President Obama, left, and Mitt Romney are seen campaigning the day for… (Chip Somodevilla, Emmanuel…)
Do endorsements for president still matter? Ed Morrissey of Hot Air and the Week recently wrote that “newspaper endorsements are at best meaningless anachronisms.” He argued that in today’s information age, “news consumers consider themselves more informed than their local editorial board, and their own perspective as more valuable, especially as they progress from formerly low-information voters to sophisticated followers of current events.”
It is true that it’s never been easier to gather information as it is now that it’s always just a click away -- and I know that there are people out there who agree with Morrissey. But I hardly think that makes endorsements obsolete. If anything, endorsements have never been more valuable. With so much information out there competing for our attention, I can’t think of anything more reassuring to voters than knowing that the local newspaper (or a trusted publication) has put in the time and effort and given serious consideration to its endorsements. And judging from the number of people who show up at my polling place with The Times’ endorsements in hand, or the many Facebook friends who’ve spent the last few weeks posting endorsements on their walls, I know I’m not alone. And for undecided voters, endorsements can go a long way toward helping them arrive at a decision. (Here's Times editorial board member Robert Greene discussing whether newspapers should make political endorsements on Monday's "Talk of the Nation.")
Here’s a sampling of endorsements made by publications, ranging from enthusiastic support for President Obama to strong encouragement for Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Detroit Free Press
Obama’s first term proved he can deliver at home under the worst imaginable circumstances, battling multiple crises that individually would have sunk lesser presidents; abroad, Obama has restored American credibility and influence that was frittered away by former President George W. Bush. With a refocus on job creation and long-term sustainability, his second four years could impress even more.
Los Angeles Times
Obama brought a certain levelheadedness to the White House that had been in short supply during the previous eight years. While his opponents assailed him as a socialist and a Muslim and repeatedly challenged the location of his birthplace in an effort to call into question his legitimacy as president, he showed himself to be an adult, less an ideologue than a pragmatist, more cautious than cocky. Despite Republicans' persistent obstructionism, he pushed for -- and enacted -- stronger safeguards against another Wall Street meltdown and abusive financial industry practices. He cut the cost of student loans, persuaded auto manufacturers to take an almost unimaginable leap in fuel efficiency by 2025 and offered a temporary reprieve from deportation to young immigrants brought into the country illegally by their parents. He ended the morally bankrupt "don't ask, don't tell" policy that had institutionalized discrimination against gays in the military.
The nation has been well served by President Obama's steady leadership. He deserves a second term.
New York Times
President Obama has shown a firm commitment to using government to help foster growth. He has formed sensible budget policies that are not dedicated to protecting the powerful, and has worked to save the social safety net to protect the powerless. Mr. Obama has impressive achievements despite the implacable wall of refusal erected by Congressional Republicans so intent on stopping him that they risked pushing the nation into depression, held its credit rating hostage, and hobbled economic recovery. [...]
[W]e enthusiastically endorse President Barack Obama for a second term, and express the hope that his victory will be accompanied by a new Congress willing to work for policies that Americans need.
Would re-electing Obama bring to Washington, at last, the changed tone he promised four years ago? Barring a reversal that virtually no one expects, Obama again would face strident opposition to his tax priorities from a Republican House.
There is the prospect, though, that both parties would step back from the ugly rancor of national politics and put America -- Americans -- first. Republicans could no longer focus on the defeat of Barack Obama -- he can’t run for a third term. [...]
Bolstered by his steadiness in office, cognizant of the vast unfinished business before him, we endorse the re-election of Barack Obama.