Our View: Voters who research the issues and study the candidates will decide Mitt Romney is the most qualified candidate for president.

There will be long-term consequences to the decisions made Nov. 6, when the final tally will be reached in the hard-fought presidential campaign pitting the Democratic incumbent, Barack Obama, against Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Obama or Romney will assume the responsibilities and issues inherent with the presidency, along with the parallel challenges for which the leader of the free world will be held accountable. Before entering the polling place, voters should carefully research the positions held by Obama and Romney on both their preferences and on the nation’s most-critical issues:

• Job creation and the economy;

• National security;

• Energy independence;

• Balancing the federal budget;

• Securing and reforming entitlements, notably Social Security and Medicare;

• Stability in the Mideast;

• Bridging the partisan divide.

In several categories, it is difficult to make a clear choice between Obama, who has a presidential record, and Romney, who touts his experiences as a CEO and governor. National security and stability in the Mideast are two such categories, with Obama deserving credit for the elimination of Osama bin Laden and ending our entanglements in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Mideast, however, remains a challenge for the nation with the possibility of Iran creating a nuclear weapon and using it to achieve the regularly stated goal of Iranian president and holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to wipe Israel off the map. Obama sends mixed messages in this area, but it can’t be foretold with certainty that Romney’s assurance of stronger support for Israel will yield better results for the U.S. The region will remain a minefield for the next president, perhaps many to follow.

We suspect, however, that Romney will be more capable of consistently supporting our nation’s allies and consistently standing firm against rogue nations and supporters of terrorism than Obama, who shocked and disappointed many Americans by bowing to foreign leaders and apologizing for past actions by the nation.

For those reasons and for his clearly visible superiority on the remainder of the nation’s most critical issues, The Southern Illinoisan supports the presidential campaign of Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, a U.S. Congressman from Wisconsin. The record of President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden simply falls short of what is needed in the next four years. Actions speak louder than words, including the soaring rhetoric of Obama.

We recommend voting for Romney and Ryan, especially in consideration of the golden opportunity that Obama failed to fully capitalize. He took office with a strongly Democratic U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. If it truly had been his goal to balance the federal budget, the necessary actions could have easily been launched. Instead, Obama presided over a federal spending spree that badly escalated a financial crisis created by the presidency of George W. Bush. His spending in four years exceeds the spending of Bush in eight years. Additionally, Obama’s pre-election promises of bipartisan teamwork and governmental transparency were not kept, more likely from inexperience as a leader than dishonesty.

As president, Obama often appears overwhelmed. Romney has prior leadership experience as a governor and CEO. He has the business acumen one expects in a proven leader. Romney would not decide the answer to a depleted checkbook is more and faster spending, financed by the Chinese. And he has pledged what needs to be done to truly stimulate the economy — reduce tax rates, cut the over-regulation of business and energy producers and ease the financial burdens associated with the Affordable Health Care Act.

In the area of energy independence, Romney and Ryan starkly contrast with Obama, who shackled the coal industry through EPA rule-making, unwisely spiked the Keystone pipeline and inhibited the use of federal lands for oil exploration and drilling and for off-shore drilling. Romney offers a vision of continued green energy research and development along with North American energy independence in eight years; Obama went all-in on risky and unproven wind and solar ventures. Gasoline today is nearly $4 per gallon; it was less than $2 when he took office.

Obama’s signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Health Care Act, should either be repealed or modified, beginning with the restoration of more than $700 billion in funding from Medicare. Romney has the financial skill set to get the job done and previous experience with a statewide health care act inaccurately described as the same as what even the president (proudly) calls Obamacare.

Romney needs to preserve the Medicare and Social Security benefits promised to and paid for by retirees and those nearing retirement. But he also will need to recognize the realities of longer lives and longer working careers in shaping and sustaining the entitlement programs for future generations.

Such efforts will require good faith overtures to Democrats — efforts that aren’t bipartisan are likely to be doomed in the next U.S. Congress. Romney proved he was capable of bipartisan success in leading Massachusetts, an overwhelmingly Democratic state, and both sought and appointed female candidates to key leadership positions — a record that throws water on heated rhetoric about an imagined GOP war on women.

We endorse the candidacies of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. In the days leading up to Nov. 6 Election Day we recommend researching their positions on the issues and using common sense to assess their qualifications. An open-minded assessment of the candidates and their qualifications leads inescapably to a decision a Romney-Ryan ticket best for Southern Illinois and the nation.

