Sunday, October 26, 2008

Star Withholds Endorsement In Presidential Race

Citing an even ideological split among the newspapers' editors, the Indianapolis Star announced in an editorial today that it was not endorsing either major presidential party candidate for president. The editorial does, however, make some important observations. On Obama's experience, or should I say lack of experience, the editorial says:

If elected, however, he also would be the most inexperienced president in modern American history, only four years removed from service in the Illinois Senate. And experience matters greatly in a president, particularly in the area of foreign affairs.

While Obama can only talk about promises of what he will do, Sen. John McCain actually has demonstrated accomplishments upon which to judge him the editorial notes:

Republican John McCain has a long and distinguished record of service to the nation. His personal sacrifices, including more than five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, deserve the gratitude of all Americans. He has been a strong, bipartisan leader in the Senate, pushing, among other issues, for reforms in the campaign finance system and pork barrel spending.

Obama supporters had been very confident that the Star would endorse Obama. I'm not surprised by today's outcome. The Star sat down with both Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama last spring during Indiana's May primary. I complained at the time that the editors treated Obama with kid gloves during his interview. Nonetheless, the editors made a wise decision in endorsing Clinton over Obama. An interview with former Secretary of State Madeline Albright and Gen. Wesley Clark convinced the editors that Obama's experience deficit was a real problem, particularly in foreign affairs. To my knowledge, McCain never sat down with the Star's editorial board. In fact, other than a quick stop in Indianapolis for a fundraiser and appearance before a small group at the Emmis Communications building downtown and his speech before the National Sheriffs Association in July, McCain has made no other stops in Indiana. McCain's decision to ignore Indiana until just recently and Obama's decision to put such intense focus on the state leaves us where we are today: a tossup state.

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