The Ohio newspapers are just as divided as the Ohio population when it comes to the November 6 election. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer endorsed Obama with the reluctant proviso that its support contained “less enthusiasm or optimism” than four years ago and that it was “sorely tempted” to endorse Romney. The Columbus Dispatch, which endorsed John McCain in 2008, wrote a scathing editorial denouncing the Obama record and endorsing Romney in glowing terms. The Dispatch‘s editorial was essentially a prolonged “I told you so”:
Four years after promising hope and change, and after a deficit-driving $787 billion stimulus program, here is the result:
• 12.1 million unemployed, with an unemployment rate above 8 percent for 43 of the past 44 months.
• 8.6 million working part time because they can’t find full-time work
• 2.5 million who wanted to work, but have stopped looking for jobs.
• In 2009, real median household income was $52,195. By 2011, it had fallen to $50,054
• In 2009, the U.S. poverty rate was 14.3 percent. By 2011, the poverty rate climbed to 15 percent.
• On Obama’s watch, 12 million more Americans joined the food-stamp program, which has reached a record of more than 46 million enrollees.
• Annual federal budget deficits above $1 trillion for the past four years, increasing the national debt to an all-time high of $16 trillion.
On that last point, it was freshman U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, who said on March 16, 2006, as he prepared to vote against raising the debt ceiling to (a mere) $9 trillion:
“Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”
Americans do deserve better, and the fact that the president now regrets his 2006 stand is another reason why he is unsuited to a second term.
The Plain-Dealer had no such strong case to make for Obama. It’s simply hoping against change.