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I enjoy reading The Economist magazine. It has a definite conservative bend to it, but it's at least upfront and honest about it. Today, this bastion of conservative thought has endorsed Barack Obama for President.

For all the shortcomings of the campaign, both John McCain and Barack Obama offer hope of national redemption. Now America has to choose between them. The Economist does not have a vote, but if it did, it would cast it for Mr Obama. We do so wholeheartedly: the Democratic candidate has clearly shown that he offers the better chance of restoring America’s self-confidence.

As I've read the magazine during this campaign cycle, I had the general impression if they cast their lot with anyone it would be McCain. They thought that Obama had great potential, but was just too new. They refer to that in the next sentence.

But we acknowledge it is a gamble. Given Mr Obama’s inexperience, the lack of clarity about some of his beliefs and the prospect of a stridently Democratic Congress, voting for him is a risk. Yet it is one America should take, given the steep road ahead.

They also lament that if the "old John McCain" had run this year, it would be a different ballgame. But the new McCain just won't cut it.

The fiscal conservative who once tackled Mr Bush over his unaffordable tax cuts now proposes not just to keep the cuts, but to deepen them. The man who denounced the religious right as "agents of intolerance" now embraces theocratic culture warriors. The campaigner against ethanol subsidies (who had a better record on global warming than most Democrats) came out in favour of a petrol-tax holiday.

And how can we forget dear Sarah...

The choice of Sarah Palin epitomised the sloppiness. It is not just that she is an unconvincing stand-in, nor even that she seems to have been chosen partly for her views on divisive social issues, notably abortion. Mr McCain made his most important appointment having met her just twice.

There is lots of good stuff here, but I love their closing sentence.

Whether he can fulfil his immense potential remains to be seen. But Mr Obama deserves the presidency.

Originally posted to awnm on Thu Oct 30, 2008 at 11:53 AM PDT.

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