While I doubt that major newspaper endorsements have a huge impact on the voting decisions of ordinary people (likely because most people don’t read newspapers), Obama has picked up two unexpected and significant endorsements this week:
“We may one day look back on this presidential campaign in wonder. We may marvel that Obama’s critics called him an elitist, as if an Ivy League education were a source of embarrassment, and belittled his eloquence, as if a gift with words were suddenly a defect. In fact, Obama is educated and eloquent, sober and exciting, steady and mature. He represents the nation as it is, and as it aspires to be.” – L. A. Times (read full text)
“Obama is deeply grounded in the best aspirations of this country, and we need to return to those aspirations.” — Chicago Tribune (read full text)
Both of these major newspapers have a history of conservative leanings. In reading the full text of the endorsements, three reasons for picking Obama emerge: 1) Obama is a consensus builder who thinks and consults before he acts; 2) John McCain has abandoned his integrity in the quest for validation from the far right; and 3) the irresponsibility and obvious political pandering involved in the choice of Sarah Palin as running mate.
I’m highly skeptical of polling numbers, but all signs point to an Obama victory two weeks from now. I have a feeling that had McCain remained strong in the face the far right, we might be predicting a McCain victory on November 4. But as both the Times and Tribune comment, this is not the same John McCain that used to garner the respect of citizens and organizations across the political spectrum.