Says The Economist: To vote for McCranky, you have to assume "that he does not believe a word of what he has been saying"
"Ironically, given that he first won over so many independents by
speaking his mind, the case for Mr McCain comes down to a piece of
artifice: vote for him on the assumption that he does not believe a
word of what he has been saying."
-- from The Economist's endorsement of Obama for president today
Bear in mind that The Economist is editorially seriously conservative -- only not in the sense that, say, Mitch McConnell or Grover Norquist or Sean Hannity or Princess Sarah Palin or Joe the Plumber is "conservative."
Oh, there's a deal of nonsense in the editorial, like the glib declaration that "[Senator McCranky's] gut reaction over Georgia -- to warn Russia off immediately -- was the right one," or the notion that Douglas "Young Johnny Made the Blackberry" Holtz-Eakin is "the impressive exception" to Senator McCranky's poor effort to enlist competent economic advisers (the hapless Dougie would be old-line Tories' kind of guy), or the weird assumption that Senator Obama is in thrall to labor unions, or the usual right-wing lumping together of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid into a single looming crisis.
And around DWT, we're a long way from sharing The Economist's fear "that on economic matters the centre that Mr Obama moves to would be that of his party, not that of the country as a whole." We don't want to see him moving toward any damned center. (I guess we're the kind of people the posh folk at The Economist worry that Obama may listen to. There doesn't really seem much danger of that.)
Still, in its thoughtful and specific discussion, the editorial does appreciate both the scariness of the campaign waged by "the Candidate McCain of the past six months" ("his good features magically inverted, his bad ones exaggerated") and the promise of the Obama candidacy:
"Of course, Mr Obama will make mistakes; but this is a man who listens, learns and manages well."
Certainly the editorial gets the basic point right:
"In terms of painting a brighter future for America and the world, Mr Obama has produced the more compelling and detailed portrait. He has campaigned with more style, intelligence and discipline than his opponent. Whether he can fulfil his immense potential remains to be seen. But Mr Obama deserves the presidency."