Chicago Tribune endorses first Democrat
CHICAGO – The Chicago Tribune endorsed Barack Obama for president, the first time in the newspaper’s history it has backed a Democrat.
“Many Americans say they’re uneasy about Obama. He’s pretty new to them. We can provide some assurance,” the editorial on the newspaper’s website said.
“We have known Obama since he entered politics a dozen years ago. We have watched him, worked with him, argued with him as he rose from an effective state senator to an inspiring U.S. senator to the Democratic Party’s nominee for president.”
“We have tremendous confidence in his intellectual rigor, his moral compass and his ability to make sound, thoughtful, careful decisions. He is ready,” the newspaper said.
Obama has built his political career in Chicago.
Under its past publishers, the Tribune has been a bastion of right-leaning views and generally favored Republicans.
The paper did endorse independent Horace Greeley in 1872, and Progressive Party candidate Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 — choices it said “were driven by outrage at inept and corrupt business and political leaders.”
“We see parallels today. The Republican Party, the party of limited government, has lost its way,” the editorial said.
On the candidacy of Republican John McCain, the newspaper said it liked him but found him “hard to figure” on tax policy in light of the federal budget deficit, and termed his proposal to buy up bad mortgages “misguided.”
But it said McCain’s worst decision was to choose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, calling her unprepared to assume the presidency.
The paper did criticize Obama for not paying more attention to the deficit, and questioned his tax and spending proposals.
Finally, the newspaper compared Obama’s aspirations for uniting the country to that of Abraham Lincoln, a Republican who cut his teeth in Illinois politics.
Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Young – U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama greets supporters at a campaign event in Roanoke, Virginia on Oct. 17, 2008.