More about the McCain endorsement

By BRAD WARTHEN
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR
MANY WHO KNOW my views — and between my columns and my blog, readers probably know my mind better than they do any other editor’s of their acquaintance — assumed all along that we would endorse John McCain.
    I’ve made it clear many times that I thought we should have done so in 2000 (in the GOP primary). And my belief in his suitability remains undiminished, despite much that has happened in this general election campaign. (I found both Sen. McCain and Barack Obama more appealing running against the angry elements in their respective parties, rather than as their standard-bearers.) My judgments tend to be cumulative, based on years of observation more than the spin cycle topic of the day.
    But to assume this endorsement was inevitable is to presume to know more than I did.
    First, I am not the editorial board; I merely preside over it. Associate Editors Warren Bolton (whose strong, eloquent dissenting opinion is on the facing page) and Cindi Ross Scoppe both have their say, as does my boss, President and Publisher Henry Haitz. To absurdly condense a two-hour discussion: Henry and I favored McCain, Warren preferred Obama, and Cindi wasn’t sure — and she is seldom unsure about anything. She asked me whether a tie meant no endorsement, or whether Henry’s and my votes outweighed hers and Warren’s. I acknowledged that if it came to that, yes — our votes counted more. (In 2000, the board was evenly split between Bush and McCain, with our then-publisher on one side and me on the other, so I lost.) Only when she thought the matter was thus settled did she say she thought she was leaning ever so slightly toward Sen. Obama. She remains torn. (She plans her own column on the subject for next week.)
    So this was not a foregone conclusion. But lest you think we’re terribly divided, remember that we unanimously and enthusiastically endorsed both McCain and Obama in their respective primaries in January. We just split over which we like more.
    Even if I had had to decide all alone, I would have struggled with not endorsing Barack Obama. I meant every word that we said in praising him in January. Also, ever since I became editorial page editor in 1997, I have looked forward to the day that we could break the paper’s long pattern of endorsing Republicans for president, if only because in some people’s minds, that makes us a “Republican newspaper,” and I find it deeply distasteful to be identified with either party. Yes, I can point to the fact that in my tenure, we have endorsed slightly more Democrats than Republicans — and we spend far more time on those state and local races than we do on the presidential. But people attach huge importance to the presidential endorsement — many don’t pay attention to anything else. So I’ve hoped for years that the national Democratic Party would give us a nominee we could support.
    Barack Obama is that Democrat. We would happily endorse him over Mitt Romney, or Rudy Giuliani, or Mike Huckabee — and certainly over the current occupant of the White House.
    But he was up against the one Republican who happens to be the national political figure I respect and admire most, and have wanted to see in the White House for at least a decade. So his timing couldn’t have been worse.
    I don’t regret endorsing John McCain one bit; I’m proud to see this day. But I hate missing the chance to endorse Obama.
    Beyond that, let me briefly address several questions that came up on my blog after we posted our endorsement online Friday (I answer them more fully on the blog itself):
    Why does the endorsement not talk about the current economic crisis? Because it doesn’t figure in our preference for Sen. McCain. Both senators backed the $700 billion rescue plan, which I think they were right to do. Beyond that, I remain unconvinced that either of them has a better idea what to do next than the other. I wish I did, but I don’t. So I consider their positions on this critical issue something of a wash, and therefore out of place in the endorsement.
    Why so many words about the Colombian Free Trade Agreement? Because it has broader implications that do illustrate a clear, dramatic difference between the candidates, and one that points unequivocally to McCain. Besides, it is an issue you may not have heard as much about (meaning it took a certain number of words merely to explain), and if an endorsement accomplishes nothing else, we hope it helps you think of things you might not have thought about otherwise.
    Why didn’t you mention Sarah Palin? Because the endorsement was about why we did choose McCain, not about why we “shouldn’t have.” I don’t think Sarah Palin is ready to be president. She has about as much experience in government as Barack Obama, but let’s face it — he’s smarter. If I were choosing the president solely on the basis of his choice of a running mate, I’d pick Obama, because I like Joe Biden. But I’ve never picked a presidential preference on that basis before, and see insufficient reason to start now. Bottom line: For me, the reasons to favor Sen. McCain outweigh my misgivings about Gov. Palin.
    We could go on and on, and we will. Please come to my blog and continue the conversation.

Go to thestate.com/bradsblog/.

116 thoughts on “More about the McCain endorsement

  1. Rich Lussier

    Brad,
    You are the editor of an irrelevant newspaper in an irrelevant state that seems always to be doomed to be on the wrong side of history. We were wrong about slavery, secession, reunion, redemption, Jim Crow, civil rights, and even our very constitution in this, the least democratic state in the Union. S.C. is a great place to live and I love her people, but our politics have consistently been on the wrong side of history and morality.
    Go ahead, endorse McCain. And lose once again!!

    Reply
  2. John

    “I love her people.”
    Uh, yeah…from the same guy who wrote that white South Carolinians are “Neanderthals.” So now we’re neanderthals living in an irrelevant state, but you love living here. We’re happy to have you, Rich. Though we’d be happier if you weren’t teaching children.

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  3. James

    Too many loop holes in your reasons for endorsing the GOP offering this time.
    I realize ad revenues are falling, but to put money before the well-being of the nation is one step too far fetched for me@!

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  4. Randy E

    Not a forgone conclusion? How can we conclude otherwise? You completely dismiss the profound differences between McCain’s “mavericky” persona of 2000 and the ubiquitous and serious criticisms of him now. You devoted threads to your “UnParty” position yet McCain’s campaign of 2008 violates all the principles you claim to champion.
    How can you defend or ignore his characterization of Obama with “he wants to lose a war to win an election”?
    How can you ignore the non-stop refrain “palling around with terrorists” when “pals” and plural terrorists are clearly lies – factcheck.org debunks both.
    Then there’s the reckless selection of Palin. You think she’s “not ready to be president” but you ignore it as an issue? Remarkable given that McCain is 72 and has a history of cancer which has not been fully analyzed.
    Sadly, today’s endorsement was simply the other shoe dropping.

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  5. just saying

    Did I read correctly in another post that you were getting around to posting about your judicial philosophy? Does that include thoughts about why, if the religious right thinks “strict constructionist” means anti-R.v.W. that it isn’t just a cute way of having a litmus test by a different name?

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  6. A. Smith

    Sarah Palin matters. Brad, you might not think so, but Colin Powell does. As do many other moderate Republicans.
    The most important duty of VP is, in fact, to be ready to step in as acting President in a moment of urgent need.
    But you readily concede Palin is not ready.
    Then why was she picked? What does that say about McCain? What does that say about “Country First”? Is this a responsible leadership position?
    The running mate choice usually doesn’t matter. This year, it’s huge.
    One other critical consideration with the Palin pick… Sit down and watch video of McCain on the campaign trail in 2000 vs. 2008. This man has aged considerably. There is perhaps no greater stress in political life than this sort of campaign meat-grinder leading directly into White House tenure and the high stress of the highest office.
    We watched Clinton’s, then Bush’s, hair turn from deep brown to gray to edging toward white, as they moved from nominee to two-term President. Was this just a coincidence of middle age? Hardly. It’s mostly pure stress.
    McCain has the “virtue” of already having white hair. To put it bluntly, McCain could be sworn in as President and die the very next day of age-related natural causes. Which brings us back to Sarah Palin…

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  7. Bill Johnson

    As many times as I have disagreed with virtually all Media outlets, I am impressed with the Editorial board’s reasoning, explanation, and endorsement of Senator McCain. It is disheartening to see how the media, and a gazillion dollars worth of advertising, can manipulate so many intelligent people in to a frenzy of blind support for Obama. I’m not often complimentary of newspapers, but give yourself a pat on the back, dissenting voters too. You may be in the minority, but explained it more intelligently than any other paper I have seen so far.

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  8. Mark G

    I can’t help but think that, with all the financial difficulties The State has experienced recently, it could only endorse McCain, the Republican candidate.
    McCain holds a commanding lead here among voters (and subscribers), and is endorsed by many elected officials. The newspaper enjoys tax-breaks kept in place by the Republican legislature.
    The only other option would be to endorse neither candidate. But I think endorsements are such an ego trip for the editorial staff, that that’s not a realistic option either.
    I beleive reasonable people can disagree over Obama’s lack of experience, or McCain’s age or temper. But the Palin selection was the last straw.
    According to actuarial tables, a man McCain’s age and health (previous skin cancer) has an 80 percent chance of passing away within three years.
    The selection– and endorsement of Palin- is reckless and irresponsible.

