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Cleveland Plain Dealer Endorses Obama, Criticizes GOP Belligerence and Swagger

Last updated on February 8th, 2013 at 01:54 am

The largest newspaper in the swing state of Ohio, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, endorsed President Obama for a second term today, citing his policies as best for Ohio, noting that’s he’s been met with unbending resistance and belligerence from Republicans and sounding the alarm on etch-a-sketch Mitt Romney’s domestic and foreign policies.

They write:

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Much of what beset America during Obama’s first term lay outside his direct control. The bobsled slide into recession was in full motion when he took office. The economic calamity has been global; recovery, sporadic and weak. Obama’s attempts to reach across the aisle politically were met with unbending resistance, even belligerence…

Not impressed with Romney’s ever-changing domestic policies or his inability to reign in the extreme elements of his party (Ohio is very aware of Ryan et al’s obstruction to Speaker Boehner’s deficit and debt deals), it’s Romney’s blustering, swaggering foreign policy that raises even more alarms:

Romney’s tendency to bluster on foreign policy provides more cause for doubt. With tens of thousands of young Americans still in harm’s way in Afghanistan, the United States cannot afford to be drawn into new wars without clear national interests at stake or to sap its resources in further open-ended conflicts. The Benghazi killings reveal the risks of an “Arab Spring” in which terrorists have gained new weaponry and new freedom to operate. But these challenges require inventive diplomacy and international engagement, not slogans or swagger.

On the auto bailout, they praise Obama’s auto rescue plan and explain the differences between what Romney advocated for and what Obama did, saying Obama’s plan was gutsy as it was unpopular at the time – and it worked:

Public opinion opposed another bailout. Romney urged the companies to file for traditional bankruptcy — at a time when private-sector credit was frozen even for healthy firms.

Obama told the companies to restructure using the Bankruptcy Court and set conditions for government financing: GM’s chairman had to go. Excess plants and dealerships had to close. Chrysler had to be bought out by Fiat. Contracts had to be renegotiated… It was unpopular but gutsy. And it worked. That’s leadership that deserves a chance to finish the job. Re-elect President Obama.

Newspaper endorsements might not seem important in the larger context of an election, but they can have an important impact locally, where they are viewed as a trusted source of information. This is just one of many endorsements flooding in for the President this week, and they’ve all been thoughtful, important reads in the sense that they provide an overview of how newspaper editors, who follow politics closely, view the actions of our elected officials.

Editorial endorsements offer us a chance at the big picture, instead of the 24 hour cable news cycle race. For this reason alone, it’s worth noting how many of them mention the President’s calm, steady leadership, the obstructionism of the Republican Congress (specifically the House where Ryan resides), the unnerving changes of Mitt Romney’s positions on domestic issues and his damaging swagger on foreign policy.

Another swing state paper has endorsed Obama, and they did it by explaining the auto rescue in a way that debunks Romney’s talking points. This isn’t good news for the Romney campaign.

Read the entire editorial here.

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