With Endorsements Like These,….

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As Greg Sargent over at TPM Election Central notes, the Las Vegas Review Journal has bestowed its endorsement on Barack Obama ahead of Nevada’s caucuses. But the endorsement is so tepid that you have to wonder whether it will help or hinder Obama’s chances. Here’s an excerpt:

Is Barack Obama, then, the ideal Democratic candidate for president? Hardly. His policy recommendations — when he can be convinced to get any more specific than “I represent change” — are the opposite of “change.” They’re old-line, welfare-state solutions that haven’t spent enough time in the microwave to appear even superficially appetizing…..

But Barack Obama is, at least, likeable.

The editorial is not substantively wrong — Obama has made his campaign about “change” while skimping on the specifics, and the policy positions he does hold are reliably liberal. But it is disconsonant. By just about every measure imaginable — crowds, voter turnout, fundraising, etc — enthusiasm among Democrats for the party’s crop of 2008 candidates is and has been extremely high. It’s unusual, then, to see a paper cast its endorsement as the selection of the least bad from an unappealing field.

P.S. Here’s the full editorial.