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  9. david

    I gotta agree with John about Rich Lussier: While Rich is certainly entitled to hold any ridiculously myopic and liberal opinions he wants, I wish he weren’t teaching South Carolinas’ kids.
    The State newspaper is indeed an irrelevant piece of an increasingly irrelevant medium. The people who keep this newspaper on life support take themselves WAY too seriously. Just in the last week we’ve had two blog strings hyping the upcoming endorsements and at least three more either adding endorsements, discussing endorsements ad nauseum or describing the endorsement process in excruciating detail for us “little people.”
    Is there anyone either on this blog or in this state who would admit that they just didn’t feel like they could make up their mind about who to vote for until they got their hot hands on the edition of The State that had the all important endorsements in it?
    If you were waiting on The State endorsements before you really decided how to vote, you are a sad, sad human being indeed. We ought to have a voting competency test just to keep drones like you out of the polling place.
    Just sayin. David

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  10. david

    By the way – props to John Lussier: Even though he and I disagree on a lot, he WAS the first in this string to call The State irrelevant.
    David

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  11. always disapointed

    As a lifelong resident of SC, I went to bed last night still believeing The State Newspaper could do the right thing. Alas, I woke up to the reality that none of you had the nerve to tell the truth and endorse Obama. You are afraid of the Republican backlash financial and verbal. I wasn’t waiting for your endorsement to make my decision, I was just hopeful that we really had come a long way and your newspaper could do the right thing.

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  12. Brad Warthen

    Y’all are entitled to concoct wild guesses as to “why” we endorsed McCain — even though it’s a little hard for me to understand why you would, since you’ve just been given more explanation of the true reasons than you’ve ever seen in a newspaper. There’s probably a right to wild guesses in our Constitution right next to that right to privacy that Sen. Obama believes in.
    But you need to come up with another one other than it being a business decision. The business decision would be not to endorse in the presidential election. The only time Tony Ridder ever tried to influence editorial pages back when Knight Ridder existed, it was to present us with a bunch of research indicating that such endorsements only succeeded in infuriating about half of our readers (and therefore was bad for business). He urged us to stick to local.
    Since then, I’ve heard about more research indicating the same thing. Haven’t paid attention to it, though. I think not endorsing would be a cop-out.

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  13. Jim

    I have lived in SC for 15 years and always smile when I read articles by Brad attempting to justify why the State always endorses a Republican for president. One year it was a math formula and the next it was after careful “research”- i.e. “We at the State are smarter than you”. My suggestion is this- go ahead and endorse a Republican because the Republican party shares your social and fiscal views of the world. As a reporter you are suppose to be objective but we all have our opinions. Brad go ahead and say it proud but please do not insult the rest of us by listing the Columbia free trade agreement as the deciding issue that put you in the McCain camp! What? Who are you really trying to convince about your objectivity, the readers or yourself.

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  14. BK

    While I agree with many of your points, I take issue with this statement about Palin: “She has about as much experience in government as Barack Obama, but let’s face it — he’s smarter” – What makes you say he’s smarter? How do you know? Did you compare their grades in school? Is it because he graduated from law school and she didn’t (but then again, do you know she couldn’t have if she chose to?)? Is it because he’s been preparing to run for president for years and has studied all of the intricate issues and she’s been focused on running Alaska? Does that make him smarter? I think not – it makes him better prepared to answer questions, means he’s thought more or been instructed more, but that’s not an indicator of intelligence. Maybe Palin isn’t ready to be president, but say it for the only reason we know for sure – she has only spent at most a couple of months studying the full realm of issues facing a presidential candidate. Don’t insult her intelligence until she’s earned it on a level playing field – if she participates in this process in 4 years and doesn’t display a depth of knowledge then go for it. Right now I’d say she’s a pretty quick study. Oh – and she’s running for vice-president. Oh – and she’s been a very effective leader and executive. Oh – and Joe Biden says some of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.

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  15. wtf

    Bravo Rich. Could not have said it better.
    I always tell family and friends “how do you tell if you’re right? Look at South Carolina. If you’re doing what they are…history dictates that you’re not.”
    Cue GOP Fanboy Lee and the rants of the left-behinds.

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  16. david

    Right Brad. When your audience is getting smaller and increasingly geriatric, anything you can do to “create a stir” and breathe some life into it must seem a good idea from where you sit. Yep, even if creating a stir “infuriates” some people, at least you got SOME face time.
    Given the amount of “buzz” you have attempted to generate in the last week with your endorsements and your seemingly endless hype, I think it would be difficult to argue that this was all less about who you endorsed and more about who you impressed with your endorsements.
    David

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  17. p.m.

    Thanks, BK. The “let’s face it — he’s smarter” line stood out like a sore thumb to me, but I couldn’t bring myself to launch a salvo.
    So let’s face it — Obama might be more educated, but as commander-in-chief of Alaska’s national guard, Palin’s security clearance is higher.

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  18. Vic Ariel

    There are many good reasons to endorse Obama that have already been stated. For those who are torn like Cindi Ross Scoppe a decision should be easy when one realizes that McCain is 72 years old and Sarah Palin would replace him if, God forbid, he passed away in office. Also compare South Carolina’s vital statistics during the Clinton and Bush43 presidencies. Numbers don’t lie.
    The State’s decision to endorse McCain in reality came down to the polls and political pressure.

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  19. jfx

    I don’t think the McCain endorsement had anything to do with newspaper subscriptions, state politics, or local culture.
    I think Brad genuinely believes McCain is the better candidate with respect to some extremely precise policy distinctions.
    But, you know, I haven’t heard John McCain make the resounding, forceful arguments on his own behalf with respect to precise policy distinctions that Brad has generously made for him. John McCain has spent more time talking about Bill Ayers than Colombia and free trade.
    I suppose if you ignore McCain’s words, actions, stump speeches, campaign rallies, interviews, press conferences, debate appearances, VP pick, convention speech, and most of the “let’s all gang up on that weirdo Romney” primary nominating process…in short, if you ignore nearly all of his woefully dodgy 2008 presidential campaign, he does seem like a pretty good pick.

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  20. JimT

    I have to agree with those who are shaking their heads that you did not include Sarah Palin in your decision. Your statement that your “endorsement was about why we did choose McCain, not about why we ‘shouldn’t have.'” is silly considering it follows a paragraph of why the Columbia Free Trade Agreement was a reason why you shouldn’t endorse Obama.

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  21. wtf

    From Alaska Daily News, Alaska’s largest newspaper and their endorsement.
    http://www.adn.com/opinion/story/567867.html
    …Gov. Palin’s nomination clearly alters the landscape for Alaskans as we survey this race for the presidency — but it does not overwhelm all other judgment. The election, after all is said and done, is not about Sarah Palin, and our sober view is that her running mate, Sen. John McCain, is the wrong choice for president at this critical time for our nation.
    Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, brings far more promise to the office. In a time of grave economic crisis, he displays thoughtful analysis, enlists wise counsel and operates with a cool, steady hand. The same cannot be said of Sen. McCain…
    Yet despite her formidable gifts, few who have worked closely with the governor (Palin)would argue she is truly ready to assume command of the most important, powerful nation on earth. To step in and juggle the demands of an economic meltdown, two deadly wars and a deteriorating climate crisis would stretch the governor beyond her range.

