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Friday, October 19, 2012

Salt Lake City, Tampa Bay, Denver Papers Back Obama

We're doing weekly updates at The Nation on newspaper endorsements in the prez race but here's a flash: In something of a surprise, the Salt Lake Tribune in very Romney (and Mormon) friendly Utah just endorsed Obama.

They declare that they thought they knew Romney, from his background and work on Olympics but now are appalled by "his servile courtship of the tea party in order to win the nomination, and now as the party’s shape-shifting nominee. From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: 'Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?'"

Read the whole thing.  It's brutal. Though it should be noted: The paper did back Obama in 2008, after endorsing Bush in 2004.  And the other top paper in the state, the Deseret News, is owned by the Mormons.  And see my piece on why newspaper endorsements often do matter, at least a little.

Also just now another major paper, this time in a swing stage, backed Obama: The Tampa Bay Times:  "Obama has capably steered the nation through an incredibly difficult period at home and abroad, often with little help from Congress. The next four years will not be easy for whoever occupies the Oval Office, but Obama has been tested by harsh circumstance and proven himself worthy of a second term."

The Denver Post just backed Obama, as it did in 2008 (although it has endorsed Repubs often before that).  This, along with the Tampa Bay move,  balances a major endorsement in another swing state yesterday, the Orlando Sentinel, which backed Romney (after choosing Obama in 2008).  From the Denver paper:
As President Barack Obama campaigns for re-election, it would be a stretch to say we are bullish on the entirety of his first term. There have been notable accomplishments: rescuing the nation's auto industry, passing comprehensive (though contentious) health-care reform, and delivering justice to Osama bin Laden. But those accomplishments are juxtaposed against a sluggish economy and less impressive performances in tackling the federal debt and deficits, reducing unemployment and bolstering the housing market.

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