Will Oremus, “Future Tense” blogger: Obama
Mitt Romney has played sea-level rise for a laugh line, sucked up shamelessly to the coal industry, ridiculed clean-energy innovators in the private sector, and pledged to strip the EPA of its ability to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions. Whether even he believes what he's saying is hard to tell: His readiness to subordinate his ideals to his political ambitions stands out even among politicians. Either way, his stances are irresponsible and will not be judged kindly by history.
Brian Palmer, Slate contributor: no one
I missed the registration deadline. I live in New York, though, so neither candidate cares about my vote anyway. For the record, I would have voted for President Obama. He has been ineffectual, but at least I know what he will attempt ineffectually to do. Mitt Romney would spend the next four years ineffectually doing God knows what. I believe it's important for a candidate to be consistent about what he will fail to accomplish in office.
David Plotz, Slate editor: Obama
I think Mitt Romney would have been an excellent president in an earlier, less partisan era. He’s technocratic, rational, and solutions-oriented. But hitched to a Republican Party with theological beliefs about taxes and almost everything else, he’ll be impotent at best, and extreme at worst. Barack Obama has played a terrible hand—awful economy, nihilistic opposition party—pretty well. He deserves another term to lock in Obamacare, appoint a couple of Supreme Court Justices, and change America’s military posture.
Alyssa Rosenberg, "Double X" contributor: Obama
For health care reform. For moving the conversation about marriage equality into the future, not back to the ’50s. For talks with Iran rather than talk about war with Iran. For not pretending that cutting public broadcasting funding is a serious solution to the deficit. And because I remain confident in my ability to make decisions about my own body, thank you very much.
Will Saletan, national correspondent: Obama
Four years ago, I had two worries about Obama: his executive inexperience and the risk that he'd be pushed around as he sought consensus. I’m sorry that those concerns turned out to be well-founded, and I hope in a second term Obama handles Congress more adeptly. But he has managed foreign policy—the most important part of the job, because a president can screw it up all by himself with global consequences— as well as anyone in memory. The chances that Romney would do this job better, given the cartoonish worldview he has presented, are nil. And the notion that Obama caused the slow pace of the recovery, or that Romney would accelerate it, is economically illiterate.
The good news is that both candidates have been wildly caricatured. For the most part, Romney would be a sensible, moderate Republican president. (I’m setting aside his idiotic pledges to defund Planned Parenthood and to spend at least 4 percent of GDP on the military regardless of need.) But we already have a sensible, moderate Republican president. Everything Obama has done, from foreign policy to economic policy to national Romneycare, is what moderate Republicans used to stand for. The only reason he gets called a liberal is that he’s up against the most right-wing Congress in history.
You want change? Vote out this Congress. If the Republicans lose enough seats to fear for their House majority and their ability to sustain filibusters in the Senate, you’ll find them much more cooperative.
Tom Scocca, columnist: Obama
Bill Smee, Slate V executive producer: Obama
In 2008, I explained my vote with a haiku. This time, I’ve written a sonnet:
Ode to the Shape Shifter
Shall I compare thee to the president?
Thou seem reasonable and moderate:
A Republican without precedent.
But campaigns doth bring out the desperate.
Those who say this, then that, really anything,
While revealing almost nothing about
What they’d do, why they deserve to be king.
Beyond a five-point plan and sowing doubt.
Face it: we are far better off today
Than when Obama came in amid huge fears
Saddled with cards no person could parlay
Into a winning hand in just four years.
You say we can’t afford four more of the same,
Yet offer nothing to back up that claim.
Eliot Spitzer, Slate contributor: Obama
It is really quite simple. There are a few things I believe in that I would hope the next president would believe in as well: facts, logic, constancy of opinion, expanding civil rights for classes of folks who have been historically disadvantaged, and Keynesian economics. These baseline issues seem to differentiate the two candidates. Obama is on the right side of all of them.
Jeremy Stahl, social media editor: Obama
Mitt Romney spent the last month obfuscating his positions on everything from taxes, to spending cuts, to foreign policy. He is clearly banking on the idea that the only way a Republican can win a national election is if he conceals his platform from the rest of the country. Barack Obama’s stimulus policies, meanwhile, saved the American economy from depression (and millions of jobs), he saved the American auto industry from destruction (and a million jobs), he passed a health care bill that will insure 32 million Americans, he killed OBL, he wound down two wars, issued a version of the Dream Act, etc. He did this despite unwavering opposition from Republicans, who have spent the last four years with the exclusive and explicitly stated goal of making sure that the current Democratic president is undone by the economic calamity that they wrought. Obama has earned a second term.