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Senator Barack Obama Wins SF Chronicle & San Jose Mercury News Endorsement, Guardian Too

After a great appearance before the Editorial Board of the San Francisco Chronicle, Senator Barack Obama won the endorsement of the San Franciso Chronicle and backed that with the "thumbs-up" of the San Jose Mercury News in the South Bay, effectively blunting the New York Times' endorsement of Senator Hillary Clinton of one week ago, and adding to a long string of newspapers backing Obama's run for president.

The SF Chronicle wrote a sprited explaination, highlighted by this paragraph:

He radiated the sense of possibility that has attracted the votes of independents and tapped into the idealism of young people during this campaign. He exuded the aura of a 46-year-old leader who could once again persuade the best and the brightest to forestall or pause their grand professional goals to serve in his administration.
Of all the candidates who talk about change, Barack Obama has made the case most forcefully and most convincingly. He gets our endorsement for the Democratic nomination.

The Chronicle's Editorial Board, paced by Opinion Page Editor John Diaz, Executive Editor Phil Bronstein, and Political Editor Carla Marinucci, asked tough questions of Senator Obama, and he came back with honest, thoughful answers. The Chronicle pointed to that in their account:

In a Jan. 17 meeting with our editorial board, Obama demonstrated an impressive command of a wide variety of issues. He listened intently to the questions. He responded with substance. He did not control a format without a stopwatch on answers or constraints on follow-up questions, yet he flourished in it.

The San Jose Mercury news also sits as the major information organ for Silicon Valley. Senator Obama's call for change was particularly attractive:

Obama would dramatically change the nation's approach to foreign policy and domestic issues. While the substance might not differ substantially from Clinton's in many areas, he would have more cross-over appeal to independents and Republicans, whose support will be needed to bring about significant change.
Obama is the only candidate who opposed the Iraq war from the outset. His ethnic background and his upbringing give him a unique world view. He has the best chance to change how the world looks at the United States and restore the respect it has squandered during the past eight years.
While Clinton has a deep understanding of health care issues, her failed attempt to reform the system during her husband's first term dogs her steps. She chose experts with similar views and did not broadly engage stakeholders, which made her end result easy to shoot down. Obama can start fresh, and seems to understand the urgency.

But beyond the Chronicle endorsement, Senator Obama also scored the support of the normally contrarian San Francisco Bay Guardian, long seen as the Bay Area's voice of the young. In short, Obama has scored a "hat trick" with three of the four major newspapers backing him, and with the Oakland Tribune still silent as of this writing.

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