. Meanwhile, Washington is stumbling along with its red leg moving right and blue one lurching left.

Along the way, elected officials - and the public - have forgotten that those legs are part of the same body. It’s not surprising, therefore, that we’ve danced in place, failing to make progress on the big challenges that confront our country. Young people, disillusioned and disheartened with their government, have tuned out.

No other candidate except Obama offers a way out of that rut. He has articulated a vision that would allow the legs of government to again move fluidly in a natural motion that takes the country forward.
I'm curious as to the timing of the Austin paper's picks. Super Tuesday is just days away, but Texas is not part of it. One would think a local (regional?) paper like the Statesman wouldn't have much influence beyond its subscriber base. Perhaps the editors believe their opinions will be moot by the time Texans go to the polls until 4 March?

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