The first major (or possibly the first) paper to endorse a President, the New York Post comes out for John McCain. This was a paper that had endorsed Barack Obama in the Democratic primary over home state Senator Hillary Clinton. The paper is also owned by News Corporation, whose founder Rupert Murdoch has been of late cozying up to Barack Obama. The post gets ahead of its rivals in taking a stand.
The Post says:
McCain has been in Washington for many years now, but he is not of Washington. He knows where the levers of power are located - and how to manipulate them - but he is not controlled by them.
There are many reasons to support the McCain-Palin ticket. Here are but a few:
* National security: The differences between McCain and Obama are especially stark.
McCain says 9/11 represented a two-decade "failure . . . to respond to . . . a [growing] global terror network." He understood that Iraq is a critical front in the war on terror - and he urged perseverance even in the dark days that preceded the success of "the surge."
Obama backed policies that would have abandoned Iraq to its fate, he bitterly opposed the surge, and once insisted that US forces invade Pakistan in search of Osama bin Laden - seemingly without regard for the potential consequences of attacking a nuclear-armed nation, ally or not.
And, when Russia invaded the former Soviet republic of Georgia, threatening a return to the Cold War, McCain reacted with stern disapprobation: "We must remind Russia's leaders that the benefits they enjoy from being part of the civilized world require their respect for the values, stability and peace of that world."
Obama called for UN action - unaware, apparently, that Russia's Security Council veto would have prevented any.
* Taxes: McCain knows that when government absorbs ever-larger shares of national income, the economy suffers.
High tax rates diminish investment, killing jobs and stunting growth.
And while Obama promises tax cuts for "95 percent" of Americans, what he actually is proposing is some $650 billion in tax-credit-driven hikes in entitlement and other spending, to be paid for with heavier imposts across the board, but especially on investment - like a sharply higher capital-gains tax.
Trade: "I object when Senator Obama and others preach the false virtues of economic isolationism," says McCain - noting that "globalization is an opportunity" for US workers. He adds that while emerging economies like those of China and India are worrisome, the answer is competition informed by education and innovation - not protectionism.
* Energy: On the economic issue most vexing Americans today - energy prices - McCain is aggressive
He is a strong convert to offshore drilling: "We have trillions of dollars' worth of oil and gas reserves in the US at a time we are exporting hundreds of billions of dollars a year overseas to buy energy."
He also strongly backs nuclear power - a carbon-free form of energy that America can produce relatively cheaply.
Obama, meanwhile, hews to the Democratic Party line on energy: no nukes, no drilling and no comprehension of the consequences of such policies.
A very nice way for the McCain/Palin team to start the week.