Monday, November 03, 2008

'The Economist' endorses Barak Obama - he's dormgrandpop's choice too

The Economist magazine endorses Barak Obama - he’s my choice too.
If one reads only a single news publication each week, I believe The Economist should be the one. Its principal editorial offices are in London, however its reach is worldwide. Its quality coverage of economic, business, science and technology news surpasses that of competing weekly news magazines by a wide margin. Its political coverage is nuanced, balanced and written in elegant prose. Its cartoons, especially its cover cartoons, are the best in the business. Though it is printed in the UK, its larger audience must be US since US focused articles almost always come first. Its political and economic positions tend to be more conservative than my own, however I always read them with care and sometimes change my opinion.

The Economist does not shrink from no-nonsense editorial judgements. Its 2004 pre-presidential issue was titled, ‘The incompetent or the incoherent.’ It noted that “this years battle has been between two deeply flawed men: George Bush who has been a radical, transforming president but who has never seemed truly up to the job, let alone his ambitions for it and John Kerry who often seems to have made up his mind conclusively about something only once, and that was 30 years ago.” Having endorsed George Bush in 2000, the Economist switched to Kerry, in 2004, but grudgingly. In 1992 it endorsed democrat Bill Clinton, in 1996 republican Bob dole. In 1988 it made no endorsement.

In the 2008 pre-election number, The Economist’s editorial appraisal of the Bush administration is much harsher than in 2004; surprisingly harsh for a publication that weighs its words carefully. The editorialists write: “A spell in opposition seemed apt punishment for the incompetence, cronyism and extremism of the Bush presidency. Conservative America also needs to recover its vim. Somehow, Ronald Reagan’s party of western individualism and limited government has ended up not just increasing the size of the state but turning it into a tool of southern fried moralism.

About Senator McCain, the editorialists write: ‘If only the real John McCain had been running? [but] in the past six months he has too often seemed the victim of political sorcery; his good features magically inverted, his bad ones exaggerated. ...Had he become president in 2000,” they conclude, the world might have had fewer problems. But this time it is beset by problems and Mr. McCain has not proved that he knows how to deal with them.

The endorsement of Obama is titled “he has earned it.” The editorialists write, “...this cannot be another election where the choice is based mainly on fear. In terms of painting a brighter future for America and the world, Mr. Obama has produced the more compelling and detailed portrait. He has campaigned with more style, intelligence and discipline than his opponent. Weather he can fulfill his immense potential remains to be seen. But Mr. Obama deserves the presidency.”

Had John McCain been the Republican nominee in 2000 he would have had my vote and, I believe, won convincingly. Tragically his ‘straight talk’ candidacy was derailed by scurrilous primarily campaign tactics in South Carolina, reputedly orchestrated by George’ W. Bush’s political guru, Carl Rove. That was Senator McCain’s moment. I believe this campaign has demonstrated that the moment for this decent, courageous American to be president has passed. If Obama does win, perhaps he will emulate Matt Santos, the Obama-like character in the TV series, The West Wing, by finding a place for Senator McCain in his new administration.

My home is in Virginia, as regular dormgrandpop readers will know. I voted by absentee ballot several days ago. My choice was Barak Obama.

Check out all the details of the pre-election issue - and much more - at And if you have not yet done so, be sure to vote tomorrow.

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Blogger LFC said...

I didn't know The Economist had endorsed Obama, but it's not too surprising, considering some of the other endorsements he got from conservatives.
As for Obama finding a place for McCain in the Obama administration, somehow I doubt it.
I respect McCain and admire some things about him, but I would not have voted for him in 2000 had he been the nominee. However, a McCain admin. , had there been one, probably would have been better than the Bush years have been. The Economist is spot on re cronyism and incompetence, among other things. Let's hope for a turnaround, slowly but steadily, starting in January.

11:27 PM  

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