Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cleveland Plain Dealer Endorses Obama

Another newspaper - this time in the key state of Ohio - has endorsed Barack Obama for president over Mitt Romney.  One of the recurring themes that also figured in the Salt Lake City tribune's endorsement of Obama is Romney's constant changes of position which leave one wondering who is the man and what does he really believe?  Or more importantly, what would he actually do if elected.   Indeed, here's the telling language on this issue:

But which Romney would they elect? The rather liberal one who ran for the Senate in 1994? The pragmatic governor? The sharply conservative candidate of this year's GOP primaries? The reborn moderate of recent weeks? .  .  .  .  . Romney's frequent changes raise questions about his core principles and make his lack of policy details all the more troubling. They make you wonder if he would stand up to the more extreme elements in his own party . . . . 

But it is not just Romney's chameleon like behavior that caused the Plain Dealer to endorse Obama.  There is also the record of what Obama has actually accomplished - despite Republican obstructionism - and the lack of certainty to any of Romney's proposals.  Here are other highlights from the endorsement:

Today, we recommend President Obama's re-election. He has led the nation back from the brink of depression. Ohio in particular has benefited from his bold decision to revive the domestic auto industry. Because of his determination to fulfill a decades-old dream of Democrats, 30 million more Americans will soon have health insurance. His Race to the Top initiative seeded many of the education reforms embodied in Cleveland's Transformation Plan. He ended the war in Iraq and refocused the battle to disrupt al-Qaida and its terrorist allies. He ordered the risky attack inside Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden.
The nation needs to get more people back to work. It needs to get its financial house in order, reform its tax code and streamline -- though not gut -- regulation in order to reassure business and speed recovery. It needs to invest in infrastructure, education and job training. It needs to expand exports and engage the world.

Not only do we still believe this president can do those things, we think he can do it with policies most likely to lift Ohio and Ohioans. Obama's leadership has made a difference when it mattered most. His stimulus package helped avert an even worse economic collapse and initiated investments in education, manufacturing and green energy that should yet pay dividends. His commitment to a balanced path toward deficit reduction won't please the most zealous members of either party, but it makes sense for the nation.

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.  Obama has shown that he favors engagement over bluster, and practical solutions over easy bromides. That's what the country needs. 

Obama told the companies [GM and Chrysler] 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. Ohioans today are making cars in Lordstown and Toledo. They're making parts and steel for Ford, Honda and other automakers. They're back on the job.
That's leadership that deserves a chance to finish the job. Re-elect President Obama.
Again, I am mystified as to how anyone who is not motivated solely by racism, religious fanaticism, greed and aversion to taxes, and/or motivated by anti-gay and anti-minority bigotry can support Mitt Romney.

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