The Economist endorses Obama

The Economist (based in the UK but with an global circulation), arguably the most influential international news weekly, has strongly and reflectively endorsed Senator Obama. In the past it has endorsed a mixture of Republican and Democrat candidates. Extracts from the editorial:

"Obama.. has clearly shown that he offers the better chance of restoring America’s self-confidence... A man who started with no money and few supporters has out-thought, out-organised and outfought the two mightiest machines in American politics—the Clintons and the conservative right... Political fire, far from rattling Mr Obama, seems to bring out the best in him: the furore about his (admittedly ghastly) preacher prompted one of the most thoughtful speeches of the campaign. On the financial crisis his performance has been as assured as Mr McCain’s has been febrile. He seems a quick learner and has built up an impressive team of advisers, drawing in seasoned hands like Paul Volcker, Robert Rubin and Larry Summers. Of course, Mr Obama will make mistakes; but this is a man who listens, learns and manages well.... In terms of painting a brighter future for America and the world, Mr Obama has produced the more compelling and detailed portrait. He has campaigned with more style, intelligence and discipline than his opponent... Mr Obama deserves the presidency."

Although approving of much of John McCain's Senatorial record, the Economist concludes: "If only the real John McCain had been running... The Candidate McCain of the past six months has too often seemed the victim of political sorcery, his good features magically inverted, his bad ones exaggerated. 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... rather than heading towards the centre after he won the nomination, Mr McCain moved to the right... On the great issue of the campaign, the financial crisis, he has seemed all at sea, emitting panic and indecision... The choice of Sarah Palin epitomised the sloppiness... Had he become president in 2000 instead of Mr Bush, the world might have had fewer problems. But this time it is beset by problems, and Mr McCain has not proved that he knows how to deal with them."