Vote for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

Feedback: We want to hear what you have to say. Type your thoughts about our editorials by clicking on the “discussion” tab in the online version of this opinion at www.thesouthern.com/news/opinion/ If you want to see your comments in the newspaper, e-mail them directly to gary.metro@thesouthern.com along with your name, address and telephone number.

(53) comments

Ishmael
Ishmael

Here's a commentary from EJ Dionne of the Washington Post I found interesting:

http://www.nationalmemo.com/how-the-right-wing-lost-in-2012/

WASHINGTON — The right wing has lost the election of 2012.

The evidence for this is overwhelming, yet it is the year’s best-kept secret. Mitt Romney would not be throwing virtually all of his past positions overboard if he thought the nation were ready to endorse the full-throated conservatism he embraced to win the Republican nomination.

If conservatism were winning, does anyone doubt that Romney would be running as a conservative? Yet unlike Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater, Romney is offering an echo, not a choice. His strategy at the end is to try to sneak into the White House on a chorus of me-too’s.

The right is going along because its partisans know Romney has no other option. This, too, is an acknowledgement of defeat, a recognition that the grand ideological experiment heralded by the rise of the Tea Party has gained no traction. It also means that conservatives don’t believe that Romney really believes the moderate mush he’s putting forward now. Not to put too fine a point on it, but if the conservatives are forgiving Romney because they think he is lying, what should the rest of us think?

Almost all of the analysis of Romney’s highly public burning of the right’s catechism focuses on such tactical issues as whether his betrayal of principle will help him win over middle-of-the-road women and carry Ohio. What should engage us more is that a movement that won the 2010 elections with a bang is trying to triumph just two years later on the basis of a whimper.

It turns out that there was no profound ideological conversion of the country two years ago. We remain the same moderate and practical country we have long been. In 2010, voters were upset about the economy, Democrats were demobilized, and President Obama wasn’t yet ready to fight. All the conservatives have left now is economic unease. So they don’t care what Romney says. They are happy to march under a false flag if that is the price of capturing power.

The total rout of the right’s ideology, particularly its neoconservative brand, was visible in Monday’s debate in which Romney praised one Obama foreign policy initiative after another. He calmly abandoned much of what he had said during the previous 18 months. Gone were the hawkish assaults on Obama’s approach to Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Israel, China and nearly everywhere else. Romney was all about “peace.”

Romney’s most revealing line: “We don’t want another Iraq.” Thus did he bury without ceremony the great Bush-Cheney project. He renounced a war he had once supported with vehemence and enthusiasm.

Then there’s budget policy. If the Romney/Paul Ryan budget and tax ideas were so popular, why would the candidate and his sidekick, the one-time devotee of Ayn Rand, be investing so much energy in hiding the most important details of their plans? For that matter, why would Ryan feel obligated to forsake his love for Rand, the proud philosopher of “the virtue of selfishness” and the thinker he once said had inspired his public service?

Romney knows that by substantial margins, the country favors raising taxes on the rich and opposes slashing many government programs, including Medicare and Social Security. Since Romney’s actual plan calls for cutting taxes on the rich, he has to disguise the fact. Where is the conviction?

The biggest sign that Tea Party thinking is dead is Romney’s straight-out deception about his past position on the rescue of the auto industry.

The bailout was the least popular policy Obama pursued — and, I’d argue, one of the most successful. It was Exhibit A for Tea Partiers who accused our moderately progressive president of being a socialist. In late 2008, one prominent Republican claimed that if the bailout the Detroit-based automakers sought went through, “you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.” The car companies, he said, would “seal their fate with a bailout check.” This would be the same Mitt Romney who tried to pretend on Monday that he never said what he said or thought what he thought. If the bailout is now good politics, and it is, then free-market fundamentalism has collapsed in a heap.

“Ideas have consequences” is one of the conservative movement’s most honored slogans. That the conservatives’ standard-bearer is now trying to escape the consequences of their ideas tells us all we need to know about who is winning the philosophical battle — and, because ideas do matter, who will win the election.

Diogenes
Diogenes

Ishmael, I do believe that you are acknowledging that our President is going to be defeated and you are going through some sort of contortions to soften the blow to your side. I hope this works for you.

