Two Florida newspapers, the St Petersburg Times and the Palm Beach Post, have endorsed Obama for president today. The major Democratic candidates have pledged not to campaign in Florida, due to a dispute over moving up their primary. Unlike Michigan, however, all candidates' names are on the ballot. While I think Hillary Clinton will easily win the state, any positive press Obama gets there is good.
First, the editorial from the Palm Beach Post. The editorial discusses Obama's opposition to the Iraq war in 2002, and the work he has done in the Senate:
The real "hope" behind the Obama candidacy is that this son of a Kenyan father and Kansas mother can transcend not only race but the partisanship, stoked by special-interest money, that has paralyzed Washington and made Congress even less popular than President Bush. As The Almanac of American Politics notes, Sen. Obama worked with some of the most conservative Republicans - Kansas Sam Brownback on the genocide in Darfur and Oklahoman Tom Coburn on no-bid contracts for Katrina relief. With Richard Lugar of Indiana, the GOP's foreign-policy specialist, he secured money to confiscate shoulder-weapons that could be used against airliners.
Obama should talk more about these accomplishments. Some people here think Obama's talk of unity means he is just going to cave to the Republicans on the issues, but he has shown an ability to achieve progressive, common sense reforms while working with conservatives, both in Illinois and Washington.
The editorial discusses the transformative nature of Obama's campaign:
But the promise of Sen. Obama goes beyond the practical. He has drawn huge crowds of young people and older voters who are suspicious of idealism yet drawn to this idealistic-sounding young man. Jimmy Carter in 1976, Ronald Reagan in 1980 and Bill Clinton in 1992 each tapped into the disillusionment of their time and got to the White House. Not since Bobby Kennedy in 1968, though, has someone caused this sort of hopeful stir.
Yikes, they compared him to Reagan! Hope no one's soul was stung.
The St. Petersburg Times notes the differences between Obama and Clinton:
In Clinton, we see the past; in Obama, we see a fresh start. Clinton is a divisive political figure; Obama's appeal transcends racial and party lines. She exudes competence; he radiates optimism. She came to the campaign with a sense of entitlement; he came to it with a sense of possibilities. She can be evasive, even misleading; he can be refreshingly candid about his own shortcomings and his political mistakes. She represents business as usual in politics; he at least offers the hope of something better.
Hope this helps Obama in Florida!
Update: Make it three Florida papers. The latest from the Gainesville Sun. Link