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11-01-2012, 05:04 PM
http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21565623-america-could-do-better-barack-obama-sadly-mitt-romney-does-not-fit-bill-which-one




Our American endorsement

Which one?

America could do better than Barack Obama; sadly, Mitt Romney does not fit the bill

FOUR years ago, The Economist endorsed Barack Obama for the White House with enthusiasm. So did millions of voters. Next week Americans will trudge to the polls far less hopefully. So (in spirit at least) will this London-based newspaper. Having endured a miserably negative campaign, the world’s most powerful country now has a much more difficult decision to make than it faced four years ago.

That is in large part because of the woeful nature of Mr Obama’s campaign. A man who once personified hope and centrism set a new low by unleashing attacks on Mitt Romney even before the first Republican primary. Yet elections are about choosing somebody to run a country. And this choice turns on two questions: how good a president has Mr Obama been, especially on the main issues of the economy and foreign policy? And can America really trust the ever-changing Mitt Romney to do a better job? On that basis, the Democrat narrowly deserves to be re-elected.


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The devil we know

We very much hope that whichever of these men wins office will prove our pessimism wrong. Once in the White House, maybe the Romney of the mind will become reality, cracking bipartisan deals to reshape American government, with his vice-president keeping the headbangers in the Republican Party in line. A re-elected President Obama might learn from his mistakes, clean up the White House, listen to the odd businessman and secure a legacy happier than the one he would leave after a single term. Both men have it in them to be their better selves; but the sad fact is that neither candidate has campaigned as if that is his plan.

As a result, this election offers American voters an unedifying choice. Many of The Economist’s readers, especially those who run businesses in America, may well conclude that nothing could be worse than another four years of Mr Obama. We beg to differ. For all his businesslike intentions, Mr Romney has an economic plan that works only if you don’t believe most of what he says. That is not a convincing pitch for a chief executive. And for all his shortcomings, Mr Obama has dragged America’s economy back from the brink of disaster, and has made a decent fist of foreign policy. So this newspaper would stick with the devil it knows, and re-elect him.

Their past endorsements:


1980: Ronald Reagan, Republican Party, "That, perhaps, is the most pressing reason why so many of America's friends want, unusually in a presidential election, to see a change at the top, even one laden with risk. We agree with them."
1984: No endorsement
1988: No endorsement, "Oh dear!"
1992: Bill Clinton, Democratic Party, "Despite the risks, the possibilities are worth pursuing. Our choice falls on him."
1996: Bob Dole, Republican Party, "We choose him on the assumption that the real Bob Dole is the one who spent three decades on Capitol Hill, not this year's dubious character; that he would be more prudent than his economic plan implies. That is an awkward basis for an endorsement. But the choice is a lousy one."
2000: George W. Bush, Republican Party, after John McCain was defeated in the Republican primaries. At the time, the newspaper hoped George W. Bush could transcend partisanship, but now the newspaper describes him as the "partisan-in-chief."
2004: John Kerry, Democratic Party, “The incompetent George W. Bush or the incoherent John Kerry”
2008: Barack Obama, Democratic Party, "He has campaigned with more style, intelligence and discipline than his opponent. Whether he can fulfil his immense potential remains to be seen. But Mr Obama deserves the presidency."
2012: Barack Obama, Democratic Party, "Mr Obama has dragged America’s economy back from the brink of disaster, and has made a decent fist of foreign policy. So this newspaper would stick with the devil it knows, and re-elect him.

LOL.