...This choice is complicated by the puzzling election-year disappearance of the Sen. John McCain whom many Americans have admired since his military days, when he might have taken the easy way out of detention to return to America. That he refused to do so is a shining example of heroism. His subsequent Senate service and his independence of thought brought him admirers across party lines who saw in him hope for a government motivated not by partisanship but by a commitment to solving problems involving the best thinkers across the political spectrum.
We don't know what happened to that John McCain. In his pandering to the political right on some issues and his impulsive selection of a woefully unprepared governor as his vice presidential candidate, McCain has created doubts about his judgment that did not previously exist, and exposed how his reputation as a maverick can seem more recklessness than courage. In doing so he has frittered away confidence in his ability to deal with a discouraging array of problems that will confront the next president.
By contrast, Sen. Barack Obama's inexperience in executive matters constitutes less of a concern than ordinarily it might. His intellect, his calm, rational approach to difficult issues, his coolness during the heat of debate and his sense of humor and humility offer something millions of Americans have yearned for in national politics - the ability to examine issues thoughtfully, to listen to competing interests and to develop solutions that more closely meet the needs of all....
In an era that begs for a return to the standards of decency and respect for the rule of law that made America great, Obama offers thoughtful proposals for a rational way to respond to the nation's needs. The Observer enthusiastically endorses Barack Obama for president.
WI Chippewa Herald
Restoring health to the nation's economy will be even more difficult considering the mess that the nation finds itself in at this point. It will likely require patience, sacrifice and a positive attitude from the American people. That will require inspirational leadership from the nation's president, and there is every reason to believe that is Obama's greatest strength.
CT Hartford Courant
In its 244-year history, The Courant has endorsed only one Democratic candidate for president, Bill Clinton. Today we endorse a second Democrat, Sen. Barack Obama, with the hope that if elected, he governs from the middle as Mr. Clinton did. Mr. Obama must resist serving only his party's interests and instead serve the greater interests of a worried nation.
America is starved for a leader who can restore pride and once again make the nation a beacon for the world, or in the words of Massachusetts Gov. John Winthrop in 1630, "a city on a hill -- with the eyes of all people upon us."
MN Star Tribune
Obama has staked out an optimistic vision of a more united America and a bipartisan approach to addressing problems in Washington. With hope that he can deliver on that promise, Obama receives our endorsement....
If elected, Obama will need to prove his independence from predictable party politics and take a bipartisan approach to complex problems. He'll need to continue to emphasize personal responsibility as a bedrock American value. He and the country will need to remember the homeland security lessons of 9/11 and bring the Iraq war to a responsible end. Obama has properly rebuked Iran's nuclear aspirations and Russia's aggression, and he's promised a strong commitment to national defense. He seems determined not to let national security be an afterthought for his administration.
It would be a mistake to offer this endorsement without recognizing the nature of this moment in American history. The country is about to elect either its first African-American as president or its first woman as vice president. Both are long overdue, but Palin's shortcomings would likely overshadow the historic nature of her election. An Obama presidency would reaffirm for the country and the world the possibilities offered by a free, inclusive and democratic society. It would herald an important generational shift in American leadership and provide hope for a more unified nation.
Even after a bruising campaign by two strong candidates, Obama's optimistic message of unity endures. On Nov. 4, Americans will set a new course. In Barack Obama, they have a candidate who can inspire faith in better days to come.
St. Petersburg Times
...one candidate offers a clearer break with the past, the qualities to unite this country and the vision to lead it in a new direction. With enthusiasm, the Times recommends Barack Obama for president. Obama's inspiring message of hope and change resonates throughout America. It can be seen in the enormous numbers of new registered voters, the enthusiasm of younger citizens and the excitement among those engaged in the political process for the first time. The hunger for a new leader with fresh ideas has combined with the realization that old assumptions and Washington responses are no match for today's sobering new realities. This is an opportunity to turn to a leader from a new generation, someone who has the intellectual depth and inspirational qualities to confront the complicated issues at hand and create a shared vision for a brighter future for all Americans -- regardless of their financial or social status....
There are some hard realities. The economic crisis, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other factors not yet known may make many of the details in campaign policy papers irrelevant. Obama also rarely stands up to the leadership of his own party. For example, he is too willing to pander to old- school union opposition to free trade. He has to learn to say no to the Democrats who control Congress and the special interests that control them.