Editor & Publisher calls today "Super Sunday" in the newspaper endorsement game. And John Kerry is cleaning up. Along with the endorsement of the Washington Post, Kerry won the support of 17 "flip-flopper" newspapers, which supported George W. Bush four years ago but won't make that mistake again. Kerry has now won over 28 newspapers that went for Bush in 2000, while Bush has only won two endorsements from papers that went for Gore four years ago. According to E&P, "Kerry now leads Bush 111-70 in endorsements in E&P's exclusive tally, and by about 14.4 million to 8.6 million in the circulation of backing papers. "
With the endorsement of the Orlando Sentinel, Kerry made a clean sweep of the Florida papers. It was a momentous choice for the Sentinel editorial writers -- not only did the paper recommend George W. Bush for president four years ago, but it hasn't endorsed a Democrat for president in 40 years:
"Four years ago, the Orlando Sentinel endorsed Republican George W. Bush for president based on our trust in him to unite America. We expected him to forge bipartisan solutions to problems while keeping this nation secure and fiscally sound. This president has utterly failed to fulfill our expectations. We turn now to his Democratic challenger, Sen. John Kerry, with the belief that he is more likely to meet the hopes we once held for Mr. Bush."
"Our choice was not dictated by partisanship. Already this election season, the Sentinel has endorsed Republican Mel Martinez for the U.S. Senate and four U.S. House Republicans. In 2002, we backed Republican Gov. Jeb Bush for re-election, repeating our endorsement of four years earlier. Indeed, it has been 40 years since the Sentinel endorsed a Democrat -- Lyndon Johnson -- for president."
"But we cannot forget what we wrote in endorsing Mr. Bush in 2000: 'The nation needs a leader who can bring people together, who can stand firm on principle but knows the art of compromise.' Four years later, Mr. Bush presides over a bitterly divided Congress and nation. The unity following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks -- the president's finest hour -- is a memory now. Mr. Bush's inflexibility has deepened the divide."
But it wasn't all bad news for Bush -- he won the endorsements of three out of four Ohio newspapers over the weekend, including the coveted recommendation of the Columbus Dispatch. But the Dispatch endorsement wasn't exactly a rousing expression of confidence or enthusiasm for the incumbent. The paper was "less than enthused about the choices" and said America "desperately needs" strong leadership and didn't trust John Kerry to provide it.