Another Battleground State makes the switch:
Four years ago, with little hesitation, we endorsed then-Sen. Barack Obama to become the 44th president of the United States, saying it was a time for “new leadership, a new approach to governing, a new way of conducting the people’s business.”
So the basic question facing The Telegraph editorial board when it met last week came down to this: Did the former Illinois senator do enough to live up to those admittedly high expectations to warrant a second term?
After several hours of spirited debate, not unlike conversations taking place in kitchens and living rooms across America, we reached a consensus that he had not. Perhaps more importantly, when we identified the key challenges facing the nation – jobs, the economy and the national debt – we concluded he was not the best candidate to meet them.
That person is former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and we hereby endorse him to become the 45th president of the United States.
During his many years in the private and public sectors, Romney has demonstrated the critical leadership skills necessary to bring people together toward a common goal.
He did it when he founded a successful investment firm at age 37. He did it when he helped rescue a scandal-plagued Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002. And he did it when he worked with an overwhelmingly Democratic Legislature after being elected governor of Massachusetts that same year.
As we noted when we endorsed Romney for the GOP nomination prior to the New Hampshire primary in January, Washington is broken. In order to fix it, it will take a strong leader willing to roll up his sleeves and work directly with the heads of both parties to carve out the best possible solutions.
We believe Romney has demonstrated that he can do that; the president has had four years to demonstrate that he can’t.
To be clear, we didn’t make the decision not to endorse Obama for a second term lightly. Nor do we believe, like many of his critics, that he is without achievement during his time in office.
At the very least, walking into the second-worst economic crisis in the nation’s history, the president and his administration deserve credit for steadying the ship of state through a combination of middle-class tax cuts, a stimulus program and a rescue of the auto industry.
And there can be no denying that House and Senate Republicans did everything in their power to stymie the president’s agenda, even putting the nation at risk of default during the debt-ceiling debacle of 2011.
But true leaders find ways to work around such obstacles, much like Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton did during their terms in office.
True leaders also don’t wait until two weeks before Election Day – in the form of a 20-page booklet, no less – to lay out a specific agenda for the next four years. Coupled with the negative tenor of the campaign, that merely confirms the president and his strategists felt that attacking Romney’s agenda was more politically expedient than releasing one of their own.
Some cynics have suggested, only partly in jest, that Obama-Romney is at its core a contest between a man with no plan and man with a plan that doesn’t add up, a reference to Romney’s own unwillingness to lay out details of how he would balance his campaign promises with his tax-and-spending plans.
Nevertheless, we are confident Romney is the candidate who would tackle the serious issues facing this nation, starting with jobs, the economy and the debt. In the end, we couldn’t say the same about the president.