Ishmael
Ishmael

Considering I re-posted a column from another person I'm not acknowledging anything, Dio. I'm just relaying a viewpoint I found interesting. Why are you trying to make this into something personal? Is it because as a right winger it hit too close to home?

Diogenes
Diogenes

My mistake, I hadn't had a full cup of coffee yet and missed that you were re-posting. What hit me about the article was that it gave me the distinct impression that the writer believed that our President's cause was lost, but that the loss was somehow a vindication of the "progressive" ideology. I thought the backflips and one and a half triple gainers were worthy of a person of great skill. I put you in that category and thus gave you credit. I was tickled to think that you and I had reached the same conclusion, that Governor Romney is going to be our next President.

I did not intend any personal animus. Personally, I find you fascinating. Ideologically......well you know.

Have a good day.

OLD JOE
OLD JOE

Thats funny I was just reading yesterday that a man named Stanley Kurtz, claiming as of 06/2012 he now has documented proof signed by Obama, that Obama was a member of the New Socialist Party in 1996.

www.thenewamerican.com/politic/item/11625-obama-belonged-to-radical-socialist-new-party-in-1996

Draco1192
Draco1192

Certainly no bias from that website, or their editor in chief.

MickeeD
MickeeD

That's why it's called a "commentary."

Draco1192
Draco1192

Really? No. You don't say. I am so glad you were able to tell me that. Whatever would I do without you MickeeD.

Here is a clue for you there Mickster. I said W E B S I T E, not A R T I C L E. I can define both of those terms if you would like.

Ishmael
Ishmael

Why are you getting so worked up about this, Draco? As a self described "moderate" there's no reason for you to be. The commentary is criticizing far right wing ideologues for abandoning their values and principles in favor of getting a moderate Romney elected.

Of course, you could be all worked up because you've been lying to us all along about being a "moderate" and not an ideologue ..... hmmmm ...

MickeeD
MickeeD

Yes. I noticed your use of both terms. No need to define them, thanks.

It's pretty obvious the National Memo has a clear slant and as does editor-in-chief Joe Conason. Thus, its contributors are also going to express a similar bias.

Draco1192
Draco1192

lol, Ishmael. It is called sarcasm. No, I am not worked up over it. I am laughing though. I love all these little tries at "gotcha" moments from you. It always makes the day more enjoyable seeing you scramble to try and make others look bad.

Your right, I am an ideologue. I secretly support the Tea Party and all they stand for. I am racist, hate all gay people, and join Westboro every chance I get. In fact, the only reason I won't vote for Obama is because he is Muslim, black, and was born in Kenya. I can't vote for someone who wants to give away the government to the Chinese. That about cover the talking points you wanted me to admit to? (ps - this is sarcasm too. lol, too funny, you always seem to brighten my day Ishmael).

Guys, I am having fun poking at this. I can agree there MickeeD. Most of their articles seem to be very slanted, which is why most should take them with a grain of salt.

madblogger
madblogger

Thanks for trying Mr. President. The categories are such:

Job creation and the economy - both have been stagnant. Obama promised unemployment 5.6% at the end of his term - it is at 7.8% - of course, that number comes into question as the administration cut 2nd tier unemployment in 2010. This way anybody laid off in 2010 or 2011 will surely expire in unemployment benefits by election 2012. Those falling off unemployment, as I did, are not counted as unemployed, even as people like me actively search for gainful employment. Obama claims to have created 5 million jobs, when in reality, only 325,000 - mostly government jobs.

National Security - Obama has been on an apology tour since his inauguration, alienating such close allies like Israel. He continued on with Bush policies in regards to Iraq and Afghanistan (Gitmo too), and his love for killing Bin Laden, surely doesn't mesh with his Nobel Peace Prize, but, regardless, his approval of killing Bin Laden was presented to him by a decade of intelligence established by GW. The fallout from his decision to target Bin Laden may be his willingness to invade a sovereign nation that has nukes. We have no choice but to kiss Pakistan's collective behind and ply them with money until they hopefully see us as an ally once again. Arab Spring was handled poorly by this administration - Iran, Egypt, Syria, and Libya could have been handled better.

