Swing State Papers Flock to Obama, Deem Romney Unworthy of Presidency

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Swing state papers in Colorado, Ohio, North Carolina, and Arizona (yes, Arizona is turning out to be a 2012 surprise of a swing state) endorsed President Obama this weekend. They write that Romney has no core conviction other than thinking he should be president, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Akron Beacon Journal writes that Romney’s comments about the 47% render him unworthy of the presidency, “He either was telling the crowd what he thought it wanted to hear, or he believes what he said. Either way, the words aren’t worthy of a president.”

The swing state Colorado Durango Herald endorsed Obama for a second term, writing that Romney is not even a viable alternative and his mysterious platform consists of nothing more than nostalgia for the 1950s. Most damaging, and a sentiment shared by many editorials endorsing Obama, they write that Romney has no core conviction other than that he should be president:

The question before presidential voters is simple: Who will better serve this country for the next four years, Mitt Romney or Barack Obama? When couched in straightforward terms, the answer is clear: President Obama should be re-elected.

Unfortunately, the Republican Party has offered no credible alternative. Its platform consists of little more than nostalgia for the 1950s, and its presidential candidate largely remains a mystery. Romney has publicly demonstrated no core convictions beyond his obvious belief that he should be president. He apparently thinks that simply not being Obama is qualification enough. It is not.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Akron Beacon Journal of swing state Ohio endorses Obama for a second term recalling how “dire” things were when Obama took office in 2009:

Recall how dire things were when he arrived at the White House, the economy plunging downward, at a pace much worse than almost anyone thought, contracting 8.9 percent in the final quarter of 2008, and then another 6.5 percent the following three months. The job losses were staggering, the contraction the most severe since the Great Depression. The blows to housing, construction and finance made certain the recovery would be slow and halting, many coping with diminished assets and heavy debt, all of it setting back demand.

They note that Obama and the Democrats in Congress did everything they could to save the economy within the confines of the “political landscape” — a dig at Congressional Republicans who obstructed Obama’s efforts to do even more.

In response, the Obama White House and a Democratic Congress acted as aggressively as the political landscape would allow. They enacted a stimulus package that prevented something much worse and set the economy on a path of growth. They rescued the auto industry. They strengthened regulation of Wall Street.

They also point out what few have mentioned about the Obama Stimulus, “It looked forward via the first substantial commitment to research and development of green technology…” They praise Obama for elevating our image overseas by working with other nations, and cite his sanctions on Iran as an effective example of Obama working with other nations.

Of all of the thoughtful editorials out there, this one got to something too often ignored — how we use government, what its purpose is. They write that Obama has used government to bolster the economy, invest in education, innovation and more.

What is telling about a presidency is its tilt, its direction, spirit and priorities. Thus, to those who argue the president lacks a plan for a second term: Look at the foundation that has been set. He has used the levers of government to bolster the economy, investing in education, innovation and health care, understanding the essential role of the public sector in competitiveness. Those tasks are not complete. They would continue.

They call out Romney for his far right positioning and failure to acknowledge the necessity of raising revenue in his promise to address the debt. They say “Romney would be more credible as a candidate if on one occasion he had told the far right something it did not want to hear.” And they find Romney’s job plan to be a vague rehash in part of things the President is already doing. They also call Romney out for his comments about the 47%, writing that these comments alone make him unworthy to be President. “He either was telling the crowd what he thought it wanted to hear, or he believes what he said. Either way, the words aren’t worthy of a president.”

The Asheville Citizen-Times of North Carolina (Asheville is a very liberal part of NC) endorses Obama for a second term as President, citing Romney’s ever changing positions. With Obama, they write, we know what we are getting and to continue his progress, they endorse him for re-elction:

It’s hard to know exactly how these differences apply to the presidential race because, despite having essentially run for president for six years, it’s still hard to get a handle on many of Romney’s positions. It is difficult to know whether a President Romney would be the progressive who governed Massachusetts or the partisan of the campaign trail.

With Obama, we know what we are getting. He has consistently embraced the concept of community. Obama believes we are not just a bunch of individuals but a nation, and that we must work together to address the challenges we face.

We feel the best way to continue that progress to re-elect President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on Nov. 6.

In the surprising 2012 swing state of Arizona, the Arizona Daily Star endorsed Obama for a second term, writing, “America needs a leader with a strong moral compass who is steadfast but not rigid – a leader whose views evolve within a consistent and inclusive world view.” They note the progress made in Arizona, and that this is not the time to change course, and they point to the need for a unified agenda in Congress in a subtle reminder to vote downticket if you want faster results:

Changing course would undercut that progress and create further uncertainty – two things we cannot afford. We can and must move ahead. And no matter who we elect to the White House, we’ll still have a divided Congress. Anything possible and good must first come through consensus-building leadership in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. No president will be successful without one unified American agenda.

They sum up their endorsement for Obama noting his principled leadership:

Principled leadership, consensus and time are required. Obama’s accomplishments and positions on health care, higher education, and economic and social issues continue to make him the best choice for the interests at home in Southern Arizona and in our country.

This is why the Arizona Daily Star endorses Barack Obama for a second term.

Every editorial covered so far has been thoughtful and interesting in terms of how the editors see the President’s policies impacting their local area. But most interesting to me was the Akron Beacon Journal’s deep analysis of how a leader uses government. As the nation was focused on avoiding another Great Depression, few noticed how Obama’s stimulus invested in our nation. Those choices spoke volumes about his vision for this country – green energy, better education, investment in scientific research, infrastructure and manufacturing jobs.

Perhaps it doesn’t get talked about often because we focus on the minutiae, lurching from one Republican manufactured crisis to another, but if you stand back from this Presidency, you can see a vision as big as FDR’s in terms of how we use government. If you believe that government was designed to stand for the common good, your choice is clear.

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