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  22. Rich

    Let me address the issue of who gets to teach our children, since at least two of you above wished out loud that I were not teaching them. In my social studies class, the students are majority MINORITY, and, yes, the history I present does put them front and center in the narrative of US history that I present. I used to do the same when I taught government in Whitmire.
    Even though my students there were majority white, I wanted them to understand the centrality of the African American experience in our socio-political development in this country. We began in the colonial period with a diversity of white people along with a large slave population that is now moving past the melting-pot concept to interracial marriage and cultural fusion on a massive scale. The NY Times predicts that our 70% white majority now will become a 46% plurality by 2050, not only due to immigration but to a new racial mixture. Much as the clearly identifiable white ethnics of 1900 began to merge to form a monocultural whiteness only distinguishable today by the food they eat and maybe the church they go to, a racial admixture is taking place today on a massive scale.
    And that’s all to the good. There really is only one race–the human race. And that race, or better yet, homo sapiens the species, has its collective origin in the Great Rift Valley of East Africa. And our common ancestors there were not tall, blond, and blue-eyed, I hate to tell you. Those are genetic adaptations that occurred as humans moved out of Africa to colonize the world.
    So, I am saying that we need to recognize our common HUMAN heritage, all of us endowed with the same inalienable rights, and see that America is not based on a language, culture, or specific “racial” group, but rather an idea–citizenship in a democratic republic by virtue of being humans born here or naturalized.
    Our cultural diversity and ongoing fusion show that America is one of the most vibrant and culturally productive societies in the world. People come here and they add to the richness of the mixture, rather than being segregated as guest workers by a mistrustful majority, as usually occurs in Europe.
    As for politics, I have usually found American social studies teachers, not just here in S.C. but elsewhere, to be much too oriented toward military history, conservative economics, and the general preservation of the socio-political status quo. The U.S. in most history books is a white man’s story, now with a few cameo appearances by women, Amerindians, Hispanics, and, of course, Dr. King.
    Society, meanwhile, has made a great deal more progress toward social tolerance and acceptance of diversity than has the typical high-school teacher who, I hate to tell those of you who see left-wing conspiracies everywhere, is quite conservative socially, politically, and economically. And this occurs not only in social studies, where the narrative is basically centered on the white, Anglo-saxon experience, but also in science where 30% of the nation’s teachers are either afraid to teach evolution or are actively opposed to it themselves.
    Putting the African American experience into the center of any narrative of US history is not just a strategy for validating the feeling of black people, it is essential if we are to tell the story truly in the light of current scholarship and its discoveries and internal debates at the university level. American Indians were virtually exterminated, white religious and cultural minorities subsumed into the larger, English-speaking white culture, while women have worked their way into the political mainstream.
    But the African American experience defines us as a people and has consistently presented America’s greatest challenge to live up to the words of the Declaration of Independence, that all men (and women) are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights.
    These are some of the issues I think should be brought up in a social studies class. Kids should be allowed to wrestle out loud with the ideas and feel that controversial thinking is being presented to them for consideration, not foisted down their throats. I don’t tell my kids how to vote, but they can see the Obama sticker on the bumper of my truck. And don’t assume that the majority of my colleagues agree with me!!
    Actually, what happens by marginalizing the African American experience, or just not talking about large portions of it as if were tangential rather than central to our historical development, is the silencing of cultural and ethnic differences in favor of the traditional Anglo-centric narrative of US history–a history in which the culture, language, and values of the majority are taken for granted as the correct understanding of everything.
    The truth is, even whiteness is highly diverse and contested historically in this country. And our history has been a struggle against oppression by countless minorities. I can only think back to my mother’s public-school experience in the late 30’s. She dropped out at the end of the eighth grade to find work after being beaten repeatedly in the schoolyard by white, female, Anglo-saxon teachers who did not want to hear her and her friends speaking French. English was going to be beaten into them, or else.
    Of course, that story and the trauma it engendered as well as the fear and distrust of schools in general, something from which a lot of people do not recover, is not put side-by-side in the history books with that of English-speaking, white students going to schools warmly supported by their families and a loving community around them sharing the same background.
    We need to start telling everyone’s story in this country rather than just teaching the traditional white narrative with which, I fear, many of our bloggers were raised.
    If you don’t want me teaching your kids, it’s because you don’t want them even to know that there is scholarship out there that contradicts it.
    So I don’t just support Obama because I like his politics and because he’s a Democrat. I support him because he is the virtual incarnation of America’s promise of equal opportunity through hard work. Whereas McCain to me looks like a cranky, privileged, nescient frat boy who, by his demeanor in the debates, seems to think himself entitled to the presidency.

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  23. david

    jfx and I disagree about the motivations of the editors in this long and boring endorsement kabuki dance, but we are in violent agreement about
    McCains’ ridiculous campaign.
    If this doddering old fart wins, it will be because he was dragged across the finish line by conservatives and others who recognize the poison and destruction an Obama presidency would bring.
    David

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  24. jfx

    Thank you, Rich, for teaching our kids. It is an often-thankless job, and you are certainly not being paid well enough for it.
    It is so sad that in the year 2008 there are still pockets of modern America…like most of the South…that still don’t understand, or simply refuse to accept…that ALL white people…EVERYWHERE….are descended from a very small group of black East Africans.
    And if any fellow South Carolinians reading this blog want to take a serious journey into our deepest roots, they might try a little book called The Last Human. You can find it on Amazon.

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  25. jfx

    Thank you, Rich, for teaching our kids. It is an often-thankless job, and you are certainly not being paid well enough for it.
    It is so sad that in the year 2008 there are still pockets of modern America…like most of the South…that still don’t understand, or simply refuse to accept…that ALL white people…EVERYWHERE….are descended from a very small group of black East Africans.
    And if any fellow South Carolinians reading this blog want to take a serious journey into our deepest roots, they might try a little book called The Last Human. You can find it on Amazon.

    Reply
  26. Lee Muller

    NEW TAXES PROPOSED BY OBAMA
    • New federal ‘luxury’ tax proposed on homes that are more than 2400 square feet.
    • Additional federal gasoline tax.
    • New federal tax on natural gas, water and electricity.
    • New tax on retirement accounts. New, across the board general taxes to pay for socialized medical benefits, including to illegals.
    HOME SALES TAX
    MCCAIN
    0% on home sales up to $500,000 per home (couples) and no tax increase for all other existing home sales.
    OBAMA
    28% on profit from all home sales, a MAJOR ‘hit’ affecting retirees downsizing for equity
    transfer to retirement.
    STOCK DIVIDEND TAX
    MCCAIN
    15% (no change)
    OBAMA
    24.6% increase to 39.6%
    GENERAL INCOME TAX
    MCCAIN
    (no changes)
    Single making 30K – tax $4,500
    Single making 50K – tax $12,500
    Single making 75K – tax $18,750
    Married making 60K- tax $9,000
    Married making 75K – tax $18,750
    Married making 125K – tax $31,250
    OBAMA (reversion back to pre-Bush tax cuts) Obama will not renew Bush’s tax cuts !!!
    Single making 30K – tax $8,400
    Single making 50K – tax $14,000
    Single making 75K – tax $23,250
    Married making 60K – tax $16,800
    Married making 75K – tax $21,000
    Married making 125K – tax $38,750
    Under Obama, taxes almost double!
    INHERITANCE TAX
    MCCAIN
    0% (No change to previous Bush repeal of Inheritance Tax)
    OBAMA
    Wants to restore the inheritance tax, a HUGE hit to long-term family held business and properties lost due to inability to pay exorbitant inheritance taxes. Multiple properties going into receivership, often sell for 50 cents on the dollar.

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  27. Robert

    Since both McCain and Obama are U.S. Senators, it’s only fair to make determinations for their fitness for office based upon their current office. When they took the oath of office to become senators, they each stated they would not purposefully evade their duties as senators. Since both have done so, should the State feel a need to endorse a Presidential candidate, they could have selected Bob Barr, a man qualified to be Commander-in-Chief, who has stated what kinds of judges and cabinent members he would appoint and what bills he would sign and what bills he would veto, in other words he’s campaigning to become President based on the job description as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution, as opposed to meanigless sound bites provided by the 2 Senators.

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  28. Reader

    Brad:
    “She [Cindi] asked me whether a tie meant no endorsement, or whether Henry’s and my votes outweighed hers and Warren’s.”
    Cindi, you shoulda been a lawyer. It’s all about logic & you have it. More power to ya!
    Bill Johnson:
    “…give yourself [Brad/Henry] a pat on the back [for the endorsement]”
    Wrong. Give yourself a trip to the eye doctor. Your vision is skewed.

