Four years ago, this newspaper’s editorial board enthusiastically endorsed Barack Obama, then a young senator from Illinois, for president of the United States. As much as we admired the long and courageous service of his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain, we believed that the nation needed fresh ideas and the fresh start that a leader with Obama’s charisma and only-in-America backstory could provide.
Today, we recommend President Obama’s re-election. He has led the nation back from the brink of depression. Ohio in particular has benefited from his bold decision to revive the domestic auto industry. Because of his determination to fulfill a decades-old dream of Democrats, 30 million more Americans will soon have health insurance. His Race to the Top initiative seeded many of the education reforms embodied in Cleveland’s Transformation Plan. He ended the war in Iraq and refocused the battle to disrupt al-Qaida and its terrorist allies. He ordered the risky attack inside Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden.
And yet our endorsement this year comes with less enthusiasm or optimism.