The liberal New York Daily News, which endorsed Barack Obama in 2008, shocked the media establishment yesterday with a stinging rebuke of the President by deciding to endorse Mitt Romney for president.
Four years ago, the Daily News endorsed Obama, seeing a historic figure whose intelligence, political skills and empathy with common folk positioned him to build on the small practical experience he would bring to the world’s toughest job. We valued Obama’s pledge to govern with bold pragmatism and bipartisanship.
The hopes of those days went unfulfilled.
Achingly slow job creation has left the U.S. with 4.3 million fewer positions than provided incomes to Americans in 2007. Half the new jobs have been part-time, lower-wage slots, a trend that has ruinously sped a hollowing of the middle class.
The official unemployment rate stands at 7.9%, marking only the second month below 8% after 43 months above that level. Worse, add people who are working part-time because they have no better choice and the rate leaps to almost 15%. Still worse, add 8 million people who have given up looking for employment and the number who are out of jobs or who are cobbling together hours to scrape by hits some 23 million people.
Only America’s social safety net, record deficits and the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented low-interest policies have kept the label Great Depression II on the shelf.
New Yorkers have fared no better. The state is alone among the 50 in suffering significantly rising unemployment over the last 12 months, with the rate now at 8.9%. The city’s pain index is 8.8%, and the five boroughs have been trading down in salaries.
Then, the paper goes after Obama’s record:
The regrettable truth is that Obama built a record of miscalculations and missed opportunities.
First came emergency economic stimulus. Because Obama gave free rein to House and Senate Democrats in deciding how to spend $800 billion, the legislation was heavily designed to satisfy the party’s constituencies and hunger for social programs, and inadequately weighted toward job-multiplier projects like building and repairing bridges and railroads — including subways.
After originally projecting that the program would produce 4 million more jobs than the country now has, along with a 5% jobless rate, Obama pleads that he saved Americans from more dire straits.
Next came Obamacare. While the country bled jobs, the President battled to establish universal health insurance — without first restraining soaring medical bills. Then he pushed one of the largest social programs in U.S. history through a Democratic-controlled Congress without a single Republican vote.
R.I.P. and never to be resurrected — Obama’s promised bipartisanship.
While the legislation has yet to take full effect, the typical family’s health insurance premium has risen and many businesses will experience a hike of $70 per week per employee, further restraining wages or producing part-time jobs that lack coverage.
Next came trillion-dollar deficits. Deep in the hole thanks to former President George W. Bush, Obama helped run up a $5 trillion increase in the national debt.
Along the way, he appointed a bipartisan commission to devise a plan for restoring America’s fiscal health, but he abandoned the panel’s menu of spending cuts, entitlement reductions and tax reform. Finally, Obama failed to close a deal with Republican House Speaker John Boehner for budgetary discipline and a path to job creation.
That was 15 months ago. Since then, Obama has presided over paralysis.
You know Obama is in trouble when a member of the liberal media loses its confidence in him:
Offering a rosy vision of a country already on the rise, Obama argues that he would lead a resurgence by staying the course. He posits that spending in areas such as education and clean energy would be beneficial, and he sees raising taxes on high-income earners as key to “balanced” deficit reduction. Each on its own is attractive, but the whole comes up short.
The presidential imperative of the times is to energize the economy and get deficits under control to empower the working and middle classes to again enjoy the fruits of an ascendant America.
So The News is compelled to stand with Romney.
Obama claims that Romney doesn’t know what change is, and that he is only repackaging old ideas. The problem is that Obama promised hope and change four years ago, but has failed to improve the employment situation in this country while piling on a record amount of debt that we will never be able to pay back.
The News has joined a growing number of papers that have switched to Romney after endorsing Obama in 2008.
According to the American Presidency Project, of the Top 100 newspapers, 12 have switched to the GOP nominee after backing Obama in 2008, compared to just one paper that endorsed Obama after backing McCain.
The final tally shows Obama with a 41-34 edge over Romney in endorsements, but that’s much closer than four years ago when Obama enjoyed a greater than 2-1 advantage over John McCain.
For many in the liberal media, the thrill is long gone.