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  29. Reader

    Brad:
    “She [Cindi] asked me whether a tie meant no endorsement, or whether Henry’s and my votes outweighed hers and Warren’s.”
    Cindi, you shoulda been a lawyer. It’s all about logic & you have it. More power to ya!
    Bill Johnson:
    “…give yourself [Brad/Henry] a pat on the back [for the endorsement]”
    Wrong. Give yourself a trip to the eye doctor. Your vision is skewed.

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  30. david

    The motives and mindset of anyone who feels it necessary to convince the rest of us that God is black, or that this ancestor or that ancestor was black, are immediately suspect.
    It seems to me that only people who have inferiority issues waste time and effort trying to make these cases, and even if the case WERE made (and it isn’t), I don’t believe the vast majority of normal people care.
    People are prattling incessantly that we’re all just humans and can’t we all just get along and celebrate diversity, and yet many of these same people seem to have a burning need to convince us that Adam and Eve were black.
    Were they really? Does it really matter so much?
    David

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  31. Lee Muller

    Isn’t if funny how liberals who are constantly attacking religion, also want to believe that God is on their side when coveting and stealing your wealth?

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  32. Reader

    It matters not a whit, David. But were John McCain a black man…he would never be causing this much of a revolt — because based on temperament and personality, we would have reigned him in months ago. Like about last February.
    I think endorsements are, in fact, a strictly business decision. KnightRidder had that one right. Leave them out of the mix. They only divide us.

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  33. Rhett

    I’ve been subscribing to the State for over 35 years. During the last several years my opinion of the editorial rhetoric has descended rapidly. The analytical skills or rationale I read from the editorial board seems severely lacking and increasingly narcissistic. Perhaps there is a correlation between this and the financial condition of the Paper.
    It’s sad that a paper once representing a broader view of the entire state of SC is increasingly narrow in its scope. Perhaps you should consider a name change.

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  34. HP

    The term that comes to mind is…Entitlement.
    The ‘editor’ needs to break with the entitlement enablers at work [play?] in his life.
    They are bankrupt. I could name names…but do I really need to?

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  35. david

    HP…huh?
    I noticed the distinct odor of ozone and burned insulation when I read your post. I’d check for damaged wiring before I reset the breaker.
    Just sayin.
    Dave

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  36. jfx

    Yes, David, as a matter of fact, history does matter. And that includes natural history.
    The “blackness” of God or Adam or Eve isn’t in question. It’s a non-issue. Irrelevant. Superfluous. If we understand things like skin pigmentation (melanin), and why, over long periods of time, humans who migrate out of the tropics toward the poles lose the darker pigmentation, then we start moving intellectually toward finally getting past the false dichotomy of “black” or “white”. There are, of course, no actual, literal black or white people (excepting albinos)…only gradients of brown and pink.
    THEN, if we get a little more intellectually curious, we might delve into genetics and start understanding why a guy like Barack Obama, with a white mother and black father, looks a little more brown than pink.
    Yes, what is the motivation to better understand our own natural history? I dunno, a future for our kids with maybe a little less ignorance, prejudice, and fear?
    But you’re right. The vast majority of people don’t care. It’s easier to just not think about it. Lucky thing though….the natural world is completely impervious to human dogma.

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  37. Lee Muller

    The vast majority of Obama voters care about race. Race comprises most of their conversation.
    Even “spreading the wealth” means the wealth of whites and Jews.
    “The rich” is code talk for “whites”.
    “Wall Street” is code talk for “the Jews”.

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  38. Reader

    Mr. Lee Muller,
    Ever since Brad credited you for naming Hillary Clinton’s laugh a “cackle” — I have primarily categorized you with one of his “entitled.” I hope he pays you something. You sure do work hard “at it.”
    Just a thought. Must Say It.
    :)

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  39. Randy E

    Please tell me I am imagining this; I thought I read someone challenge the position that Obama is smarter than Palin and this person suggested she “was too busy running Alaska” as some justification. Hysterical if someone did post this.
    First, she has been in office less than two years so what was she doing with her time the other 40+ years?
    Second, when asked to name a supreme court case other than RvW, she couldn’t, not even the Valdez Oil ruling that reduced damages awarded to ALASKA!
    Third, she spent her only debate READING from index cards and still got the whole surge and general’s name in Afghanistan wrong.
    Finally, listening her babbling answers about Putin rearing his head in American airspace is, as they say in Red Sox lore, “nuff said”.
    Someone mentioned she’s been overseeing the national gaurd in Alaska. The adjutant general overseeing that gaurd said she had “played no role”.
    I look forward to the GOP primary for 2012 when she’ll be forced to face the media and the “man behind the curtain” is exposed.

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  40. Lee Muller

    Randy, you have been asked 100 times to list some real accomplishmens of Obama. So far, none of you can name any.
    So you seem to be voting based on race, or some other cult reason.

    Reply
  41. HP

    Randy E.,
    “…2012 when she’ll be forced to face the media and the “man behind the curtain” is exposed.”
    Dude, the man behind the curtain is stark naked for all who have eyes to see. It’s John McCain. He’s deceptive…but perhaps not as benevolently so…as was Oz Man.

    Reply
  42. david

    jfx…alrighty then!
    Whenever someone tests the substance of what you say, you pretty much do what all people of little substance do: You turn up the volume and the reverb. Say it louder and repeat it again and again…this is what usually passes for principled debate with folks who are tied to this notion of racial origins and “justice.”
    This country is ready for a black president. But it needs one with MUCH better ideas than Obama has.
    The American people aren’t fools…in spite of the unprecedented favoritism and outright bias shown by the press for Obama, Americans are not sold. This race should be a ten point deal for Obama. It should he over. It is not. In spite of his stupid unwillingness to run an aggressive campaign that fully exploited Obamas’ ties to terrorists and militant racists, McCain may be drug across the finish line as a winner by people who realize what a virulent racist, arch-liberal big government authoritarian Obama is.
    Dave

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  43. dave

    And believe, I’m no big fan of McCain either. Honestly, I sincerely believe America badly needs a president with better ideas than McCain has too, but we are where we are: There are no other candidates for president besides these two. Of course I understand that there are maniacs out there who will say that we could write in Bob Barr or something, but if we’re considering only those with credible chances of victory, McCain and Obama are it.
    Again, I wish they both had better ideas. But given that we must choose between these two jokers, McCain is the least of two evils.
    Tell you what jfx, you and your party come up next time with a black candidate for president that isn’t a closet racist/terrorist and overt arch -liberal tax and spender, and I’ll vote for him. Or her.
    Dave

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  44. Dave

    One who isn’t a supporter of any abortion procedure at anytime in a pregnancy – no matter how gruesome – would be nice too.
    Let’s see. Not a racist. Not huge friends and soulmates with avowed terrorists and cop killers. And not an arch enemy of unborn babies.
    Find that black candidate and I’ll give you a ride to the poll.
    David

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  45. jfx

    McCain had a clear path to the White House.
    But he didn’t have the guts or the vision to take it.
    He could have bowled right up the middle, running as an “independent conservative” with his pal Joe Lieberman as an “independent progressive” on a true unity ticket. Two hawkish mavericks (Real mavericks! Not Palin pseudo-mavericks!) bucking the extremists of their respective parties while defending America.
    But instead McCain bowled a gutter ball to the right.
    We all know McCain wanted Lieberman, but his campaign henchmen sold him on the idea that the provocative Palin pick was the right move. He just HAD to rally the base, right?
    Wrong.
    The right wing of the Republican party has become an angry, obese boat anchor dragging down the entire GOP. Sadly, the Republican “base” has become so warped and fuzzed by the incessant liberal-bashing and fear-mongering exemplified daily by Limbaugh, Hannity and friends, that the default method of Republican campaigning has become the Big Smear.
    Thus, phrases like “virulent racist arch-liberal big government authoritarian”, which leach their way into common partisan diatribes against the Evil Democrat Candidate. It’s no wonder, then, that McCain’s overarching campaign vision gets lost in a haze of smear tactics. Or that it seems he might not even have an overarching vision.
    This is why McCain should have cut himself free of the dead weight of all this right-wing fear-mongering and sprinted to the center as fast as possible. That’s where the election’s being decided. And the people in the center are more receptive to a positive campaign from a candidate of positive temperament with a compelling biography. McCain could have owned that territory. SHOULD HAVE owned it. Instead he surrendered it.
    Colin Powell is right to be worried about the direction of the Republican party. There is only so much rhetorical liberal-bashing you can do before people finally get sick of it and tune it out.

