October 17th, 2008
07:43 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama wins backing from three major newspapers

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/17/art.papers.cnn.jpg caption="Three major papers endorsed Obama."](CNN) - Barack Obama scored three high-profile newspaper endorsements Friday, including two from papers that have never endorsed a Democratic presidential candidate before.

The Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and The Washington Post all praised Obama's handling of the grueling presidential campaign and the historical nature of his candidacy as the first African American to be the nominee for a major political party. It's the first time either the Times or the Tribune, Obama's historically conservative hometown newspaper, has endorsed a Democrat for the White House.

"The excitement of Obama's early campaign was amplified by that newness," wrote the Times, which hasn't endorsed a presidential candidate since 1972. "But as the presidential race draws to its conclusion, it is Obama's character and temperament that come to the fore. It is his steadiness. His maturity. These are qualities American leadership has sorely lacked for close to a decade."

"We have tremendous confidence in his intellectual rigor, his moral compass and his ability to make sound, thoughtful, careful decisions. He is ready," wrote the Tribune, originally led by founding members of the Republican Party. "The change that Obama talks about so much is not simply a change in this policy or that one. It is not fundamentally about lobbyists or Washington insiders. Obama envisions a change in the way we deal with one another in politics and government.

"Mr. Obama is a man of supple intelligence, with a nuanced grasp of complex issues and evident skill at conciliation and consensus-building," The post, which has a history of endorsing Democrats said.

With 18 days remaining before Election Day, more newspaper are expected to weigh in on the presidential race.

But it remains unclear if newspaper endorsements translates into a White House win. According to the newspaper trade magazine Editor and Publisher, John Kerry's losing 2004 presidential bid was endorsed by 211 newspapers while President Bush's successful campaign had the backing of 197. However, the president did win the backing of more key newspapers in the crucial presidential battlegrounds that propelled him to victory.

It is likely then that the endorsements of local papers in key states such as Missouri, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Colorado will have a greater impact than those of the Times, Post, and Tribune.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. Charles

    That is great news for Barack/Joe unfortunately John McCain’s audience hates to read and acknowledge facts.

    I hope CNN post this

    October 17, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  2. Mike

    Yes, you read that correctly...the Tribune, "originally led by the founding members of the Republican Party" just backed Obama!

    A man for the red AND blue states, Republicans AND Democrats.

    Obama 08

    October 17, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  3. Cynthia - Arkansas

    I don't see how any serious person could possibly back McCain. His erratic behavior is becoming more and more apparent. We need true leadership in this country, the stakes are too high. McCain and Palin have made a mockery of this election. There has always been truths stretched, but these two tell just bald faced lies with a straight face. That is really scarry to me. We have had this same approach for 8 years. Say anything and hope people don't bether to find out the truth. The robocalls that the McCain/Palin ticket have put out insinuating that Obama is a terrorist is the lowest form of politics and is just downright disgusting. OBAMA IS NOT A TERRORIST. HE IS A DECENT AND HONORABLE MAN! I wish I could say the same for McCain. How stupid do they think the American people are?

    October 17, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  4. New Day

    Do they still have newspapers??? hmmmmm isn't that odd? Seriously speaking, though, its nice to be endorsed but meaningless. Now, if Obama were to be endorsed by a retired war hero and former secretary of state... hehehehe Can't wait to see "Meet the Press!"

    October 17, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  5. kentucky

    This is great news from three great news papers. Is it true that the National Enquirer is going to endorse McCain and Palin for there tireless efforts to mislead and lie to the public while ignoring their own blunders and dirty laundry?

    October 17, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  6. The Lady

    Obama/Biden 08 all the way.

    October 17, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  7. lynnhaley

    I can just hear it now from the conservative republican base..."The only reason that those newspapers are endorsing Obama is that he bought them off" Well I am glad to see that people are finally starting to see Senator Obama for the man of integrity and vision that he is!! These are desperate times and we don't need a president that is emersed in his own desperation to try and lead us out of this mess. We need a level headed, clear thinking leader that will usher this nation back to being a true world power. Now before you all go and start calling me some "left wing nutjob" let me just tell you that I am a Republican and have been since I registered to vote 13 years ago. I have voted in EVERY presidential election that has been held and for every one of them I have stuck it out with the Republican candidate. I voted for Bush...twice. (I'm so sorry...I know that I'm partly to blame for this economic disaster!!) and I am UNWILLING to throw my support or my vote towards a candidate that has shown a lack of judgement and an unwillingness to put this country first just because he is flying his campaign under the Republican flag!!

