Monday, February 11, 2008

E-N endorses McCain, trashes Hillary

I just caught up on my newspaper reading and saw today that the San Antonio Express-News made their presidential endorsements on Sunday here and here.

Boy! If it wasn’t alreadly plainly clear which side they are coming down on there can be no doubt after this.
The first clue is the prominent placement of the McCain endorsement on top of the Obama endorsement. Sure, this might be quibbling, but the visual impact is unmistakeable.
Then when you read the “endorsements” the contrast becomes distinctly clear. They practically gush over McCain calling him a “war hero” and “political maverick” in the subhead.
There are no such gushing descriptions for Obama. Instead, they set up a rhetorical trick in the lead sentence saying that “America needs a president that tries to create unity out of diversity...” and then follow that by saying that Obama is “the Democratic candidate that offers the best chance to reach that lofty objective.
In other words, they don’t really think Obama can do it, it’s just that he has “the best chance” among the Democratic candidates (i.e. not Hillary).
By the third graph they jump into the political fray, mentioning that Hillary Clinton is “bracing for the fight of her life.”
By contrast, in the McCain editorial they never once mention the name of any of his primary opponents. Instead, they wax philosophically about how all of McCain’s “maverick” positions will prove to be “attractive points for independent voters.”
The only good things they have to say about Obama are done when making a negative contrast toward Hillary.
The main difference, they claim is that “Obama expresses a message of hope that emphasizes what is good for the country, not the party.” With the implication being that Hillary is doing the opposite.
Then they claim, incredibly, that “Obama tends to falter in debates” which is clearly a matter of perception on their part. Before noting that Obama is a powerful speaker on the campaign trail.
From that point on the editorial deteriorates into what can best be described as an anti-Hillary screed. They bring up the failed health care reform of the Clinton years. They talk about the “polarizing baggage that undoubtedly would hamper a Clinton presidency.” They talk about how Hillary and Bill have run a campaign “that has been, at turns, nasty and undignified.” They mention Hillary’s “win-at-all-cost approach” that “is a turnoff to many voters.”
And they wrap it all up with this doozy:

Obama may have a hard time translating his words into action. But embracing his message of hope and a new approach to American politics is a far preferable gamble than the prospect of another era of Clinton politics.

Sheesh! Thanks for that backhanded endorsement E-N.

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