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Why we endorsed John McCain
Combination of factors adds up in Republican candidate’s favor

Carl Sampson, Capital Press 10/16/08

Every election cycle, newspapers, magazines and other publications announce their endorsements of candidates for public office.

Sometimes, those endorsements seem to be written with the expectation that readers must agree with the conclusions.

We at the Capital Press feel differently about that. We believe endorsements should not only reflect the position of a newspaper's editorial board, but also take into account the perspective of its readers. In the case of the Capital Press, that perspective belongs to the West's farmers and ranchers. Our editorial board members are Publisher Mike O'Brien, Associate Editor Gary West, California Editor Hank Shaw and myself.

Rather than trying to dictate how our readers should vote, we try to add depth to the candidates' stances and how they relate to agriculture.

That perspective is sorely missing from most media coverage, where there has been a certain amount of cheerleading on the part of the media.

For example, Democrat Barack Obama is the least experienced candidate by a long shot. He has been in the U.S. Senate four years and spent one of those years campaigning for the presidency. His record on any issue is so thin as to be transparent. Yet when Obama says something, it's taken at face value in the mass media.

On the other hand, every word McCain and his vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, utter is put under a critical microscope. McCain has shown courage, leadership and integrity during his decades in Congress, yet he's treated like the new guy on the block.

Obama, one of the most liberal members of the U.S. Senate, also tries to sound as though he's a middle-of-the-road candidate. Yet, a review of the folks supporting his candidacy shows everyone from Jane Fonda - who was protesting the Vietnam War while McCain was a prisoner of war there - to the political action committee affiliated with the Humane Society of the United States. That group is famously anti-animal agriculture.

By any stretch of the imagination, those folks certainly do not reflect the middle of the road.

As a matter of fact, you can't even see the middle of the road from where they stand.

Carl Sampson is managing editor of the Capital Press. E-mail: csampson@capitalpress.com.


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