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  46. mara

    Why would anyone expect an esablishment paper in South Carolina to endorse a black candidate? John McCain in 2000 would have been a fine President. That man is gone. In his place is a very ill and ruthless old man who could not even remember which Secretaries of State had endorsed him today. He could not remember the names of 5 men. This is who you think should be our President? Sarah Palin is simply so far removed from reality she is dangerous. The State did what anyone would expect them to do. They did not have the courage or integrity to endorse a black candidate. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

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  47. Allen Perkins

    To endorse John McCain for president without mentioning the Republican Party’s first-ever woman nominee for vice president is truly an odd thing, no matter what half-assed justification Brad Warthen attempts.
    Sarah Palin couldn’t be mentioned because it would have seriously undermined the endorsement.
    Think about it:
    John McCain’s first presidential decision was a gimmick — the elevation of an obscure political novice who believes that cavemen ran around with dinosaurs just like in “The Flintstones” and who further believes that the scientific study of fruit fly genetics is worthless.
    While our state’s Shi’ite Baptists might sing her praises high above their flat earth, there’s no way The State could have mentioned Sarah Palin — a person even Brad Warthen admits is not ready to be president — without drawing attention to her unfitness for such a high office and, thus, the unfitness of anyone as old and unhealthy as John McCain for having chosen her.

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  48. p.m.

    Now that I’ve read all the posts here, I feel better about everything.
    Not.
    Wake me up when supper’s done. This half-baked stuff doesn’t have much taste.

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  49. dave

    jfx, I know one of Obamas’ greatest assets is that he has people like you who defend and support him no matter what.
    But in his short, four year tour in the senate as a junior back-bencher, Obama has managed to run up the single most liberal democrat voting record that there is.
    Obama IS an “arch liberal, big government authoritarian.” He got this title the old fashioned way-he earned it. His support for bigger government, higher taxes and unlimited abortions is undeniable. You may not like it, but this is your guy, and you just frankly aren’t a good enough liar to convince many Americans otherwise.
    By the way, I completely agree with you that McCain is an idiot, and doesn’t deserve to be president.
    But for the good of the country I pray he beats Obama.
    Dave

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  50. Lee Muller

    Obama Thugs Attempt to Disrupt McCain-Palin Rally
    Posted on Sun, Oct. 26, 2008
    http://www.thestate.com/statewire/story/568218.html
    Confrontations emerge at Palin event in NC
    The Associated Press
    ASHEVILLE, N.C. —
    Supporters of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama are confronting people attending a North Carolina event featuring Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
    The faceoff in downtown Asheville included loud yelling and vulgar signs. The event showcased the tension between people who live in the liberal enclave and the others living in conservative counties that surround Asheville.
    Authorities stood between the crowds, which included a couple of hundred Obama supporters and several thousand Palin supporters waiting to enter the event.
    Both sides crowded the sidewalks of a downtown street, at times disrupting traffic as they spilled into the road to confront each other. Some heated arguments devolved into minor shoving.

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  51. jfx

    Dave & Lee:
    I want to briefly summarize your reasoned, civilized arguments:
    1. Barack Obama is an arch-liberal authoritarian racist socialist terrorist satanist.
    2. Barack Obama’s supporters are thugs and liars.
    3. Barack Obama wants everyone to go broke paying for lots and lots of abortions.
    4. A vote for Barack Obama is a vote for Satan.
    Got it.
    Hard to believe you guys are behind in the polls.

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  52. rekky

    The choice of Palin is ‘the’ major reason not to vote for McCain. A President gets to make thousands of appointments to the positions that actually run the government on a day-to-day basis. If he is as careless with his other selections as he was with his choice of Palin, we would be no better off than we are with George Bush. Bush has made many terrible choices. Remember ‘Brownie’ who was in charge of FEMA? What about Gonzalez who politicized the Justice department?

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  53. Over & Out

    Posted by: Brad Warthen | Oct 26, 2008 9:48:45 AM:
    “…endorsements only succeeded in infuriating about half of our readers…”
    So half of you — the ones whose votes “mattered” — figured it better to infuriate the Have Nots than the Haves?
    Do you just pity the man? Feel we ‘owe’ him the presidency?

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  54. dave

    There ya go jfx! You got it. Now was that so hard?
    Unfortunately for you, your guy is not as far ahead in this race as you wish he was. In fact, he may very well lose. I’ve read some pieces that indicate that Obama really needs about a 7 to 8 point advantage in the polls going into Tuesday November 4th, and I don’t think your wonder boy has that kind of lead at present. Unless you really want to stake all your hopes on bogus/inflated CNN polls.
    You DO have me figured out though: I really do believe everyone who disagrees with me is a Satanist.
    Dave

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  55. david

    Didn’t say he wasn’t ahead. Didn’t say it wasn’t gonna be close.
    You had just glibly tossed out that McCain was behind in the polls and I was making the point that it isn’t that simple and clean cut. You’d like everyone to think Obama is clearly going to win in a week and a half, and I simply point out that he could very well lose.
    If he does lose, I wonder if black people will really riot and tear up already depressed black neighborhoods, communities and businesses the way they have in the past? James Carville and others have as much as promised riots if BHO loses. Wonder if black folks will tear up black stuff again?
    Dave

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  56. jfx

    Dave, you and Lee seem to be obsessed with the nefarious motivations and machinations of “black folks”.
    Do you actually know any black folks? You might try meeting a few and making friends. Don’t be scared.

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  57. p.m.

    Now that I see the Anchorage Daily News has actually endorsed Obama, let me ask, Brad: Had McCain chosen Mark Sanford as his running mate, would you have wanted The State to endorse McCain anyway?

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  58. Lee Muller

    For months, a handful of Obama followers have come here with dismissals of every Obama scandal, every hateful and Marxist phrase from his mouth, and attacked everyone who dared to post the facts.
    Yet they never even attempt to give a single positive reason to support Obama, like a real, ordinary voter would.
    That is why I believe that “bud”, “wtf”, “jtx”, “Randy E”, and all, are just Obama workers, part of their Blog Crash Team, who spend the day monitoring blogs and trying to disrupt fact-based political discussions, and chase off moderate, inquisitive voters.

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  59. Dave

    Not scared jfx, again I’m simply pointing out what has generally happened when black people get angry about something and set about to teach whitey a lesson:
    -There is a police beating of a black man in LA and black people burn down Watts and loot many black owned stores in South Central.
    -Black people get angry about the Confederate flag and the NAACP wages a boycott against the tourism industry, apparently unaware that many many black people are employed in this industry.
    I am wondering what will happen if B. Hussein Obama loses next month…will black people riot? If they do will they do what they’ve done in the past and destroy black property, or will they destroy other peoples’ property where many black people will inevitably hold jobs? THAT’S teaching us!
    Just sayin. Dave

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  60. Lee Muller

    Barack Obama was a member of a socialist political party in Chicago the New Party, which was a local offshoot of the Democratic Socialists for America.
    I previously posted names of members of various socialist groups inside the US Congress, all Democrats.
    Many in Chicago remembered Obama making speeches for the socialist candidates, but the Obama 2008 campaign claimed this was all untrue.
    Well, the New Party had a newspaper, and many issues contain Barack Obama.
    The party’s Spring 1996 newspaper boasted: “New Party members won three other primaries this Spring in Chicago: Barack Obama (State Senate), Michael Chandler (Democratic Party Committee) and Patricia Martin (Cook County Judiciary). The paper quoted Obama saying “these victories prove that small ‘d’ democracy can work.”
    The newspaper lists other politicians it endorsed who were not members but specifies Obama as a New Party member.
    Barack Obama pictured in New Party publication (Courtesy New Zeal blog)
    http://newzeal.blogspot.com/2008/10/obama-file-41-obama-was-new-party.html
    New Ground, the newsletter of Chicago’s Democratic Socialists for America, reported in its July/August 1996 edition that Obama attended a New Party membership meeting April 11, 1996, in which he expressed his gratitude for the group’s support and “encouraged NPers (New Party members) to join in his task forces on Voter Education and Voter Registration.”
    Becoming a New Party member requires some effort on behalf of the politician. Candidates must be approved by the party’s political committee and, once approved, must sign a contract mandating they will have a “visible and active relationship” with the party.
    The New Party, established in 1992, took advantage of what was known as electoral “fusion,” which enabled candidates to run on two tickets simultaneously, attracting voters from both parties. But the New Party went defunct in 1998, one year after fusion was halted by the Supreme Court.

