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The Economist magazine - albeit calling him "the devil it knows" - has decided to endorse President Obama's re-election, after the jump .....

 Four years ago, The Economist endorsed Barack Obama, with some misgivings. Today, in an editorial in which they refused to show their hand until the end - did so again, at this link saying that Mitt just isn't their cup of tea.

  For President Obama they credit him with (a) stopping a Depression and thinks that will be noted by historians, (b) comparing him favorably on foreign policy with George W, and (c) health care.

  They fault him on many things, which you might expect from a largely fiscal conservative publication. All of which they say left them searching for an alternative. And they liked the first debate Mitt Romney. But ... here are some selections from the editorial as to why they'll take a pass on him:

The problem is that there are a lot of Romneys and they have committed themselves to a lot of dangerous things.

Indeed, the extremism of his party is Mr Romney’s greatest handicap. The Democrats have their implacable fringe too: look at the teachers’ unions. But the Republicans have become a party of Torquemadas, forcing representatives to sign pledges never to raise taxes, to dump the chairman of the Federal Reserve and to embrace an ever more Southern-fried approach to social policy.

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.

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