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From the Archives: The Comically Naive Orlando Sentinel ’08 Obama Endorsement


So, after not being exactly thrilled with the Sentinel’s endorsement of Romney in my last post, I read their endorsement of Obama from 2008. Of note, they endorsed Hillary in the primary. Here are some choice excerpts.

At least in 2008, the editors realized we were at war:

The United States is fighting two wars. The financial system is in crisis. The terrorists behind the worst-ever attack on U.S. soil are regaining strength. The cost of propping up the economy will propel the federal budget deficit from the stratosphere into deep space.

Americans badly need a leader who can navigate the nation through these perils.

And as their 2012 editorial makes clear, President Obama has not done so. They continue with an attack on Sarah Palin:

But Mr. McCain was at his most impetuous in choosing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. Ms. Palin is charismatic and gives a good speech. When she’s off script, however, she often doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

On the campaign trail, she has routinely mangled the truth and launched over-the-top attacks, such as Mr. Obama “palling around with terrorists.” Her divisive style also would make her ill-suited to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. Mr. McCain either didn’t do his homework before picking her or decided it was more important to kowtow to his party’s base. Neither option speaks well of him.

The VP was important in 2008, not so much with Paul Ryan who, although more polished, is even more of a nod to the base of the GOP than Palin. More on VP choices from ‘08:

Mr. Obama has wisely compensated for his relative inexperience by reaching out to experts, from billionaire investor Warren Buffett and former treasury secretaries for advice on economic policy to ex-national security advisers on foreign policy. He chose as his running mate Joe Biden, the veteran U.S. senator from Delaware and Foreign Relations Committee chairman. The contrast with Mr. McCain’s choice for vice president could not be more striking.

Ah, yes. Joe Biden — the punchline of politics. And here’s where the editors go off the rails and switch positions entirely from 2008:

The Illinois senator has a better plan than the Arizona senator for expanding health-care coverage. Mr. Obama would focus on the problem — uninsured Americans — while strengthening the current system of employer-based care. Mr. McCain would unravel that system.

Mr. Obama also would be more aggressive in curbing America’s dirty and dangerous addiction to petroleum by mounting an ambitious campaign to develop renewable energy. Mr. McCain says he favors alternatives to oil, but his “drill, baby, drill” fixation could prolong the nation’s habit.

In summary, “hey, we really like the idea of Obamacare and green energy, but now we’re endorsing the guy who has vowed to repeal Obamacare and loves coal.”

And I love this part — a nod to Citibank’s Robert Rubin. Haven’t heard his name come up in a positive light for some time. I guess the editors at the time missed the big banks and their role in Florida’s housing implosion:

Mr. Obama would add only slightly less to the deficit through his spending proposals than Mr. McCain would through the tax cuts he’s promising. If the Illinois senator shows the same knack for staying on top of events as president that he has demonstrated in his campaign, he will pare back his plans to meet the imperative of shrinking the federal deficit. It’s a good sign that he has sought the advice of former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, who persuaded President Clinton to balance the budget.

And the endorsement ends where it begins:

He can tie his plan for withdrawing troops from Iraq more closely to conditions there instead of a rigid timetable.

In 2008, the war was important, but in 2012, it’s not even worth a mention. Disgusting.

I think the Sentinel should go back and title their 2012 endorsement of Romney, “We’ve abandoned every major reason we liked Barack Obama in 2008, so you should trust us now.”


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