In 2008, the editorial boards of Florida's four biggest newspapers all through their support behind President Obama. Well, in the past two days, the state's two biggest papers offered their endorsements. The Saint Pete Times is sticking with President Obama
in an endorsement that highlights his economic successes. In contrast, The Orlando Sentinel has doubled back on their 2008 endorsement
, and painted Obama's economic track record as an "anemic" failure.
The dueling endorsements are a study in contrasts of political outlook.
"The recovery has proven more difficult than anyone imagined," writes The Times
. "But conditions would be far worse without the president's steady leadership. 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."
"We have little confidence that Obama would be more successful managing the economy and the budget in the next four years," writes The Sentinel
. "For that reason, though we endorsed him in 2008, we are recommending Romney in this race."
"By many measures, the economy is improving steadily even if growth remains painfully slow," writes The Times
. "There have been 31 straight months of job growth, and more than 5 million private sector jobs have been created."
The Sentinel meanwhile characterizes the economic recover as "sputtering" and "anemic."
While The Sentinel points to the increasing debt, The Times highlights the fact that America is in a better place than most other industrialized countries that were also affected by the 2008 global downturn.
What's telling though is that while The Times' endorsement of Obama is enthusiastic, The Sentinel's support for Romney seems tepid at best.
"Romney is not our ideal candidate for president," the Orlando board writes. They say nothing of his approach to health care, and call out his stances on social issues and immigration.
"Obama has been tested by harsh circumstance and proven himself worthy of a second term," writes the St. Pete board, while also highlighting the non-economic successes of his first term.
Both The South Florida Sun-Sentinel and The Miami Herald, Florida's third and fourth biggest newspapers respectively, have begun offering congressional endorsements, but as of yet have not issued recommendations in the Presidential race. We expect those to be out in time for their Sunday editions.