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  61. bud

    It is very odd, yet understandable, that The State ignored Palin in it’s endorsement. She is, as other’s have pointed out, the first woman to appear on the GOP top ticket. That in and of itself makes this an historic event and something worth noting, at least in passing, in an endorsement. Yet she was ignored. Why?
    The only plausible explanation is the editorial board had long ago made up it’s mind who they were going to endorse. Brad denies it but his denials are more and more unbelievable with each passing day. Frankly, there was nothing McCain could have done to lose Brad’s respect. He even said as much during the primary season when he spoke of McCain like a teenage girl with a crush.
    By failing to mention Palin, in spite of the significant historical implications, The State has tacitly acknowledged the poor judgment by McCain in this very important decision. Strange that Brad is unable to look at this situation as a professional journalist rather than a starry eyed lover. Yet that appears to be what this is all about.

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  62. Lee Muller

    Obama in 2001 interview outlines his plans to redistribute wealth:

    speaks for itself. Democrats scam with sub prime mortgages was just the start.

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  63. Claudia

    Brad,
    I’d like to see a topic devoted to the race-based comments that have run “riot” through all the postings about Obama and McCain.
    Among college students at USC, I perceive an attitude that seems generational – racial hatred is their parents’ issue, not theirs. While I do have a concern that these young people see racism, like feminism, as a battle that has been fought and won, I am heartened that this group – from which our leaders will emerge in the next couple of decades – carry far less racial baggage than older South Carolinians. The challenge is to make sure that this generation sees the reality of bigotry in our state and nation, rather than the idealistic viewpoint that many have. Still, my heart rejoices when I see twenty-somethings that simply don’t hate the way their parents and grandparents did.

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  64. Randy E

    Lee, in the ocean of your perversion of truth, you provide an oasis of a worthy topic – the video. I watched the video and found it interesting.
    First, there is an underlying premise that Obama’s “spread the wealth” is inherently socialistic. If so, McCain wanting to take my tax dollars to buy the bad mortgages of others is socialistic. Nationalizing banks, that a republican administration is overseeing, is socialistic. So our government is engendered with socialists.
    Second, taxes are inherently the same as spreading the wealth. After 911 and Katrina, America chipped in with tax dollars to help those in need. Even a flat tax would involve wealthy ed-op editors like Brad to pay more than in taxes which are then used to pay for roads that poor people like bud and pm use.
    Third, the video distorts and over simplifies a complex issue that Obama was attempting to explain – especially given his position as a constitutional law professor. His point about the Constitution is that the document mostly lays out what state and federal government CAN’T do. Anything else is available to the legislature.
    The video ends with Joe the not quite a plumber but now wants to run for office. If you consider JtP’s real life situation and not the fabricated one he gave Obama, he would receive a BIGGER TAX CUT from Obama than McCain.
    McCain wants the status quo for the wealthiest Americans while Obama wants to cut taxes for the middle class (that McCain ignored during his first two debates) and have the wealthy, like Brad, to pay more of their fair share. Perhaps JtP should have held on to that $100 donation he made to pay for Palin’s shopping spree.

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  65. C.B.McCarthy

    First, as other readers have said, your omission of Sen. McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as a running mate is inexcusable. Time after time this woman confirms in interviews that she carries no intellectual weight on her shoulders and seeks to ignite and reignite both old and new culture wars in stump speeches on the campaign trail (i.e. “palin’ around with terrorists”). Perhaps more importantly, the fact that McCain has a 1 in 6 chance of dying while in office (melanoma) disqualifies your response of “choosing a president, not a vice president” even before considering the argument you make for McCain over Sen. Obama.
    Speaking of which, if the entire premise of such an argument is McCain’s ability to be commander-in-chief in an era when counterterrorism is the top objective, why not consider McCain’s military record in its entirety before dubbing him the best choice? I’ll tell you why. His record reveals a gross lack of judgment and an inability to lead.
    Consider McCain’s academic record at the Naval Academy: Legacy got him in — barely — and he finished 894 out of 899 students. Consider his field record: Unmerited promotion to flight school, four of five aircraft wrecked — one which resulted in his internment as a P.O.W. McCain’s P.O.W. status stint was, at one point, a centerpiece of his campaign. Why? Because McCain is obsessed with losing the war in Vietnam! His thesis paper at the National War College confirms as much. (Iraq corollary, anyone?) I’m not saying the guy can’t change his ways, but his personal history makes for a very ill-tempered, unstable and bone-headed CIC. It makes for an unfit president.
    If you did a little digging — been the journalists you profess to be — you’d have come across all of this. Maybe you knew it all along and chose to ignore this portion of Sen. McCain’s background. Either way, The State’s endorsement is hackneyed and, for the most part, hollow.
    Moreover, on the substance you do cite: Free trade with Columbia is a non-issue right now. That you even devote entire paragraphs to it is laughable.
    Campaign finance is also bull because of Palin’s recent shopping extravaganza on donors’ dollars, but also because of Obama’s ability to raise voluntary, small-amount donations to the tune of $750 million by the time Nov. 4 rolls around. Campaign finance needs to be redone, but, again, a non-issue.
    And torture? Lest we not forget, McCain flopped on that issue a long time ago by helping Bush push through the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which denied detainees the right to court hearings and conflicted with the Geneva Conventions.
    Immigration? McCain said during the primaries he would vote against the comprehensive bill he drafted. The ultimate flop.
    Supreme Court nominations? I’ll trust Obama over McCain on this one. Obama taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago, he has come to the center, and the court is already too close to leaning too far to the right.
    As far as Iraq and the surge goes, McCain is not a genius for calling for more troops to secure Baghdad when things were going really, really bad. Patreus was the guy on the ground. Let’s give him more credit. Let’s also not forget that the Sunni Awakening and Shia militia ceasefires — brokered with American taxpayer dollars — have also played a large role in reducing violence in Iraq.
    Those are not the real issues, though. It is important to remember that McCain was one of the Senate’s head cheerleaders for the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq in the first place (see Iraq Liberation Act, New Citizenship Project, Project for the New American Century). It was never a just war.
    And it’s not required for Presidents to be career politicians in order to understand foreign policy. All you really need are a library card and some history lessons and you have the basis for sound judgment in Foreign Affairs (being on the ground helps, but not to the extent that McCain says).
    A read through Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope” shows a thorough understanding of international relations (which also happening to be what he studied at Columbia). That he’ll seat Republicans and Independents at his Cabinet table along with a host of other experts of his choosing reassures that Obama is a top-notch mind in most fields, not just foreign policy.
    It’s not even close who The State SHOULD have endorsed. Obama/Biden ’08.

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  66. Brad Warthen

    Claudia, here’s the thing about that: I’m 55 years old, and when I was young, I was completely convinced that race was a battle that had "been fought and won." I truly thought it was SO over and behind us that consciousness of race was something to be joked about. I looked at people like Richard Pryor and Flip Wilson and Godfrey Cambridge and (later) Garrett Morris, and thought it had been reduced to a gag for television.

    Seriously. And as a result, I carried no "racial baggage." I looked upon any residual such problem, on the part of either black or white, as an archaeologist might examine the concerns of some ancient culture.

    Imagine my surprise, as an adult in the news business, being confronted with the evidence that far too many people were still way too hung up on the issue.

    So when people tell me how enlightened young folks are, and how racism is their parents’ thing (with me a member of the parental generation) I guess I find myself feeling a bit like Hemingway when Gertrude Stein made her famous observation about the lost generation. He turned to Ecclesiastes:

    4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

    5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.

    6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.

    7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.

    8 All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

    9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

    10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

    That said, I’m not so fatalistic as the Preacher quoted above. I believe it IS possible to progress, to produce something new and good under the sun. After all, that was The Gift of the Jews that Thomas Cahill wrote about, right.

