LA Times Endorses Obama: First Pres. Endorsement Ever for Democrat

In its first presidential endorsement since 1972 and the first ever for a Democratic presidential candidate, the LA Times has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama. The Times says the endorsement is "without hesitation." Like the Washington Post endorsement, McCain's Hail Mary pass of choosing Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate was key, although not the only factor:

Indeed, the presidential campaign has rendered McCain nearly unrecognizable. His selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate was, as a short-term political tactic, brilliant. It was also irresponsible, as Palin is the most unqualified vice presidential nominee of a major party in living memory. The decision calls into question just what kind of thinking -- if that's the appropriate word -- would drive the White House in a McCain presidency. Fortunately, the public has shown more discernment, and the early enthusiasm for Palin has given way to national ridicule of her candidacy and McCain's judgment. (emphasis supplied.)

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    Good news. How many endorsements does (5.00 / 0) (#2)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 02:03:42 PM EST
    that make? Speaking of the devil, since Palin is now the leader of the Republican party, right-wing discussion is starting to look ahead to 2012.  An Obama v. Palin debate could draw a record number of viewers, eh?

    she would never make it out of the primary (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 02:24:49 PM EST
    obscurity is in her future....

    Noonan on Palin... (5.00 / 0) (#5)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 02:42:38 PM EST
    But we have seen Mrs. Palin on the national stage for seven weeks now, and there is little sign that she has the tools, the equipment, the knowledge or the philosophical grounding one hopes for, and expects, in a holder of high office. She is a person of great ambition, but the question remains: What is the purpose of the ambition? She wants to rise, but what for? For seven weeks I've listened to her, trying to understand if she is Bushian or Reaganite--a spender, to speak briefly, whose political decisions seem untethered to a political philosophy, and whose foreign policy is shaped by a certain emotionalism, or a conservative whose principles are rooted in philosophy, and whose foreign policy leans more toward what might be called romantic realism, and that is speak truth, know America, be America, move diplomatically, respect public opinion, and move within an awareness and appreciation of reality.

    But it's unclear whether she is Bushian or Reaganite. She doesn't think aloud. She just . . . says things.

    Her supporters accuse her critics of snobbery: Maybe she's not a big "egghead" but she has brilliant instincts and inner toughness. But what instincts? "I'm Joe Six-Pack"? She does not speak seriously but attempts to excite sensation--"palling around with terrorists." If the Ayers case is a serious issue, treat it seriously. She is not as thoughtful or persuasive as Joe the Plumber, who in an extended cable interview Thursday made a better case for the Republican ticket than the Republican ticket has made. In the past two weeks she has spent her time throwing out tinny lines to crowds she doesn't, really, understand. This is not a leader, this is a follower, and she follows what she imagines is the base, which is in fact a vast and broken-hearted thing whose pain she cannot, actually, imagine. She could reinspire and reinspirit; she chooses merely to excite. She doesn't seem to understand the implications of her own thoughts.

    No news conferences? Interviews now only with friendly journalists? You can't be president or vice president and govern in that style, as a sequestered figure. This has been Mr. Bush's style the past few years, and see where it got us. You must address America in its entirety, not as a sliver or a series of slivers but as a full and whole entity, a great nation trying to hold together. When you don't, when you play only to your little piece, you contribute to its fracturing.

    In the end the Palin candidacy is a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics. It's no good, not for conservatism and not for the country. And yes, it is a mark against John McCain, against his judgment and idealism.


    Pretty damning. . . (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 03:02:28 PM EST
    She is not as thoughtful or persuasive as Joe the Plumber

    Give it up, Sarah!


    peggy's class issues (none / 0) (#6)
    by sancho on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 02:45:27 PM EST
    are showing. david brooks has them too with palin. it's a delight to see the republicans fighting with each over palin. what a gift. peggy is terrified palin might be the future--as rove and kristol sometimes want to suggest.

    Ugh, Noonan. (5.00 / 0) (#8)
    by Cream City on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 02:50:18 PM EST
    You're correct on that.  People still listen to her?

    sure I do (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 02:58:34 PM EST
    I like to read her and compare, like this:

    "Most candidates lose over things, not over their essential nature. But that is what happened here. For all her accomplishments and success, it was her sketchy character that in the end did her in. (on HRC)

    "Mrs. Clinton would have been a disaster as president."

    "We will hear a lot of tasteful tributes this weekend to Hillary Clinton's grit and fortitude. The Washington-based media may go a little over the top, but only out of relief. They know her well and recoil at what she stands for. They also know they don't like her, so to balance it out they'll gush."

    And she says this about Palin:

    "Noonan states in her column, which carries the subhead "Joe Biden was no match for `Joe Six-Pack,'" that Palin "killed. She had him at `Nice to meet you. Hey, can I call you Joe?' She was the star. He was the second male lead, the good-natured best friend of the leading man."

    Palin's style was "classic `talk over the heads of the media straight to the people,' and it is a long time since I've seen it done so well," Noonan opines."

