When he was elected president in 2008, Barack Obama was untried and untested. Just four years out of the Illinois state Senate, he had not yet proved himself as either a manager or a leader. He had emerged from relative obscurity as the result of a single convention speech and was voted into office only a few years later on a tidal wave of hope, breezing past several opponents with far more experience and far clearer claims on the job._____
Today, Obama is a very different candidate. He has confronted two inherited wars and the deepest recession since the Great Depression. He brought America's misguided adventure in Iraq to an end and arrested the economic downturn (though he did not fully reverse it) with the 2009 fiscal stimulus and a high-risk strategy to save the U.S. automobile industry. He secured passage of a historic healthcare reform law — the most important social legislation since Medicare.
Just as important, 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 Charlotte Observer isn't enthralled with the "choices" from the two-headed neoliberal hydra.
Too bad there is no real second party in this country, no small thanks to this "Democratic" president:
On the economy, the choice between Obama and Romney is a choice between no plan and one that doesn’t add up. The president has offered no specific proposal for attacking the issue in his second term, instead pitching long-term ideas about education and tax incentives for domestic manufacturing jobs. His short-term solution? Keep waiting, America, things are getting better. If they are, it’s incremental at best, and too slow for those Americans barely hanging on to businesses, jobs and homes.
Romney’s plan could have promise but is incomplete. In addition to maintaining the Bush tax cuts for all Americans, Romney proposes an 20 percent marginal tax rate cut for all, along with repealing and replacing Dodd-Frank Act financial regulations. That strategy would create a climate friendly to growth, Romney says, and it’s true that Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush used the approach to help lift the U.S. economy from recessions early in their presidencies.
Oh, they have "plans," all right, but they aren't plans that help anybody but the parasitical class at the top of the economic heap.
Eugene Weekly endorsement:
It’s up to America’s women to march to the polls and loudly cast their votes to defeat Mitt Romney and his party. Although it fluctuates slightly, the “gender gap” is the widest margin of victory that pollsters consistently see for Obama. For good reason. The Republican attacks on women come from every perspective: social, sexual, economic, educational and, of course, judicial. Women really have no choice but to fight back at the ballot box, hopefully re-electing Barack Obama._____
An important Ohio endorsement comes in the form of the Akron Beacon Journal:
Four years ago, Barack Obama succeeded where Democrats long have struggled. On Election Day, he carried such states as Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia. His message resonated, that one of hope and change, of remaking the culture of Washington, the candidate of a new generation ready to apply what works to the country’s problems. And now? The president faces a struggle for re-election, Mitt Romney benefiting not just from the troubled economy but also from the grandiose promises of Obama the candidate._____
Washington wasn’t going to change. If anything, Republicans grasped the stakes: Continued wrangling and gridlock would reflect poorly on the president, his pledge proving empty. So disappointment burdens the president’s pursuit of a second term. Yet he shouldn’t be measured merely against his soaring words. What matters are his real accomplishments and the direction he proposes for the years ahead.
On both those counts, he has succeeded far more than his critics contend. We recommend the re-election of Barack Obama on Nov. 6.
Recall how dire things were when he arrived at the White House, the economy plunging downward, at a pace much worse than almost anyone thought, contracting 8.9 percent in the final quarter of 2008, and then another 6.5 percent the following three months. The job losses were staggering, the contraction the most severe since the Great Depression. The blows to housing, construction and finance made certain the recovery would be slow and halting, many coping with diminished assets and heavy debt, all of it setting back demand.
North Carolina's Asheville Citizen has endorsed the president for a second term:
There are dramatic differences between the Democratic Party of President Barack Obama and the Republican Party of challenger Mitt Romney. The Democrats believe government has a necessary role in addressing the problems facing our nation, while the Republicans seem to see government as a roadblock to be overcome._____
The GOP and Democrats disagree significantly on issues from health care, energy policy, women’s health, the regulation of the financial community, the role of government in American life and the role of America on the world stage.
It’s hard to know exactly how these differences apply to the presidential race because, despite having essentially run for president for six years, it’s still hard to get a handle on many of Romney’s positions. It is difficult to know whether a President Romney would be the progressive who governed Massachusetts or the partisan of the campaign trail.
Would we get the Romney who championed universal health insurance for his state or the one who opposes it for the nation? Would he be the governor who said a Massachusetts coal-burning power plant was killing people or the campaigner who said, “I like coal?”
The Santa Fe New Mexican endorses the president:
President Barack Obama has earned four more years.
He inherited an unholy mess — an economy teetering on the edge of a second Great Depression and two foreign wars top the list of disasters. Slowly, steadily and with his eye fixed firmly on the needs of the country, the president has worked hard every day to improve our collective good. It was President Obama who bailed out the auto industry, salvaging 1.1 million jobs and keeping manufacturing alive in this country. It was President Obama who made the gutsy call to invade a compound in Pakistan, tracking down and killing Osama bin Laden. It was President Obama who finally signed comprehensive health reform so that no American has to fear bankruptcy because of a medical catastrophe. More work remains for a second term.
Despite 31 months of consecutive job growth, too many Americans still need jobs. Despite ending the war in Iraq, the United States still must leave Afghanistan and repurpose our military strength. Despite passing the Affordable Care Act, we need a President Obama in office to ensure that citizens do not lose their dearly won access to health care. Despite progress on equal rights — passing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act ensuring equal pay for women, ending “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the military so that gay and lesbian troops can serve openly and announcing his support for equal marriage — more progress is needed.
And it is that word — progress — that we urge voters to keep in mind when casting their ballots. Voters are not simply choosing between two men — President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney — they are selecting two philosophies of governing and of life.