Phillip reminds me of something that I heard about yesterday, and meant to go read and share with y’all. In the middle of one of the worst Fridays I’ve had in a while — my efforts to write the long piece about McCain (the companion to the Obama one last week) were constantly interrupted by minor problems that nevertheless had to be dealt with. One thing about the Obama piece last week that frustrates me is that I thought it was good, and I think I could produce a lot more work like that if I had the time, if I weren’t constantly having to deal with the minutiae of publishing that I no longer have the staff to do. But this is the way things are.
Anyway, at a particularly bad moment in the day, Robert stuck his head in to say "The Chicago Tribune has endorsed Obama," and I said "unh-huh," and he said "it’s the first time they’ve endorsed a Democrat," and I said, "yeah OK thanks."
Anyway, by the time I got away a little after 9 p.m. I had forgotten it, and so I thank Phillip for reminding me.
Here’s the link to the Tribune‘s endorsement. It’s pretty good. It’s got strong points and weak ones. It’s strongest point is that it gives its word, as an editorial board I trust, that we don’t have to worry about Obama, untested as he may be:
Many Americans say they’re uneasy about Obama. He’s pretty new to them.
We can provide some assurance. We have known Obama since he entered politics a dozen years ago. We have watched him, worked with him, argued with him as he rose from an effective state senator to an inspiring U.S. senator to the Democratic Party’s nominee for president.
That might not be persuasive to a lot of people, but it carries weight with me.
Its weakest point is that it keeps going on about the "history in the making," etc., what with "the obstacles that he faced as an unprivileged black man in the U.S." That latter bit of quote is one I could deconstruct all day, but I gave you some idea what I thought about it last week. I don’t think of him a "black man," and it’s a bit tough for a graduate of public Radford High to see a graduate of Punahou as "underprivileged" (we won’t even get into Columbia and Harvard).
Beyond that, I’ve always held a dim view of identity politics. I think choosing this ticket because a "black man" is on it, or the other ticket because a woman is on it, would be irresponsible.
Speaking of that, the Trib criticizes the Palin choice in the strongest terms, and I gather that played a large role in the paper’s decision. I think it’s going to be the deciding factor for a lot of people. Personally, I think it’s the biggest mistake McCain has made since he failed to "jink" when he knew a SAM was locked onto him over Hanoi.
On the whole, though, while I think it’s a good endorsement, I was disappointed that it didn’t help me more with the decision we’ll have to make next week. I’d feel good about endorsing either McCain or Obama. What I’d have a problem with is NOT endorsing the other one. This endorsement was neither so strong that it made me feel OK about not endorsing McCain, nor so weak that it made me feel OK about not endorsing Obama. Ah, well.