Cleveland Plain Dealer endorses President Obama: The Cleveland Plain Dealer endorses President Obama for reelection, slams the Republican Party for its belligerence and swagger. The newspaper also slams the ever changing Mitt Romney, asking who would Americans elect, the moderate Mitt or the severely conservative Mitt? This is big because the Cleveland Plain Dealer is the largest newspaper in the key battleground state of Ohio.
But which Romney would they elect? The rather liberal one who ran for the Senate in 1994? The pragmatic governor? The sharply conservative candidate of this year’s GOP primaries? The reborn moderate of recent weeks?
All politicians change positions over time — Obama in 2008 shifted his position on health care reform more to the center. But Romney’s frequent changes raise questions about his core principles and make his lack of policy details all the more troubling. They make you wonder if he would stand up to the more extreme elements in his own party, especially to the House Republicans who undercut Ohioan John Boehner’s attempts to negotiate a deficit and debt deal.
Romney’s tendency to bluster on foreign policy provides more cause for doubt. With tens of thousands of young Americans still in harm’s way in Afghanistan, the United States cannot afford to be drawn into new wars without clear national interests at stake or to sap its resources in further open-ended conflicts. The Benghazi killings reveal the risks of an “Arab Spring” in which terrorists have gained new weaponry and new freedom to operate. But these challenges require inventive diplomacy and international engagement, not slogans or swagger.
Obama has shown that he favors engagement over bluster, and practical solutions over easy bromides. That’s what the country needs.