Energy independence - we have the capability, but the president has pretty much shut down coal, and limited oil. Yes, we are producing more oil, but not because of Obama. Rather, private individuals, mainly in North Dakota, are giving up their mineral rights. Oil permits take years to go through, and most were done during GW. Obama has cut gulf oil, pacific oil, atlantic oil, and alaska oil. He's denied drilling off shore - luckily, Texas and North Dakota picked up the slack. We have a northern neighbor, Canada, in which we import the majority of our oil from (more than the Mid-East). A pipeline was proposed, and denied. Canada has a plethora of oil - they will in turn, sell elsewhere.

Balancing the federal budget. I remember in 2008, Obama promising to go through the entire budget with a scalpel line by line. I remember this resonating with me very profoundly, for I feel there are a lot of budget items that have outlasted their worth. I did not see this, but rather, an additional trillion+ spending per year. The last budget was passed in April 2009 with a Democratic Senate, House, and president. How can you balance a budget when you don't make a new budget?

Securing and reforming Social Security and Medicare - nothing has really been done about Social Security since Clinton/Gingrich which ensured us 25 years... Medicare has been at the chopping block of Obamacare and non Obamacare proponents - why? Because according to the CBO, it is expected to outgrow government expenditures. It's not that any government official wants to cut Medicare, it's just that we are living way longer, and more expensive diagnostic procedures and treatments have come into play. If you desire insight into the conundrum, research life expectancy from the time Medicare was created, and research life extension techniques. 30-40 years ago, if you got cancer, you were usually a gonner. Where, before, you were given drugs to ease the pain, today, you see specialized treatments and high success rates. Technology is not without a price.

Stability in the Mid-East? It is more volatile today than it was during GW's term. Arab Spring, apologies by America, disregard for sovereignty, presumed lack of conviction, ignored security requests, and minimal involvement supporting opposing parties to the regimes that have reigned, has created a Middle-East that is more volatile than ever before. Iraq was to be the beacon of freedom throughout the Middle-East, and when others wanted the freedoms afforded the Iraqi's, we turned our back. America, who prides herself as the defenders of freedom, rather than the conqueror of nations, bowed to the Muslim extremists, for fear of upsetting a religion. Our nation, beholden to the separation of religion and state. A nation that should be the model for other nations, in which religion and state can co-exist.

Bridging the partisan divide - In the last four years, I have seen the divide grow ever wide. These forums are a perfect example. Truth be known, we are all pretty much like minded. We all want a prosperous nation in which we all get along fairly well. With the advent of instant media, and especially media targeted to one group or another, it doesn't matter how great the leader is, a media outlet that is absurdly left or right, will inevitably create a divide amongst us. I fear, with the great divide between competing media outlets, that we, the people will forever be swayed heavily to one side or another. The great equalizer would be if we looked at both sides (or all sides), but alas, that isn't likely.

My prediction is this: Our nation, as the media divides us even further, will become a nation of intolerance of the other. Eventually, given a huge upset, or construed mishandling of justice, we will eventually come to wide-spread violence. This will be the end of our country as we know it, for there will be no reconciliation between beliefs that are so greatly divided, solely because of the media. The Civil war will fail in comparison, as it was fought predominantly on physical boundaries... The next Civil uprising in America will be fought neighbor to neighbor in every town. It won't be the North and the South, but rather, the right and the left. It will be the end of our union as we know it.

Diogenes
Diogenes

Excellent post as usual Mad One. I do believe (or at least hope) that you overstate the case in you last paragraphs regarding the partisan divide. In my reading of history it seems to me we have nearly always had some issue or another to argue about as a people. The feud between Jefferson and Adams over federalism is an early example, followed by decades of division over slavery and states rights that led to the Civil War. We had national arguments over who got to vote, whether to go to war, prohibition, civil rights, whether to stay in Viet Nam. Politics seems to me to be our true national pastime. The fact that we have two parties seems to me like the yin and yang of our society. The media has always had biased elements, we just have more of it today.

I of course embrace the side of reason and enlightenment and mourn for my brethren who have yet to find the truth. Have a good day, my coffee is now ready.

MickeeD
MickeeD

Well you certainly did a nice job of regurgitating all the usual right wind (not a typo) talking points. Even blame the media as a bonus.

Job creation and the economy - Yes Obama promised 5.6%. Get back to us in 2016. Meanwhile, it has been sputtering mainly due to the GOP Tea Party's obstruction.

National security - This apology tour is becoming rather quaint. I've yet to even hear Obama utter the word "apology." And your comment regarding Obama using GW's team to find Obama is flawed. GW never really much cared about bin Laden. GW also dismantled the team searching for Bin Laden.

Energy independence - Energy independence is impossible. A more appropriate term is energy security. The U.S. has increased oil production during the Obama Administration. This will not have an affect on world wide gas prices however. Obama has no control over that.

Social Security and Medicare - You must buy in that the GOP is going to save Medicare. Obamacare is going to fine tune it, not destroy it. That's something the GOP want to do by turning into a voucher system. Social Security is not a Ponzi scheme. Everyone paid into it and is entitled to it.

Stability in the Middle East? - Do you really expect countries who have had zero experience with Democracy and elections to change overnight? Egypt had its first democratic election ever! Ghadafi is dead. Libyans themselves apologized for Benghazi. And we are out of Iraq.

Bridging the partisan divide - Senate Minority leader McConnell said the GOP's main goal was to make Obama a one-term president. How is anyone going to bridge a partisan divide when someone draws a line in the sand like that?

job creator

Just got back from the Romney campaign, and I must say that I wash my hands with him after the last debate.. How many times has Romney agreed with that Socialist, in foreign policy? I counted 10, and then he said that he agreed with Obama abut pulling out all of the troops in Afghanistan, after saying that providing a timetable would be dangerous to our troops.

How many times has he backtracked on issues such as abortion, immigration, taxes etc from his statements and policy stands during the Republican primary? I tell you if he said the same things that he said in the debates with Obama in the Republican primary, well we would be looking at another Republican candidate.

Bottom line is that with all of his flip flops on every issue, he has lost my vote. I will sit this one out. A true Conservative stands true to his convictions and as a result of his flip flops, he has abandoned the true values of the Republican Party.

One final thing upset me, as a true conservative I have always admired the military and God bless those men and women serving. I noticed when I was at the Convention in Tampa, nothing was mentioned about the war or our veterans Romney's acceptance speech, nor was anything about vets mentioned during this final debate with foreign policy. He said that wasn't on his laundry list.

Then I look at the record that the republican party has had this election cycle towards veterans:

1. They wish to cut 11 billion dollars from veterans health care under the Ryan plan.

2. Every Republican voted against the newest GI Bill for the Iraq and Afghan War.

3. Every Republican voted against the job training bill that was proposed a couple months ago that would provide training to those vets.

4. When Romney was in college, he protested in favor of the draft and the Vietnam War, then a couple of years later, he took his 4 deferments and when to Paris to convert those French into Mormons instead of serving his country. I find this highly disrespectful and an insult to those 58,000 that died during that war.

Bottom line folks, we can all disagree about politics and the like, but most of us are steadfast in what we believe, and I respect that in a person. Now when somebody changes their stand on everything such as Romney, well, I finally have lost all respect for him. Then to blatantly lie that he never said such a thing? Us Conservatives hate Obama, but we have to admit he has remain steadfast in what he has said, the same goes for you Liberals hating Bush, but he did remain steadfast in what he believed in. that is one of the most important attributes in being a man.

Romney has no backbone and will say everything to get elected. Which one are we going to get if elected? I'm staying home November 6th.

thirsten

Welcome back and very well stated!

Draco1192
Draco1192

Old Joe, welcome back job creator. I am sure he missed you. It has been since August. Amazing how so many profiles disappeared around that same time.

dflummer

This editorial would have more validity if it didn't parrot so many GOP talking points, some of which (i.e. "apology tour", the gas prices claim) either stretch the truth or are outright false. I also notice that you call for the Democrats in Congress to act "in good faith" during a Romney Administration, while not recognizing that the GOP did not do the same. Isn't that part of the problem? Shouldn't we be finding ways to work together, instead of spending so much of the Congressional calendar passing bills designed to embarrass the other party?

OLD JOE
OLD JOE

@dflummer it's very hard to have bipartisan support when the democrats locked the republican's out of the room.

MMike
MMike

You can't be serious Joe. GOP leaders were very open about their strategy. The Stimulus maintained the Bush tax cuts on the upper 2% as a compromise. But still the no (or almost no?) GOP Reps voted for it. ObamaCare is based on RomneyCare. We of the Left wanted single payer system but we got a market based approach. Cap and trade had bipartisan support initially but the GOP backed away purely for political reasons.

There is plenty Obama could have done differently, but blanket statements like yours are credible and I think you know this.

