One of the largest and most influential newspapers in Central Florida has abandoned its 2008 support for Barack Obama and has announced its endorsement of Mitt Romney for president. From the Orlando Sentinel's powerful editorial:
Economic growth, three years into the recovery, is anemic. Family incomes are down, poverty is up. Obama's Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, highlighted these and other hard truths in this week's second debate. Even the September jobless numbers deserve an asterisk, because more than 4 million Americans have given up looking for work since January 2009. And while the nation's economy is still sputtering nearly four years after Obama took office, the federal government is more than $5 trillion deeper in debt. It just racked up its fourth straight 13-figure shortfall.
We have little confidence that Obama would be more successful managing the economy and the budget in the next four years. For that reason, though we endorsed him in 2008, we are recommending Romney in this race. Obama's defenders would argue that he inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression, and would have made more progress if not for obstruction from Republicans in Congress. But Democrats held strong majorities in the House and Senate during his first two years. Other presidents have succeeded even with the other party controlling Capitol Hill. Democrat Bill Clinton presided over an economic boom and balanced the budget working with Republicans. Leaders find a way.
The Sentinel isn't alone. The New York Observer surprised many of its readers with a Romney nod last week, as did The Tennesseean, a perennially liberal outlet. That paper's editors picked Obama four years ago, but are changing their tune in 2012:
President Obama’s steps to get spending under control and reduce the debt are too tentative, and again hark back to his inability to possess the leadership to break the partisan gridlock in Congress ... Should President Obama, as some suggested, have devoted his early political capital to jobs and debt reduction and pursuing Wall Street criminals, instead of health reform? Time will tell. But it’s clear whatever shaky bridges were burned in the push for health reform only emboldened Republicans to oppose his subsequent economic proposals. That has rendered much of his presidency ineffective. Barack Obama was elected in 2008 with a call for hope and change. Perhaps the change he spoke of could only come with the help of Mitt Romney.
Tennessee is not a battleground state, but early signs point to a major Romney blowout there on November 6. Finally, here's a portion of a new Romney endorsement from Barack Obama's hometown Jewish newspaper:
With his executive experience, belief in the enervating potential of the private sector, proven ability to deal with opposing views, positive outlook and quiet but admirable religious and charitable persona, Mitt Romney is the candidate who can best guide our country in the years ahead. We like Mr. Romney- and strongly endorse his candidacy for president- because of his moderate, small-government views We like Mr. Romney because he is able to travel to a hot-bed area like Israel and- openly, unapologetically, and accurately- commend the Jewish state for its achievements, while frankly acknowledging that it is Palestinian recalcitrance which has denied peace to the area. We like Mr. Romney because he understands the need to create jobs by providing the right environment for the private sector to do so.
As for the New York Times, don't hold your breath.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography