The news spread quickly on Twitter. I tweeted it and immediately the re-tweets began. From across the country interested in politics, the re-tweets continued long after I called it a night and went to bed. Why was it such a surprise for the Houston Chronicle to endorse Mitt Romney this year? The Houston Chronicle broke a forty-four year tradition of endorsing Republicans for President when the paper endorsed Barack Obama in 2008. As the editor writes, the editorial board fell for the hope and change being sold in Obama's 2008 campaign and now the utter failure of delivery of said hope and change is a bitter pill to swallow.
The Chronicle's backing of Barack Obama in 2008 broke a 44-year string of endorsing Republican candidates for president. Like so many others, we were captivated by the Illinois senator's soaring rhetoric and energized by his promise to move American politics beyond partisan gridlock and into an era of hope and change.
It hasn't happened. Four years later, President Obama's deeds have failed to match his words, much less his specific vows to cut the national debt by half and bring the nation's unemployment rate to 6 percent. As Texans, it is a particular vexation that this president's attitude toward the interests of our state has occasionally bordered on contempt, particularly in decisions relating to the NASA budget and the energy sector. The hurtful symbol of this attitude of insensitivity to Texans' feelings was the administration's choice to deny Space City's bid to become home to one of the retired space shuttles.Though by any measure the Houston Chronicle is a left leaning newspaper, the editorial board usually utilizes common sense and a practical knowledge for the best interests of Houston, Harris County and Texas. It appears that the board recognizes the same problems that the rest of those supporting a change in leadership recognize: the divisive nature of this president has been responsible for much of his failed leadership. Having never lead in the real world before, Barack Obama had no experience to draw upon when the two parties in Washington clashed over policy disagreements. Obama doesn't know how to bring people together for a workable solution to the major problems facing our nation.
The Houston Chronicle recognizes the perceived disdain for Texas broadcast by the president and his administration. It seems at every turn, Texas received the president's back hand. Whether it was his utter contempt for the oil and gas industry or his dismantling of NASA or even his slow walking of declarations of emergency when Texas experienced natural disasters, Texas has been treated as an unwanted step-child.
The Houston Chronicle recognizes the experience Mitt Romney has in working in a bi-partisan manner, having led the Massachusetts legislature - 88% Democratic - for four years and successfully improved that state. Romney can bring both sides of an issue together and encourage workable solutions to move the struggling economy ahead.
The most important issue facing our nation at this time remains to be the economy. Mitt Romney has a solid history of business success. We simply cannot afford four more years of lackluster economic recovery.