OLD JOE
OLD JOE

MMike thank you for saying my blanket statement is credible. So your finally starting to see the light? lol

MMike
MMike

Bad typists of the world untie! You have nothing to lose but your credibility! Lol!

USN420
USN420

My, My, My... Election must be getting closer! Everyone's getting all worked up!

It's even happening in the schools... My son in 5th grade came home last Friday and said one of his classmates told him... "I'm for Obama. My Mama says Romney gonna make us all slaves again."

Since confrontation is bad and no longer allowed in public schools, I told my son to simply agree with his classmate and tell him, "I know, that's why we're supporting Romney."

Evidently the school is having a "mock" election today, and they were discussing it last week. I'm guessing Obama will carry Carbondale Elementary School District about 85% to 15%. Fortunately for Romney there are no electoral votes at stake in that race.

By the way... I didn't really tell my son to say that! I was making an absurd point to illustrate another absurd one. The rest of it really did happen though. My son's reply was much more politically correct... "Weren't you in class when we learned about Abraham Lincoln?" I bought my son a Romney Tee-Shirt for his efforts.

job creator

Are you sure that one of your son's classmate didn't say My "Mammie?" I can't see as a veteran, you would even support a draft dodge?. I only hope that when your son wears that Romney Tee-Shirt, that he doesn't start changing his mind about everything, and when you call him out on a lie, he says that he didn't say that.

Desertrider2008

Mitt Romney only wants to become President because it is on his bucket list. He is a complete idiot when it comes to facts, foreign policy, or the peoples needs in the United States. the problem is almost all of the people that are going to vote for him are swayed by his half a billion dollar ad campaign to become President. These are the same people that buy a happy meals for their kids because McDonalds has such a strong advertising campaign. When Barack is re-elected he will not have the resistance he has had from the Republicans because he is not be allowed to run for a third term. Republicans have tried to sabbatoge almost every bill and proposal from the Democrats and the reason is: they didnt want Barack to get re-elected. This Newspaper has alot of balls talking about who we should vote for I always thought the media was supposed to be neutral and only report the news. I will cancel my subscription to this racial, simple minded paper tomorrow.

Draco1192
Draco1192

There it is, I was waiting for someone to imply that if you don't vote for Obama you are simple minded and racist. A clue that this article was not going to be objective is the fact that it was found in the opinions section.

OLD JOE
OLD JOE

Draco, that is one reason I keep coming back to this site. Watching the cry babies cry and make petty threats.

Goodbye rider2008 lol. I guess 2008 is when he was born lol.

MMike
MMike

Many newspapers make political endorsements. Did you mean "radical" rather than "racial" in your last sentence? Or did you mean "racist" as Draco seems to suspect?

junkbub
junkbub

Looks like I'll never be reading your crappy paper again! How anyone could back a lying SOB like Romney is beyound my understanding! His ideas are the same as Bushes ideas but worse! I will make sure everyone I know stops reading your paper, your a disgrace to the hard working ppl of southern Illinois and the nation!

OLD JOE
OLD JOE

junkbub, Say hello to the next president of the united states. Mitt Romney.

Oliver Cromwell

At the lowest common denominator-
If we were all to go back to subsistence farming, there are those who would work for a living , provide for their family, help their neighbor and set back surplus to survive more challenging times and then there would be those who expect you to give up your surplus to them and for those who do not work for a living (or hardly at all), do not attempt to provide for their family , do not help their neighbor and never set aside surplus for more challenging times because theft is natural behavior promoted within their camps .

Eventually you could run out of other people’s surplus but civil war is always the inevitable reset button before that happens.

MickeeD
MickeeD

"An open-minded assessment of the candidates and their qualifications leads inescapably to a decision a Romney-Ryan ticket best for Southern Illinois and the nation."

Bull crap. A vote for Romney and Ryan would set this country back even further when we haven't even finished digging out from Bush. Say what you will about Obama, and I know some of you will,. A vote for Romney means a wider gap between the super rich and the rest of us. More war. More poverty. More loss of respect from countries around the world. More people without adequate healthcare. And less progress on the things people really care about like quality of life and addressing climate change.

Obama is still the best man for the job until something better comes along. At times that doesn't ay too much but I'd trust him over a serial liar and professional panderer like Romney any time.

MMike
MMike

I left wondering how "open minded" and "inescapable" ended up in the same sentence. "If you are open minded you must agree with me!"

