For the first time in its 161 year history, the nation's 8th largest newspaper has endorsed a Democrat for President. Only twice since the founding of the Republican Party, has the paper not endorsed the Republican nominee. They endorsed Bull Moose Teddy Roosevelt in 1912, and they endorsed Horace Greeley (pictured above) as an Independent in 1872. The Chicago Tribune's decision was much more than an endorsement of favorite son Barack Obama. They endorsed Dwight Eisenhower over favorite son Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and 1956. They endorsed Richard Nixon in 1960, 1968, and 1972, and they endorsed George Bush in 2000 and 2004.
The reasoning behind the endorsement was not unlike the Washington Post endorsement of Obama. The paper wrote: "McCain failed in his most important executive decision. Give him credit for choosing a female running mate--but he passed up any number of supremely qualified Republican women who could have served. Having called Obama not ready to lead, McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. His campaign has tried to stage-manage Palin's exposure to the public. But it's clear she is not prepared to step in at a moment's notice and serve as president. McCain put his campaign before his country."
What is more significant than that is what they said about Obama. "We can provide some assurance. We have known Obama since he entered politics a dozen years ago. We have watched him, worked with him, argued with him as he rose from an effective state senator to an inspiring U.S. senator to the Democratic Party's nominee for president. We have tremendous confidence in his intellectual rigor, his moral compass and his ability to make sound, thoughtful, careful decisions. He is ready."