    And I don’t want to take anything away from the younger generation. I’m proud that my children are free of racial hangups. But then, I also know they were raised to be that way.

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  67. meribeth moore

    Brad, I cannot find on the internet a copy of The State’s endorsement of McCain during the 2000 SC primary. It is not available at The State’s site nor on Google. Would you please send me a copy so I can read The State’s opinion regarding the 2000 Bush smear campaign of McCain, the same architects of McCain and Palin’s current negative campaign who were hired by McCain. Thank you.

    Reply
  68. Brad Warthen

    You can’t find it because it doesn’t exist. As I said in the column above, and over and over, I lost that argument in 2000 — the paper endorsed Bush over McCain.

    If you follow the links above, you can read previous columns that told that story — such as this one, and this one.

    Beyond that, I’ve had a terrible time keeping stuff from years that predate this blog up on the Web. I think we’ve finally got a system up that will keep this year’s endorsements available in perpetuity. But then, I thought we had it all set up in 2006, and then they all disappeared when somebody somewhere (probably in California) threw a switch and didn’t tell me.

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  69. Doug Ross

    Brad,
    Did you get Mike Fitts’ opinion on who he would have endorsed had he remained with the paper a few more months?
    That would have made it interesting had he supported Obama. 3 peons in opposition to the 2 management representatives.
    I realize you keep trying to push the idea that this endorsement was a tough one but I don’t see it. A publisher who is a strong Bush supporter would be an unlikely Obama fan. Your views on McCain made your support for him (no matter how much you try to claim otherwise) a done deal. With only four votes on the endorsement, and two of the four votes counting more than the other two, it was in the bag.
    What I have learned most about political bloggers in the past couple years is that it is what they DON’T write about that defines them. Same goes for endorsements.
    It’s very odd that you were able to find the space on the editorial page to do extended book reviews/personal observations of Obama and McCain (2000 words for each) and yet somehow felt constrained to limit the newspaper’s endorsement of McCain to 550 words.
    For an election as important as this one, I would have hoped you would have done a thorough analysis of where you agreed and disagreed with the candidates to aid readers in their decision.

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  70. Brad Warthen

    Actually, Doug, I kept the editorial itself to standard length (rather than go all the way to the bottom of the page, which we occasionally do) mainly because I DID have a lot to say about it, and I didn’t want to limit the length of my column. If I had been writing both at the same time, I might have decided to put more in the editorial and less in my column. But since I was writing the editorial in advance so it could appear Friday morning, and wouldn’t have a chance to start on my column until, as it turned out, midafternoon Friday, I didn’t want to find myself in a box at the last minute. You see, if we go all the way to the bottom with the editorial, my column has to be as much as 10 inches shorter — unless we eliminate letters to the editor, which I hate too do. And I wanted to have SOME space in the column for responding to what people said about the editorial on Friday morning.
    That said, you have to consider that the editorial didn’t really need to be longer, since it did have so much peripheral material going with it — those two super-long column from the weeks before, my Sunday column and Warren’s, and indeed, the endorsements we had already done of both McCain and Obama in January.
    As for whom Mike would favor — I think I know, but I would not presume to speak for him. But I failed to characterize Cindi’s position accurately if you have the impression that she is for Obama. She is still undecided (her column on the subject runs tomorrow), and she stresses that she would NEVER have admitted that MAYBE she’s leaning toward Obama if she had thought she was influencing the endorsement, because she WAS so uncertain.
    You have formed another misconception that I must correct — this publisher is not the same one who wanted to endorse Bush in 2000. This one wasn’t here then, and wasn’t here in 2004, either.
    Finally, Doug, I defy you to point to an American newspaper that has provided MORE material analyzing and explaining its endorsement — from positions for, against and in-between — than The State has, and will continue to do. If you find that newspaper, I will applaud it for a job well done. But you won’t find one.

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  71. Lee Muller

    1. Barack Obama is not a “Constitutional law professor”, and never was. He claims to have taught a class in the subject, which no student can remember taking. Obama never even wrote a law review article or a legal opinion for a judge, which is the bare minimum for any law professor I ever had.
    2. Yes, all the plans for taxpayers bailing out those who never should have gotten a mortgage and now cannot afford the payments is some form of socialism. The original scheme for having the government put these people into these homes was socialistic – and racist, since it was aimed at non-whites.
    3. The US Constitution only grants EXPLICIT powers to the federal government. Anything not SPECIFIED is illegal – which includes HUD, FNMA, FMAC, Social Security, Medicare, the Dept of Education, etc.
    4. The US Constitution also forbids the states from abridging enumerated rights of the people, like the right to a jury trial, the right to bear arms for defense of self and against tyrants, etc.
    5. Taxes are not supposed to be for the purpose of redistributing wealth, but for the common good – for everyone’s benefit. Examples are the “common defense”, which is enumerated as a power of the federal government. The “general welfare” means for everyone, not a “welfare check” for the minority which doesn’t want to work.

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  72. Lee Muller

    Claudia, the students at USC are not concerned about race because most whites in the South are not concerned about race.
    Middle-aged white liberals are obsessed with race, because they are stuck in the past. They are racists, because they think non-whites can make any progress without constant handouts from enlightened people like themselves.
    They want to punish themselves for being racists, and punish all other whites, by backing black racist agitators even when they are wrong, and black politicians even when they are not the best candidate.
    The racism in this campaign comes from Obama, who promises his radical friends that he will “get whitey” by “spreading the wealth”, and by promoting himself as that punishing figure to the self-loating white racists. His mobs cheer wildly when he talks in their racist code lingo for punishing whites (“the rich”) and Jews (“Wall Street”).
    McCain and GOP talk about helping businesses create jobs.
    Obama and the Democrats talk about looting businesses to hand out money to people don’t want jobs.

    Reply
  73. blue bunny

    obama’s priorities are in enacting his change agenda; to recast the country into his ideal, not that of the founding fathers or the constitution. i doubt that he has ever read the constitution, and i have never heard him say he would defend it.
    Tax and spend is not the change we can believe in. I guess denying all your past relationships his the change he believes in.

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  74. Lee Muller

    ObamaNation = reparations
    Now that the radio interview has come out with Obama talking about how we need to ignore the Constitution in order to set up reparations to blacks for slavery, will Warren Bolton denounce that part of the Obama agenda? Or is down with reparations?

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  75. Lee Muller

    Teaching class at a college or law school does not make someone a “professor”. Why didn’t take a $100,000 teaching job, when he was only earning $25,000 from teaching one class and practicing law for ACORN?
    Obama was such a dud lawyer that, according to his FEC filings, he and Michelle together never made $50,000 a year practicing law…. until they hooked up to Tony Rezko and the Nation of Islam’s racket to get federal money for “urban revitalization”.
    Besides, Obama says that the Constitution should be ignored:
    “…but the Supreme Court never entered into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.”
    and….
    “…the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution —…”

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  76. slugger

    Lee,
    I hope all the folks on the blog will read your 5 points. Unfortunately, we have the blind that will not see and the deaf that will not hear. They are on the train to sharing the wealth and reparations and they are not going to get off at any station except the Nov. 4th voting booth. I call these people the bottom feeders.
    When we pay our taxes it is true that we have no control when the money reaches the Internal Revenue and our elected politicians then distribute our hard earned money that we pay into the tax system. Never is a thought given by the politicians when it comes to earmarks except they can take from the pot and distribute to those that keep them in office by their grant money and special interest programs.
    In my county, they pave sidewalks that no one ever walks on except the drug pusher, to the tune of hundred of thousand dollars each year. They always seem to be in the downtown area where the poor people live and they seem to use the new and improved sidewalks to sell their drugs door to door.
    The poor people of this country need to take more pride in themselves and take over the jobs that are available and work up to a decent paying job by getting experience instead of wanting to start at the top.
    Even FDR (who was a socialist) provided jobs for the poor that gave then experience that would last them a lifetime and improve their lot in life after the depression was over.
    We are being told that the illegal Mexicans are going back to Mexico because their jobs here in the US are being done away with because of the turn down in the economy. Do you think for a minute that any of the Obama followers are going to take any of the vacated jobs if there is an opening?
    God help those that will not help themselves? I am sure that we should all pray that God will take care of those people that have no place in society except to suck off the system with the help of Obama but do not depend on anyone but the taxpayers to keep the unwed mothers with a number of children that will fall through the cracks because the unwed mother knows that they will be taken care of. If you support those that will not work and those that produce perhaps children that will wind up without an education and repeat the cycle of poverty,” you are tearing down our country and you are walking on the fighting side of me”.
    The black, part black and part white and what other color anyone happens to be should have to work for what they get in life except for those that are truly disabled. Being responsible for yourself and having a moral character along with an education will move you forward much faster than a handout especially when they do not even have to stand in line for the handout..It is put in the mail to them and it is called the U.S. Postal Service

