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. Beryl

    Smart decisions were made by these outlets. After reading and hearing hate-speech and behaviors of late, it is obvious that only Barack Obama has the intelligence, diplomacy, and temperament to lead and unify our nation.

    October 17, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  2. HeidiL

    You neglected to mention the endorsement of conservative Republican radio host Michael Smerconish (from Philadelphia). Now THAT's interesting.

    October 17, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  3. McCain's RAGE

    Everybody wants to be with a winner. You'll see them coming out of the woodworks now.

    October 17, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  4. Franky

    Ohhh yeah, the Tribune goes back...WAY back. I can't even recall when they endorsed a Dem. It must be a while back that's for sure. You know, the GOP have changed, but they need to realize where they have come from...history does matter.

    But I agree. Newspapers have a more impact on their local state or city. But even sometimes we can hear big news and who doesn't like that. Is cool when your in new territory and you don't know what to expect. That's history and our country...

    October 17, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  5. Jon

    McCain can't let go of the notion that America needs a fighter. News flash: America has had a fighter for the last eight years. That's why we're in the trouble we're in now. America needs a THINKER, a man with the ability to think cool under pressure and see the bigger picture not the quick fight to win in front of him – but the battle for future generations which typically is fought with securing long standing relationships based on sit downs not fighting.
    This is just one more reason you are so far behind the times, and America's popular vote.

    October 17, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  6. Powell To Restore His Honor

    The endorsement of 4-Star General, froner National Security Advisor, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell will likely be more influential than these endorsements.

    Should General Powell decide to back Senator Barack Obama, I hope that the GOP will finally cease and desist the - villification of the anyone that opposes republicans - strategy that has characterized the past 8 years of the Bush administration.

    Powell isn't beholden financially, professionally, morally, or otherwise to anyone and he will want to, in his later years speak from his heart and his convictions.

    If he does endorse, I hope he briefly shares his rationale for the endorsement to mute any criticism from the radical rightwing of the party.

    October 17, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  7. Simmy

    They see the potential for greatness in this man! I am so happy that I voted earrly–If you can, do it -and avoid any complications on Nov 4...
    God Bless This Great Country!

    October 17, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  8. Mary

    "The first black" – what the hell does that mean? Watch your words. Are you implying race is a factor or why else did you mention race? The story is about the first time newspapers have endorsed candidates – right? so what had race to do with it?

    October 17, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  9. tigerakabj

    Keep it coming. True conservative and moderate Republicans have found out (especially with the Klan rallies of McCain/Palin) that their party is no longer recognizable. First Buckley and now these newspapers. They know hate when they see it.

    Obama/Biden 2008/2012.

    October 17, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  10. Julie

    What exciting news for the Obama Camp after a week long of half truths and ugly vermon coming from the McCain Camp.

    October 17, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  11. Rob - WA

    Wow... this won't sit well in those "pro-american" areas of the nation, wherever those are. Maybe Palin can make us a list.

    Obama 08 – I am VERY happy to NOT be a part of the neocon HATE machine!!!

    October 17, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  12. Archie H.

    Wow ; imagine that from 3 of the most liberal "in the tank for Obama" so called newspapers in the country! Talk about The media bias ! CNN your Obama endorsement is next! And the looney liberals scream about Rush ; what a country we have!

    October 17, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  13. Brian

    You have got to be kidding me – this is news??? I could of told you they would endorse the Dem candidate last year – give me a break!! Stop your agenda CNN – America will never come together when you are so decidely for Obama.

    October 17, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  14. Brian

    Chicago Tribune – another example of the liberal media! You know, the liberal media that has its roots intertwined in the roots of the national Republican Party as we know it...

    Nice to have all of these papers on board. Journalists are some of the most well-versed and educated members of society and it's nice to know they're all coming to the same conclusions.

    October 17, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  15. Ruth, So. Cal

    YAYYYYYYYY!!! WHOOOO-HOOOO! They've chosen the right man!

    Obama in '08!

    October 17, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  16. Sacto Joe

    Fascinating how CNN placed a bunch of REPUBLICAN SPINNERS at the top of their comments about Joe the plumber. The posters who posted earliest were overwhelmingly negative, and moved down deeper into the list.

    Blatant manipulation by the media!

    October 17, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  17. michael

    Please! Democrats, stop voting early! Chill out. Read the handwriting on the wall...Wait till november 4 so it will actually count!
    Palin will divide the world exactly as she has America, into fundamentalist and non-fundamentalist sides. THAT is real danger.

    October 17, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |




    October 17, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  19. NCIndependent

    All the more reason to vote for McCain. These endorsements by the liberal press mean nothing – no surprise here.

    October 17, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  20. Maggie VT

    Maggie, VT

    I am happy for Obama, but I am scared by what is going on out there. A surrogate for McCain, she is a representative from Minnesota and she was on Hardball tonight. I heard things come out of her mouth that I could not believe. She accused people in the Senate of terrible things, she accused Obama of horrible things and she made no apologies for it. Chris Matthews was dumbfounded. He could not believe what he was hearing. His next guest was a female who works for the Nation. She was so upset she could hardly talk. What is happening to this country? She is on now again. I want to move out of this country, it is getting too dangerous with people like her. They should be frightened of her not Obama

    October 17, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  21. Informed Voter

    Obama is like a 5 year-old child who lies. Mother: "Obama, did you steal the cookies from the jar?" Obama: (hands behind his back, smiling) "Nooooo!" What a bunch of idiots falling for this crap. You all deserve the mess that coming to this country when you vote this tard in.

    October 17, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  22. we need something new- from OH

    this is because obama has the potential to unite this country for a better future! YES WE CAN!!!

    October 17, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  23. Nick, Rochester, NY

    What you call three big endorsements are three big liberal papers. Who cares!
    But I still maintain, in the long run the inevitable failure of a future Obama Administration is a bigger prize for Conservatives than a tepid McCain presidency. Come 2010, 8% unemployment, no universal health care, and a geopolitical catastrophe in the Middle East (a nuclear Iran attacked by a desparate Israel abandoned by Obama oil at $200/brl) Bye bye Congressional Democrats. Mark my words.

    October 17, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  24. Becky CA

    Do not forget to do your part. Please go out and vote.

    October 17, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  25. mitch

    i like the way the times puts it.

    October 17, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
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