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Tampa Bay Times endorses Barack Obama

No one should be surprised that the Tampa Bay Times has endorsed President Obama for a second term. The newspaper is long known for its thoughtful, liberal editorial view and the odds of Mitt Romney getting the endorsement were always nil.

Still, one should take the Times endorsement seriously. While the I-4 corridor is vital to the presidential election - no section is more vital than the one that goes through Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

Florida newspaper endorsements are evenly split with Romney picking up the Orlando Sentinel yesterday.

It is a shame that neither newspaper wanted to wait until the finish of Monday's debate. 

Some excerpts from the Times editorial:

This is not the time to reverse course and return to the failed policies of the past. Without hesitation, the Tampa Bay Times recommends Barack Obama for re-election as president.


By many measures, the economy is improving steadily even if growth remains painfully slow. There have been 31 straight months of job growth, and more than 5 million private sector jobs have been created. The unemployment rate is down to 7.8 percent — not great, but the same as when Obama took office.


There is still too much economic pain, but America is better off than most of the rest of the industrialized world.


Obama's economic policies clearly had a positive impact.


The Affordable Care Act, Obama's signature legislative achievement, offers sweeping health care reform that presidents from both political parties unsuccessfully pursued for decades. 


Although he came to the job with limited foreign policy experience, Obama has been reasonably sure-footed.


Obama followed through on his promise to withdraw troops from Iraq, which Romney called a mistake. The president's temporary troop surge in Afghanistan stabilized the country and checked the Taliban's momentum.


Romney suggests Obama has been too timid on foreign policy, but it took courage to order the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. 


Obama has capably steered the nation through an incredibly difficult period at home and abroad, often with little help from Congress. 


The next four years will not be easy for whoever occupies the Oval Office, but Obama has been tested by harsh circumstance and proven himself worthy of a second term.



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