The Washington Times - October 30, 2008, 05:03PM


The Economist is known around the world as one of the most respected weekly magazines on the issues of economics, trade and global politics.


During the 2008 presidential election, they have made many criticisms of Democratic candidate Barack Obama.

But in their Nov. 1 edition, they make a surprise endorsement of Mr. Obama in dramatic fashion: their cover has the Illinois senator walking briskly toward the reader, head down, against a white backdrop, with two words in large black type above his head: “It’s time.”

“The Democratic candidate has clearly shown that he offers the better chance of restoring America’s self-confidence. But we acknowledge it is a gamble,” the magazine’s lead article says. “Given Mr Obama’s inexperience, the lack of clarity about some of his beliefs and the prospect of a stridently Democratic Congress, voting for him is a risk. Yet it is one America should take, given the steep road ahead.”

Mr. Obama, they argue, will best handle the task of “reselling economic and political freedom to a world that too quickly associates American capitalism with Lehman Brothers and American justice with Guantánamo Bay.”

The magazine says that Republican candidate John McCain has “has bravely taken unpopular positions—for free trade, immigration reform, the surge in Iraq, tackling climate change and campaign-finance reform.”

“That, however, was Senator McCain; the Candidate McCain of the past six months has too often seemed the victim of political sorcery, his good features magically inverted, his bad ones exaggerated,” they say.

The Economist has particular distaste for Mr. McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, saying his choice of her “epitomized the sloppiness” of his campaign.

“Whether he can fulfil his immense potential remains to be seen. But Mr Obama deserves the presidency,” they conclude.