    So yes she is relevant inasmuch as she is a party hack and now that the ship is sinking, she is trying to save some moral authority over her party.  


    Noonan is hardly the one (5.00 / 0) (#10)
    by Cream City on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 03:02:07 PM EST
    to talk about others' "sketchy character," nor the one to save moral authority, as she has none.  Ugh, again.

    yep (5.00 / 0) (#13)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 03:04:02 PM EST
    and Sarah Palin is "excitin"  

    She does not deserve time in the WSJ oped pages, even if it is "opinion", it is merely political hatched


    Like their attitude towards Huckabee. (none / 0) (#17)
    by ThatOneVoter on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 03:32:29 PM EST
    Palin is now the leader of the Republican party (none / 0) (#4)
    by Pepe on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 02:25:53 PM EST
    of the Republican party?

    Where on earth did you come up with that?


    Intriguing Question, Though (5.00 / 0) (#15)
    by daring grace on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 03:15:29 PM EST
    If McCain loses, who IS the 'leader of the Republican Party'?

    I guess it depends, in part, on who's left standing from the Senate and House Races and who grabs it fastest...Mitt? Surely not Newt...


    When Obama wins (none / 0) (#19)
    by Pepe on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 03:53:11 PM EST
    I'm not even sure who will be the leader of the Democrats. We have so any factions in the party and Obama does not really represent any of them. For instance there are a lot of old guard liberals as committee chairman. Obama is no liberal and the chairman are not going to give up their power. Obama is going to (hopefully) have to lean their way before they lean his.

    But then we have the Blue Dogs who imo Obama is closer to and they can vote down the liberal committee chairmans bills.  Beyond the chairmen and rank and file conservatives who will emerge as a voice and leader and blaze a trail in the two houses is anyone guess. I'd say Clinton has a good shot in the Senate because you can't keep brains, talent, and tenacity down.

    On the House side Pelosi has shown she is no real leader so who emerges, if anyone, is up in the air for me.

    In the end we will have great fractures within the Party and with Obama wooing the Republicans almost more than the Democrats he will make those fractures worse.

    My biggest fear is that Obama's centristism combined with the Blue Dogs and Republicans will override  the Liberal wing of the party which is one of the big reasons I never liked Obama because of exactly that coalition.


    More Intriguing About Repubs Though (none / 0) (#21)
    by daring grace on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 04:52:17 PM EST
    As you mention, whether Obama wins or not there are plenty of potential leaders ready (and amply able) to (wo)man the helm.

    Republicans and conservatives look more and more as if they've run out of gas (appropriate metaphor in these times). I'm sure someone will step up to fill the void. I just wonder what the roster of possibilities will look like.

    I envy you your concern about the factions in the Dem party slugging it out in an Obama administration. I'm still focused on my anxiety that we get there first.


    I'd say she's the most popular (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by TomStewart on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 03:38:30 PM EST
    candidate the repubs have at the moment. Look at the rallies she has has, are they really about McCain/Palin, or are they just about Palin? She outdraws McCain only events every time, and speaks to and encourages a base angry at the coming loss of power, playing the repub class warfare manta to the hilt. I don't think she's the leader, but if she pays her cards right, she could be.

    Well we are talking about a 'Leader'. (none / 0) (#20)
    by Pepe on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 04:01:42 PM EST
    Palin may be popular with some, a curiosity with others, and a saint to the No Choice crowd, all combined which would draw big crowds, but she is also a scatterbrain which means she will never be a leader. The Republicans would be the laughing stock of the country to follow her.

    Besides the Republicans may have agreed to nominate a woman as second on the ticket for political purposes but those misogamists will never follow a woman as the leader of the party. No way, no how.


    Which voters would he bring (none / 0) (#7)
    by Cream City on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 02:49:09 PM EST
    to Obama who aren't already there?  And for some voters, there is the problem of Powell's tarnished reputation, one of Bush's -- and Powell's -- worst accomplishments.

    C'mon! (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 03:03:01 PM EST
    Powell could really bring out African Americans for Obama!

    Why would anyone believe anything (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 08:08:59 PM EST
    Powell says at this point?

    I'm guessing more indies and Repubs (5.00 / 0) (#14)
    by lilburro on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 03:11:01 PM EST
    in the mysterious lizard brain of the American electorate, I think that Powell is still not quite a fallen character.  I mean, hey, he regrets the UN speech.  Counts for something...probably more than a newspaper endorsement.

    Colin Powell (5.00 / 0) (#16)
    by Steve M on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 03:20:10 PM EST
    is more than "not quite fallen," he consistently remains the most popular political figure in America.  Last year his numbers were 77% favorable and only 20% unfavorable.  Find me anyone else with those numbers.

    I think L.A. Times (none / 0) (#22)
    by andrys on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 07:58:18 PM EST
    has made the most compelling argument of the endorsements so far. Very well thought out and written.  Not as 'practical' as the others.