Boston Globe endorses Barack Obama over former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney

The Boston Globe’s editorial board this morning said President Obama deserves a second term, opting not to back the Republican nominee and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

Since its first presidential endorsement – for Hubert Humphrey in 1968 – the Globe’s editorial page has always supported the Democrat running for president. But it has also never denied its endorsement to a home-state candidate, supporting Michael Dukakis in 1988 and John Kerry in 2004.

“Obama is both the key to a brighter future and the bulwark against a return to the chaos of the Bush years,” the Globe’s editorial board wrote. “He stands between the divides in American society, so some say he must therefore be the source of division. But as president, Obama has reached out repeatedly to Republicans and shied away from the I’m-the-decider pronouncements of his predecessor.”


Democrats have touted this morning that the largest newspapers in the states that Romney has called home – the Salt Lake Tribune, Detroit Free Press, and the Globe -- have backed Obama. In an editorial last week, the Boston Herald endorsed Romney.

The Globe’s editorial page, which makes its decision independent from the news department, has never backed Romney. It supported Senator Edward M. Kennedy when Romney challenged him for US Senate in 1994, and it backed Shannon O’Brien in the 2002 governor’s race, which Romney won.

Even when Romney was facing fellow Republicans, the Globe’s editorial board opted against Romney. It backed John McCain in the 2008 Republican presidential primary, and Jon Huntsman during the 2012 Republican presidential primary.

“Somewhere in the Republican presidential nominee is the sensible, data-driven moderate that the Bay State knew as governor,” the Globe’s editorial board wrote today. “But it may also be that Massachusetts didn’t know Mitt Romney very well, after all. Stuck in a party far to his right, Romney made a fateful bargain to adopt sharply conservative positions, and then start clawing back. Now, voters have no way of knowing what kind of president he’d be.”


“Identifying the real Romney on any major issue — social, economic, or foreign — is impossible,” the editorial added.

The Globe typically backs Democrats, although it has been willing to support Republicans. It backed Richard Tisei, for example, in his contest against incumbent Representative John Tierney, a Salem Democrat.

But for president, it has always supported the Democrat. In 1980s, however, it took the rare step of endorsing both Jimmy Carter and John Anderson, a Republican congressman who was running as an independent.

Matt Viser can be reached at maviser@globe.com.