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  77. Lee Muller

    Barack Obama called himself a socialist.
    Barack Obama is the one using Marxist lingo in his campaign.
    Barack Obama was a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, which arose from the ashes of the collapse of the Soviet Union, as a means to advance socialism by electing socialists to office in democratic nations. The DSA is not a political party, but it has over 40 Democrat members of the U.S. Congress as members. One of the many socialist political parties affiliated with it was the New Party in Chicago, Daniel Cantor, a former staffer for Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign, and Joel Rogers, a sociology and law professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
    Barack Obama in 1995 sought the endorsement of the New Party, and received it, because he worked for ACORN, another socialist group. The New Party required Obama and the other candidates to sign a contract supporting socialism.
    Article on the New Party with quotes from their newspaper:
    http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=26913
    Photos of Obama and scans of New Party newsletter:
    http://newzeal.blogspot.com/2008/01/obama-file-4-obama-was-endorsed-by-far.html

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  78. Ish Beverly

    Unflappable,consistency,calmness, no emotion, cool, are all signs of being indoctrinated. I beleive that is what happened to Obama by Bill Ayers around the kitchen table while writing Obama’s book. I’ll bet Obama really beleives that he himself wrote that book alone. Why are we expected to commit suicide just because The New York Times and NBC says for us to do just that?

    Reply
  79. Claudia

    Brad,
    I’m not sure if I understand your response to my post. My intention was, first, to comment on the number of racially vitriolic posts I read here, and to express my interest in seeing how you would write about that.
    I also wanted to point out how the students, black and white, seem less concerned about racial prejudice than older – and I mean older than twenty-something – South Carolinians are. And, one, to express that I hope this lack of concern will not blind them to the prejudice that still exists (as evidenced by a number of posts I read here), and, two, to rejoice in the fact that there appears to be less intrinsic racism within that community than in communities of older (see above) South Carolinians.
    That said, I hope that you did not think I was in some subtle or not-so-subtle fashion accusing you of any kind of racial prejudice. I believe you to be an honest and fair-minded man who believes in the concept that all people are born equal in the sight of the God that you believe in. I would fully expect you to raise your children to believe the same.
    As for my personal racial baggage, I was born and raised in a small town in South Carolina. I’ve seen and experienced first-hand the scars racial prejudice leaves on the souls of black, brown and white people. I don’t carry guilt; I carry grief.

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  80. HP

    Just came back to check the rebuttals…guess what…I find myself skipping with vengeance over your comments, like I do Lee Muller’s…
    Apparently we are finally equal. The value I place on what’s in your head equates to the value you place on me. Which is negligible on the anatomical charts.
    You have contracted a regional cancer.
    Get some help.

    Reply
  81. Lee Muller

    My, my.
    The Obama goons don’t like people standing up to them.
    Wait until we refuse to turn in our guns.
    Wait until we stop hiring, reduce our work hours, and our incomes, work offshorte, and choke off the dream of an Obama Socialist Utopia.

    Reply
  82. Brad Warthen

    You’re right; Claudia — I didn’t fully understand what you were saying. Sorry about that; I’ll try to do better next time.
    I’m glad to have made the points I did — I’m just sorry that I mistakenly aimed them at your comment.

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  83. Jim

    I’m afraid that you’ll never convince me that this endorsement is anything other than a craven attempt to avoid the probable flood of cancelled subscriptions if you were to endorse Obama.

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  84. Ish Beverly

    The reason the students and other young people are less conserned about racial prejudice is because there is very little or none at all in most cases. The racial issue is kept alive by white and black liberals. A black entering the business or academic community will most likely encounter a white who is positive to the situation. Most social studies classes in the public schools, colleges, and universitys teach minorities to distrust all whites. All whites are bigots. Most young people learn that this is not true. On this blog, race is only brought out by the Obama supporters. Scroll up and see what I mean.

    Reply
  85. HP

    I’m glad he has you, Claudia. Because I would be our Sarah Palin to his John McCain. And there would be blood. And there still may be.
    Where is your freaking wife??????????????

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  86. Lee Muller

    Obama in 2001 interview outlines his Marxist plans to redistribute wealth:

    speaks for itself. Democrats scam with sub prime mortgages was just the start.

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  87. Emboldened

    1 hour and 20 minutes waiting on your re-butt, Lee. The thought of bloodshed turns me on. Way. Yes. Do you think I should report myself?
    You and your shadow are falling down on it.

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  88. Lee Muller

    Democrats plan to take over retirement accounts
    by Lee Muller
    Barack Obama and other radicals in the Democratic Party are calling tax-free contributions to
    401-k plans a “loophole” and readying legislation to end all employer contributions and individual pre-tax
    contributions.
    “We’ve invested $80 billion into subsidizing this activity,” said Rep. George Miller, D-Calif, chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, referring to tax breaks allowed for 401(k) contributions and savings.
    Rep. Jim McDermott, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, recently invited Teresa
    Ghilarducci, a professor at the New School of Social Research, to testify before a subcommittee
    on her idea to eliminate the preferential tax treatment of the popular retirement plans. In place
    of 401(k) plans, she would have workers transfer their savings into government-created
    “guaranteed retirement accounts” for every worker.
    The government would deposit $600 (inflation indexed) every year into the GRAs. Each worker would
    also have to save 5 percent of pay into the accounts, to which the government would pay a measly
    3 percent return.
    Did you get that?
    Tax-deferred investments are a “loophole” that “isn’t working” and is receiving a “subsidy”.
    Workers who saved would be forced to sell out of stocks at the bottom of the market, and deposit
    the cash into a government savings account.
    A 3% return on $10,000 yields $22,000 in 40 years.
    A 7% return from the stock market average yields $150,000 in 40 years.
    The amount of wealth which would be destroyed on the front end would be devastating to economic
    growth, and leave millions of hard-working Americans dependent on government retirement plan
    promises.
    The majority of Obama supporters have no savings, and no retirement plans. They welcome taking
    money from “the rich”. This scheme has appeal to the reparations crowd as more get-back on “rich
    white folks”. But a lot of Obama supporters mean well and just have not looked beyond his rhetoric at what he and other Democrats are cooking up in legislation.
    Corporate and state pensions are at risk.
    The federal government has quietly been taking over pension plans of failed corporate plans, but there is not enough money in the insurance fund to cover all that are at risk. On top of that, all the state pension plans are grossly underfunded and unable to meet future promises.
    In the financial bailout package for the mortgages, Democrats slipped in authority to bail out state pensions. Unions, which don’t want to give up lavish retirement plans, are all for federal guarantees. But the radical Democrats do not want to guarantee trillions of future payments; they want to take the cash that is in the plans now, and replace it with a government pension that will be much smaller, just as they propose for the 401-k accounts.
    The strategy of big-government Democrats is to prey on the uncertainty and fears of the market, blame money managers, and convince the future retirees to let government take the money “out of the hands of Wall Street”, when they are actually taking it out of the hands of the workers.
    There are lots of stories in the investment press, but none in the mainstream media.
    Investment News
    http://www.investmentnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081007/REG/810079894
    US News & World
    http://www.usnews.com/blogs/capital-commerce/2008/10/23/would-obama-dems-kill-401k-plans.html

    Reply
  89. Institutional Ramblings.

    ***I officially apologize to you Mr. Lee Muller. I thought you were a fictional character in Brad’s BIGOTS ON PARADE***
    I am no longer am having a PARTY-O on election night. There. Please amnesia beam it all from your collective minds.
    Done.

    Reply

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