Like so many others, we were captivated by the Illinois senator's soaring rhetoric and energized by his promise to move American politics beyond partisan gridlock and into an era of hope and change.
It hasn't happened. Four years later, President Obama's deeds have failed to match his words, much less his specific vows to cut the national debt by half and bring the nation's unemployment rate to 6 percent. As Texans, it is a particular vexation that this president's attitude toward the interests of our state has occasionally bordered on contempt, particularly in decisions relating to the NASA budget and the energy sector. The hurtful symbol of this attitude of insensitivity to Texans' feelings was the administration's choice to deny Space City's bid to become home to one of the retired space shuttles.
We do not believe four more years on the same plodding course toward economic recovery is the best path forward for Texas or the nation. And so we endorse the Republican team, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, in the belief that they can do better by Texas and the nation. . .
In our 2008 endorsement we cautioned the president against demonizing the energy sector - good advice that he has never heeded (see Keystone XL Pipeline). By contrast, Gov. Romney has listed energy atop his five-point plan to rejuvenate the economy. . .
The other launch pad ignored by President Obama is the literal one - NASA, and specifically the Johnson Space Center.
It has been an insult to the memory of American heroes like Neil Armstrong and Sally Ride to allow manned spaceflight to languish in the country that put men on the moon. The notion of paying $50 million a seat to Russia for commercial taxi service to the International Space Station is galling.
Obama has failed to articulate a bold vision of his own for the agency. That failure forsakes a legacy of scientific achievement that has showered benefits on the nation. This approach to NASA has abandoned the American imperative of lighting out for the territory and exploring new worlds. NASA's legacy must be reclaimed.
In recent days we have seen a welcome return of popular enthusiasm for space exploration, thanks to the success of the Mars rover Curiosity. When NASA stuck the landing in a tour de force of technical precision, the international excitement was palpable. Let's seize upon it.
That will require more effective presidential leadership. . .
Let us stipulate: The Mitt Romney we are endorsing is the Massachusetts moderate who worked successfully alongside an 88 percent Democratic majority in the state Legislature to produce what the Obama administration says became its model for national health care reform.
Romney's ability to negotiate successfully across party lines in the Bay State stands in contrast to the president's baffling disengagement from the national health care debate. Obama's decision to leave essential details to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, together with his failure to step in and insist that the Republicans' version of health care reform have a fair hearing in the House of Representatives, needlessly polarized the process. Reports from his own staff that Obama is uninterested in process are troubling.