Florida Newspapers Endorse candidates

You know, it's the spanish language Herald [El Nuevo Herald] which carries more weight in Miami I'd say, as most English speakers read both and they also read national papers. Meanwhile those that speak Spanish get their news primarily from El Nuevo Herald.

But in the I-4 Corridor, it's the St. Petersburg times that matters most, along with the Orlando Sun Sentinel.

Still, the good news is that The Miami Herald has come out and endorsed Barack Obama.

When he began his campaign in February of 2007, Sen. Obama was viewed as an upstart. He built his candidacy one victory at a time, aided by an excellent campaign staff and fueled by an impressive ability to raise funds on the Internet. He displayed inspiring eloquence and a sure grasp of detail on issues. Voters of all races and ages were drawn to his promise to discard the culture wars and seek pragmatic solutions for problems instead of relying on ideology and worn-out slogans.

And apparently they are as tired of the last 8 years as the rest of us.

Much has been made of Sen. Obama's relative inexperience, particularly in foreign policy. His résumé is thin, but he surrounds himself with experienced advisors -- as evidenced in his choice of Sen. Joe Biden to be vice president -- and with people who offer differing points of view. His style is to build consensus and seek workable, pragmatic solutions -- a refreshing change from the last eight years.

Because of the current administration's incompetence, arrogance -- or both -- American prestige abroad has never been as low. The effusive response from audiences during Sen. Obama's recent tour of Europe suggests he could help restore our lost influence. Clearly, traditional U.S. allies are more than ready to work with an American president who replaces unilateral policies and preemptive wars with vigorous diplomacy on behalf of common interests.

The end of the endorsement:

Indeed, the way the two candidates responded to the economic meltdown offers a lesson in contrasting styles of leadership. Both have put forth a series of worthwhile policy options, but where Sen. Obama was calm, Sen. McCain was frantic. He first put his campaign ''on hold'' and suggested he would cancel the first debate, and then suddenly decided to take part even as the first bailout deal cratered. He said the fundamentals of the economy were strong, then a few days later vowed to ''name the names'' of those responsible for the financial crisis.

In other elections, voters have complained of having to make a choice between two bad candidates. That is not the case this time. The nation is fortunate to have good candidates and a clear choice. Sen. Obama represents the best chance for America to make a clean break with the culture wars and failed policies of the past, and begin to restore the hope and promise of America as the world's greatest democracy.

Feel free to read the full endorsement from the Miami Herald.

The Orlando Sentinel meanwhile, decides to go the dramatic but powerful way in their endorsement.

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.

As the primary season began, the candidate who seemed best qualified to be that leader was Republican John McCain. But Mr. McCain then was a different candidate from the one before us now. He has abandoned positions we admired. He has reacted inconsistently, even haphazardly, to events. In making the most important decision of his campaign, he showed shockingly poor judgment.

In contrast to Mr. McCain, Democrat Barack Obama has exceeded our expectations during this campaign. He has demonstrated sound judgment and grace under pressure. Because we are now more confident in his ability to steer America through the rough waters ahead, the Orlando Sentinel is endorsing Barack Obama for president.

They continue to go on, as to how the campaign has changed McCain (whom they endorsed in the primary) and Obama.

We favored Hillary Clinton over Mr. Obama in Florida's Democratic primary. We saw him as untested in his three years representing Illinois in the U.S. Senate, and lacking the accomplishments and policy expertise of the former first lady.

Under months of unrelenting scrutiny and withering political attacks since then, the Democratic nominee has proved to be an unflappable and thoughtful leader. He has displayed a remarkable command of issues, both domestic and foreign. It's hard to imagine a quicker study.

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.

But with all the good comes some bad.

There is reason to be wary of any Democrat in the White House when the party looks likely to pad its majorities in both chambers in Congress. If Mr. Obama wants to fulfill his promise as a leader who rises above a partisan agenda, he will need to strike a moderate course. He can signal a move toward the center by giving up on his bad idea of trying to renegotiate trade agreements that have benefited the economy. He can withdraw his support for a proposal to do away with secret-ballot elections to form unions -- that's unfair to workers and businesses alike. He can tie his plan for withdrawing troops from Iraq more closely to conditions there instead of a rigid timetable.

But any reservations we have about Mr. Obama are outweighed by our doubts about Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin.

However the Tampa Tribune continues the battle for the I-4 Corridor and in typical fashion splits the I-4's newspaper recs.

The direction of the nation is at stake in this election.

Hard economic times, a disappointing Republican administration and the seductive promises of a master orator are pushing America toward a European-style social democracy.

If you don't want that to happen, vote for Republican Sen. John McCain.

And they go on to buy into every GOP talking point known to man.

Profitable small businesses would be hardest hit. Obama even has the audacity to promise a tax break for businesses that create jobs, while simultaneously increasing taxes that would force some businesses to cut payrolls.

Last year, Obama had the most liberal voting record in the Senate. If elected, he would appoint activist judges capable of finding liberal surprises in the Constitution. He would push for a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. He would agree to new barriers to trade, which would raise consumer prices.

They conclude by using a terrible metaphor that settles for mediocrity over hope.

Obama's vision of hope shines like a rainbow, appealing but just out of reach. McCain's call to freedom and responsibility is less exciting, but you know it works.

The Tribune encourages voters to vote what they believe, not what they wish were true. The nation needs a stable leader in these unpredictable times.

For president, the Tribune endorses Sen. John McCain.

I haven't found anything by the St. Petersburg times (also an I-4 corridor paper).

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