Orlando Sentinel endorses Romney

The editorial board of Florida’s largest newspaper, the Orlando Sentinel, has just announced its endorsement for President.  The editorial, headlined “Our Pick for President: Romney” can be read in its entirety here .  The endorsement was certainly unexpected because the Sentinel had rousingly endorsed Obama in 2008 and usually endorses Democrats.  They endorsed John Kerry in 2004, but did endorse George W. Bush in 2000. The editorial contains a scathing indictment of the Obama Presidency, particularly his handling of the economy, the deficit, and the debt crisis.  The editorial says that

We have little confidence that Obama would be more successful managing the economy and the budget in the next four years. For that reason, though we endorsed him in 2008, we are recommending Romney in this race.

The editorial points out that President Obama had strong Democratic majorities his first two years in office which allowed him to enact his agenda, an agenda which did not lead to economic recovery while piling up more debt.  It points to his failure to be able to work with House Republicans during the past two years, reminding voters that Bill Clinton faced similar circumstances and produced different results, and that one or both houses of Congress will be controlled by Republicans for the next four years.  It goes on to say that

It verges on magical thinking to expect Obama to get different results in the next four years.

While declaring that Romney is not their “ideal candidate” and that, like Barack Obama 4 years ago, he “faces a steep learning curve in foreign policy” the editorial concludes that

. . . the core of Romney’s campaign platform, his five-point plan, at least shows he understands that reviving the economy and repairing the government’s balance sheet are imperative — now, not four years in the future.

Romney has a strong record of leadership to run on. He built a successful business. He rescued the 2002 Winter Olympics from scandal and mismanagement. As governor of Massachusetts, he worked with a Democrat-dominated legislature to close a $3billion budget deficit without borrowing or raising taxes, and pass the health plan that became a national model.

This is Romney’s time to lead, again.

This editorial is already being picked up and reported in other major media outlets including by Jeff Zeleny in the New York Times and CNN’s website .   While newspaper endorsement don’t carry the weight that they used to, this endorsement signals the seismic shift that has occurred in this election since the first Presidential debate.