    Remember...Go VOTE...VOTE early....be responsible and let's put a TRUE leader in the white house!!

    Obama/Biden 08/12

    October 17, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  8. Gerry


    "YES WE CAN"


    October 17, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  9. chicago reader

    Chicago Tribune undergoing changes and a new look for their newspaper. Removed a popular column, people don't like the new format & losing subscribers. Endorsing Obama just pushed this 30 year reader away for good.

    October 17, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  10. BM

    These are three major newspapers who after seeing the last debate obviously paid particular attention to John McCain's demeanor and how testy he got. We need someone with a steady hand, not a hothead who will fuel the fire.

    October 17, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  11. Robert

    This is great news! Everyone I know is voting for him. So I think we should just start calling him Mr. President. What's crazy is that those people that support Mc Cain, for some odd reason, would likely be better off under an Obama administration. But for some reason they would rather see the country go to hell under Mc Cain. I just don't get it. Mc Cain supporters are like the people that do wrong...know its wrong... but do it anyway.

    October 17, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  12. Vote!

    Obama supporters, don't be lulled by all this good news – it is all making me very nervous. Please get out and vote early if you can, and ask others to vote early as well – hopefully we can avoid some of the Republican voter suppression efforts sure to be heading our way, not to mention the long lines at polling places.

    Obama 08 & 12

    October 17, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  13. Dan, TX

    Don't worry republicans, you've destroyed the economy so that in 4 years we should just be recovering. Then you can tell us all how republicans would have had the economy flying high by now and convince us to vote you back in. All you need is a coherent philosophy rather than just attacking the opposition.

    October 17, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  14. X-democrat for McCain

    Maybe you can print this!! WEre so Sick of Obama being brain washed by the media we could Puke!!!

    Go McCain !!!! 2008

    October 17, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  15. annie - never again a dem.

    Oh gee, what a surprise – how amazing – lo and behold- All the biased news media has been in the tank for obama every since he came out of the manger. Just another group selling our country out!

    October 17, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  16. Pallin' around in Texas

    LA Times, Washington Post & Chicago Tribune....

    I read ya loud and clear!!!! Very Good Move !!!!

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 17, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  17. slimsista

    Go Obama.....our next President of the United States of America...

    Need I say more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 17, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  18. I Just Said Thanks, but No Thanks to Another 4 Years of g.o.p. corruption, arrogance and incompetence

    Hey Minnesota: check out Congressperson Michelle Bachman calling for McCarthy-like investigations of liberals in Congress because they are "Un-American.
    Happy early Halloween, Minnesotans.

    October 17, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  19. Evan

    While I don't think that newspaper endorsements matter that much anymore I think its amazing that the Trib endorsed him..and amazed in a good way. I think that for older voters it will matter. And I do agree with the article, I think that local papers will matter more esspicaly in small towns.

    October 17, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  20. SC BLUE

    Obama will be a President we can be PROUD of. He is cool under pressure, not a HOT HEAD like McCain. He is the one I want in charge of the panic button. I fear McCains problems are caused by his confinement and torture in Viet Nam. Why take the chance with our great nation, and our childrens future. The R next to McCains name is not for reformer..its for REPUBLICAN..and I've had 8 years too many of that! Is YOUR FAMILY or our beloved USA better off than we were 8 years ago?

    October 17, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  21. economist

    I think this has as much to do with Mr. Obama's presidential qualities as it does with the desire of editors to back a winner.

    October 17, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  22. NC for Obama

    That's great they endorse Obama. I wish they would do their job and expose all the unbelievable lies McCain and Palin are telling to smear Obama. None of it has any basis in fact. They are just making stuff up. It is disgusting, desperate, and reckless. For example, this whole ACORN junk has nothing to do with Obama but Palin is out telling people it is Obama's group and they are committing voter fraud. It is a complete and total lie. McCain himself spoke at an ACORN meeting a few months ago praising their work.
    The media needs to stand up and refute these ridiculous lies!

    October 17, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  23. GI


    October 17, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |







    YES WE CAN !


    October 17, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  25. hl

    Every little endorse can make a difference. thnak you for the endorsement.

    October 17, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
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