The Columbian newspaper endorsed Obama recently. This is interesting because it is a fairly conservative newspaper having endorsed Bush last time.
The basis for this endorsement was pretty much the factors that McCain ran on early in his campaign. First, leadership. The newspaper compares the divisiveness that seems to characterize McCain and his supporters with the way in which Obama has been able to unify his party and open it to others, attracting not just independents but according to the newspaper conservatives as well.
McCain has been hammering on the question of Obama’s judgment and it is that issue that The Columbian finds persuasive in supporting Obama. It compares the choices the two candidates have made during the campaign and finds these facts to favor Obama.
The personal attacks on Obama the newspaper finds to be true of McCain as well and it has little trouble discounting the terrorist and Acorn “issues” and it sounds like McCain’s pushing these issues diminishes him in the estimation of the newspaper.
What is interesting about this is that the McCain campaign has been intentionally trying to distract from the issues relating to the economy. (It was barely mentioned during the Republican convention.) McCain strongly prefers to direct attention to “character-related issues.” The Columbian’s endorsement is based entirely on the issues that McCain is pressing. It does not even mention the policy issues on which McCain is most vulnerable.