TALK OF NASHVILLE TODAY is Al Gore's--and my--- alma mater The Tennessean, Nashville's once-big morning daily, a bastion of old-line Democratic leanings and predilections, held its nose and reluctantly endorsed Mitt Romney for president.
Readers in Middle Tennessee were shocked. Some dismayed. Others, like me, delighted. Not so much for what it means in Tennessee because we're a red state with all 11 electoral votes going to Romney. The importance is the momentum it portends for Romney nationwide in the remaining few weeks before the election.
Granted, this endorsement is more of an eschewing of the last four years of the Obama presidency than a full bore love-lock on Romney. Still after all is said and done, the editorial board of this old, liberal newspaper thought it time for another dose of change in the other direction.
Aside from 1860, when Abraham Lincoln took charge of the nation on the brink of civil war, and 1932, when Americans devastated by the Great Depression turned to Franklin Roosevelt for hope, few elections have been so critical to the country. In 2012, the United States faces crippling debt; seemingly endless military conflicts and terror threats; an aging population; and sweeping workforce and geopolitical changes that threaten to turn our society upside down.And then the editorial hones in on the crux of the matter:
America needs strong leadership; yet, our leaders in Washington have seldom looked more impotent.
The term “elephant in the room” could have been coined for this moment. Because as important as foreign policy, social issues, immigration and the environment continue to be, this election hinges on Americans’ fear of a European-style economic collapse. No other issue will matter more, and to more voters, on Election Day. The next president must be the one with the best chance to get the crushing, $16 trillion national debt under control, coupled with the more immediate need of enabling a vibrant job market. It is because the economy is paramount that The Tennessean endorses Gov. Mitt Romney for president. President Obama and Gov. Romney have different jobs plans. Yet, neither can actually create jobs, despite what they say in speeches and debates. Mr. Romney has the business experience that gives him better understanding of the needs of real job creators.Bottom line, there are many ridiculous straw men and women in the room (brought in mostlyt by the Dems), but the big bad elephant in the room is the economy and looming fiscal cliff with the potential for even more unemployment. I'm proud that the Tennessean made this important swing to right and center. In its heart, it knows there's no other realistic and practical choice.