OLD JOE
OLD JOE

MickeeD is getting as wound up as a eight day clock today lol.

milt3726
milt3726

The facts about Barack Obama's record are simply indisputable — and disastrous!
—23 Million Unemployed or Underemployed
—47 Million on Food Stamps
—5.5 Million Homes in Crisis/Foreclosure
—$4500 Drop in Household Income
—$5.5 Trillion of New Debt
—$716 Billion in Medicare Cuts
—$2.6 Trillion for Obamacare
—$1.9 Trillion in New Taxes in Obama’s Budget
—100% Increase in Gas Prices
"Four more years of this?
"You've got to be kidding!"
HEY OBAMA, BUSH DIDNT BUILD THIS, YOU DID!!!

MMike
MMike

Facts without analysis are merely propaganda. The unemployment rate, the foreclosure crisis and rise in poverty are the result of a recession that started on Bush's watch for many reasons. The fiscally conservative measure Obama took in trimming inflated payments to medical providers should meet with the approval of genuine conservatives. To include that on your list of "disasters" is hypocrisy at its finest.

Community Organizer

simply not true! Stop blaming the guy not in office. Obama has had four years and has made everything worse and created new disasters as fast as he can. He is a failure at what matters to middle class and lower income people. He is a success to academics, elitists, socialists, marxist's and those that want to redistribute the property and wealth of those that have it to give it to those that didn't earn it. He must go. He failed.

Gillsburgher

The root of the housing crisis was Barney Frank's bullying of banks to give mortgages to people who were not worthy of them plus low interest rates that inflated the values. The former is an example of well-intentioned Democratic policy that is awfully bad. The second is a byproduct of the inability to split consumer debt (bad) from business and investment debt (good).

There is nothing, nothing in Obamacare that will reduce the cost of healthcare. His "cost trimming" you mention is nothing of the sort when he is reducing the payments in behalf of one group in order to spend it on behalf of another.

Ishmael
Ishmael

"The root of the housing crisis was Barney Frank's bullying of banks to give mortgages to people who were not worthy of them .. " _Gillsburgher

The idea that one Congressman even with the help of his staff and supporters could bully thousands of banks into making thousands of bad loans is patently absurd.

It is known fact that the housing bubble was created due to the gradual ralaxation of banking regulations and elimination of the firewall bertween commercial and investment banks begun under Reagan, accelerated under Clinton, and finalized under Bush 2. Those policies made it possible for the big investment banks to m ake money regardless of what happened to the housing market; win or lose. Considering they could not lose because they had successfully rigged the game it was in their interest to make bad loads and inflate the market.

MMike
MMike

" If it truly had been his goal to balance the federal budget, the necessary actions could have easily been launched. Instead, Obama presided over a federal spending spree that badly escalated a financial crisis created by the presidency of George W. Bush."

This is an odd statement. The stimulus clearly blunted the Great Recession saving us from another Great Depression as most economists have said. But also the financial crisis was not caused just by Bush. Bush's unwarranted deficits have made dealing with it harder and he did not act on warning sign that better banking regulations were needed. Democrats deserve blame for failing to reign n Freddy and Fanny. But the roots of the crisis are in the system itself. Bush, to his credit, worked closely with the incoming Obama administration on the TARP.

Spending increased under Bush but has been roughly flat under Obama.
http://www.factcheck.org/2012/06/obamas-spending-inferno-or-not/

And domestic oil, coal and natural gas production are up. This is not all due to Obama but it gives the lie to the claim that he has imposed unreasonable regulatory burdens.

Gillsburgher

No, the stimulus was a big payoff for cronies.The mistake Obama made was using targeted spending, instead of broad based methods. He was picking winners: Unions, government bureaucrats, greenies, community organizers; and ignoring losers: everyone else. He provided funds to his favorite programs, like government employees, union construction, and defunct solar companies. It did not work, because it was not broad based. Furthermore, the foolish deal that came out of the blue to reduce Social Security tax slightly was a horrible idea because it was unanticipated, small, did not counteract the income reductions people had suffered, and is short-lived. Therefore, it could do nothing to change people's investment and work behavior. Only with behavior changes do tax reductions increase tax revenue.

You are incorrect about spending between the Presidents. From the Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables, Table 3.1 Outlays by Superfunction and Function 1940-2017, average outlays during the last four year budgets of Bush are $3T, average outlays for the four years of Obama (including projected) are $3.7T, a 23% increase.

