Bill Clinton picked up endorsements from 10 newspapers Sunday, including at least three that supported President Bush in 1988 and one that had not backed a Democrat for President in 142 years.
Four papers--the Chicago Tribune, the Daily Oklahoman of Oklahoma City, the Florida Times-Union of Jacksonville and the New Haven (Conn.) Register--endorsed President Bush.
The Oregonian of Portland, Ore., the oldest daily newspaper west of the Mississippi River, said that departing from its almost unbroken tradition of supporting Republicans for the presidency wasn't even a close call.
The newspaper had supported Republicans for President consistently except for 1964, when it did not make a choice between President Lyndon B. Johnson and Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater.
The Oregonian said Bush has been "a massive disappointment as President," while Clinton had been "pragmatic, tough, focused, controversial--and effective" as governor of Arkansas.
In Bush's home state of Texas, the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, which supported the President in the past, said he "has had his chance and has been found wanting."
"He has been a disappointment as President, his foreign policy successes outweighed by his lackluster inattention to domestic problems and by his inability to either lead or compromise with Congress," the Texas daily said.
Two Texas newspapers, the Dallas Morning News and the San Antonio Express-News, endorsed Bush last week. The El Paso Times endorsed Clinton.
The two largest newspapers in Illinois, the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune, which both endorsed the President four years ago, split this time. "Bill Clinton offers this country direction; George Bush has brought it none," the Sun-Times said Sunday. The Tribune said Bush "has not been a perfect President, but he has been a very good one."
The Daily Oklahoman, in its endorsement of Bush, said: "If they ponder his strengths, Americans will conclude he is by far the superior candidate." The editorial praised his achievements in foreign affairs and in slowing inflation and reducing interest rates, and said he "has lived his life holding firm to his deep belief in truthfulness, family values, courage, compassion and commitment to public service."
The other newspapers that endorsed Clinton were the Pioneer Press of St. Paul, Minn.; the Milwaukee Journal; Newsday, Long Island, N.Y.; the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester, N.Y.; the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat; the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Courier-Post of Cherry Hill, N.J. The Seattle Times had endorsed Clinton earlier.