The PJ Tatler

Preference Cascade Watch: Houston Chronicle Switches, Endorses Romney

The Houston Chronicle has a long history of endorsing Republicans for president, but in 2008 the paper got caught up in “hope and change” and endorsed Obama. This time around, though, the paper has soured on the man actor Russell Crowe says is “the light.”

The Chronicle’s editorial brings up more than just Obama’s failures. It brings up his obvious hostility toward the Lone Star State.

Four years later, President Obama’s deeds have failed to match his words, much less his specific vows to cut the national debt by half and bring the nation’s unemployment rate to 6 percent. As Texans, it is a particular vexation that this president’s attitude toward the interests of our state has occasionally bordered on contempt, particularly in decisions relating to the NASA budget and the energy sector. The hurtful symbol of this attitude of insensitivity to Texans’ feelings was the administration’s choice to deny Space City’s bid to become home to one of the retired space shuttles.

We do not believe four more years on the same plodding course toward economic recovery is the best path forward for Texas or the nation. And so we endorse the Republican team, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, in the belief that they can do better by Texas and the nation.

It’s difficult to see how they could do any worse for Texas. When Obama wasn’t cynically shipping our space shuttle to New York, he was on the border with Mexico mocking our concerns about the drug war violence south of the river. When Obama wasn’t promising the Brady Center that he was working on gun control “under the radar,” he was promising the Russians more “flexibility” on missiles, and walking assault weapons to the Mexican drug cartels. When he wasn’t wasting billions of our dollars on greendoggles, he was using the EPA to assault our vital energy sector.

The Chronicle’s endorsement notes that Obama blocked the Keystone pipeline, and reprints Romney’s five-point agenda for economic growth. It follows several newspapers around the country coming out for Romney in the past week or so, papers from places as diverse as Tennessee and New York. If news editors are going public with Obama disenchantment, they’re making it easier for people to keep their disenchantment with him private and walking it right into the voting booth. The Chronicle’s editorial is timely too: It hit yesterday, a day ahead of the start of early voting across Texas.

As for Russell Crowe, look, the man is an actor and has never been confused with Clint Eastwood. When it comes to men, Crowe is an outlier foreigner. He’s not worth the energy it would take me to get up, find the Gladiator blu-ray, and toss it.