Bush does have much to blame. He drastically increased federal spending on Education, and increased entitlement spending with his new medicare drug program.

The problem is that over the last 10 years, the deficit has increased by $1.2T. Spending on entitlements increased $1.1T. What does Obama do about it? He creates a new enormous entitlement.

just2phipps

Obama is going socialism fast and you can see Greece and Spain going down the crapper! Taxes on rise! Look at Brotherhood taking over world! Is that what you want for your country and women? The United Nations is going to monitor OUR elections! Get REAL!! These countries don't even have real elections and this is what our President Obama wants. Is this the kind of President you want to continue to run our country?OT ME!

GeorgeK

I generally agree with The Southern's recommendations. I voted for the President in 2008 and I still like him. But, I fear his health care will bankrupt us and his stance on illegal aliens does the opposte proposed by Mitt, which is to turn off the magnet. California is asking for a huge tax increase this year while LA spends $10B a year on social programs (including education) for illegals (according to the LA Times). So, this is a major problem that nobody seems willing to face, except Mitt. On the other hand, I don't want Mitt to be in office as Iran goes nucular (as "W" liked to say) and that's coming soon. I think to much of Mitt for that. So, I am voting for a 3rd Party candidate - Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party. He won't win this time but my message to the mainstream parties is clear: "you have gotten us into a really bad situation and it's time for new ideas and new leadership!" I like the way Rocky governed Salt Lake City - very forward thinking and voting for his running mate (Luis Rodriquez) shows I'm no racist with my opinions about illegal aliens. Watch the 3rd party candidates debate in Chicago on Oct 23rd and hear some fresh ideas! We need a radical changes or we will be following Greece to the poor house.

HMmmmsez

I'm more than a little bit concerned about Mitts ability to govern when the chips are down after my having seen his facial expression when Obama was getting the better of him during the
second debate. Obama has a proven track record of going after the bad guys including Osama.

Community Organizer

You are right the look on Romneys face really was something. He was amazed at the lies pouring out of the mouth of what was suppose to be the leader of the free world. But, on the other hand, he is no leader. He is a destroyer. Everything he has touched has gotten worse and worse and worse. He is an abject failure at protected our liberty and freedom and growing the economy. On the other hand, he has not tried to do any of these things.

job creator

Now CO, if Obama was telling all of those lies like you said, why was Romney agreeing with just about everything he said?

HMmmmsez

Off topic a bit butt, Newt and former VP Cheney being ok with their gay kin was and is one for the books as well as a healthy shot in the arm for America's on going social evolution . Cant say the same for New Jersey's ole carpet bag-er (Alan Keys) whom I'm told disowned his daughter cause she's a lesbian..On a side note. Keys daughter is most definitely the better looking of those three lezbos....

Diogenes
Diogenes

I've never understood the likeability argument, Joe. I can find little to like about our President, the man seems cold, arrogant, and condescending to me. I do not hate him, and do not care a whit about his skin color. His ideological lineage and the people he was influenced by might make anyone suspect in my eyes.

As far as Mr. Romney is concerned, I might not find him all warm and fuzzy but I respect him and the things he has accomplished and I believe his ideals for our country are more in line with mine.

OLD JOE
OLD JOE

Personally I love to listen and watch Obama. Obama has the gift of gab, a nice smile, and at times funny. I see nothing not to like about Obama except his political views.

I believe Obama would of made a much better entertainer than politician. As an celebrity, I believe Obama could of been up there with the great ones like Will Smith. Black, white, yellow or green Will Smith is one of my favorite entertainers!!

OLD JOE
OLD JOE

Many people don't care who the best candidate is that can lead our country forward. They would rather vote for a more likable candidate.
If this election was about the most likable, I would be voting Obama hands down. But it is not.
I'm some what guilty of that to. The best candidate that was running for president, that I didn't support was Newt Girngrich.
The man that turned the Clinton administration around and got Bill re-elected.

Community Organizer

Most people, in 2012, are divided into the "takers" and the "producers". Think about it.

Gillsburgher

You are so right. Too many people think elections are a popularity contest and not a job application. The reality show mentality of recent years does not help. It is far less important whether you personally like your employee than whether he gets the job done.

OLD JOE
OLD JOE

Bingo. Gillsburgher your so smart. You drove that nail all the way with one hit.

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