The New York Post has just announced its endorsement of John McCain for President.
The ringing endorsement, which praises McCain's record on taxes, energy and national security, is significant for one reason alone: the newspaper is owned by Rupert Murdoch.
"McCain's lifelong record of service to America, his battle-tested courage, unshakeable devotion to principle and clear grasp of the dangers and opportunities now facing the nation stand in dramatic contrast to the tissue-paper-thin résumé of his Democratic opponent, freshman Sen. Barack Obama. McCain has been in Washington for many years now, but he is not of Washington. He knows where the levers of power are located - and how to manipulate them - but he is not controlled by them"
Whilst the New York Post may not be the most high-minded of American newspapers,
Rupert Murdoch's The Sun's endorsement of Labour at the 1997 general election has come to be seen as an influential factor in helping the party 'close the deal' with working class voters who flocked to the Conservative Party in droves throughout the Thatcher years.
In McCain's case, the support of the Murdoch media empire will be particularly important as he attempts to court blue-collar workers in the mid-west - arguably the most hotly-contested demographic in the 2008 general election.
Read the entire endorsement below...
POST ENDORSES JOHN MCCAIN
The Post today enthusiastically urges the election of Sen. John S. McCain as the 44th president of the United States.
McCain's lifelong record of service to America, his battle-tested courage, unshakeable devotion to principle and clear grasp of the dangers and opportunities now facing the nation stand in dramatic contrast to the tissue-paper-thin résumé of his Democratic opponent, freshman Sen. Barack Obama.
McCain has been in Washington for many years now, but he is not of Washington. He knows where the levers of power are located - and how to manipulate them - but he is not controlled by them.
McCain's selection of the charming, but rock-solid, outsider Sarah Palin as his running mate underscores the point.
Neither plays well with others.
And this is an unalloyed asset at a time when special interests - lobbyists, lawyers and organized labor chief among them - wield enormous influence in the nation's capital.
McCain's Democratic opponents, Obama and Sen. Joseph Biden, lead a party constructed of special interests - public-employee unionists in particular.
There are many reasons to support the McCain-Palin ticket. Here are but a few:
* National security: The differences between McCain and Obama are especially stark.
McCain says 9/11 represented a two-decade "failure . . . to respond to . . . a [growing] global terror network." He understood that Iraq is a critical front in the war on terror - and he urged perseverance even in the dark days that preceded the success of "the surge."
Obama backed policies that would have abandoned Iraq to its fate, he bitterly opposed the surge, and once insisted that US forces invade Pakistan in search of Osama bin Laden - seemingly without regard for the potential consequences of attacking a nuclear-armed nation, ally or not.
Regarding a nuclear Iran, McCain has pushed for the strongest possible international sanctions and diplomatic pressure. Obama opposes sanctions.
And, when Russia invaded the former Soviet republic of Georgia, threatening a return to the Cold War, McCain reacted with stern disapprobation: "We must remind Russia's leaders that the benefits they enjoy from being part of the civilized world require their respect for the values, stability and peace of that world."
Obama called for UN action - unaware, apparently, that Russia's Security Council veto would have prevented any.
* Taxes: McCain knows that when government absorbs ever-larger shares of national income, the economy suffers.
High tax rates diminish investment, killing jobs and stunting growth.
And while Obama promises tax cuts for "95 percent" of Americans, what he actually is proposing is some $650 billion in tax-credit-driven hikes in entitlement and other spending, to be paid for with heavier imposts across the board, but especially on investment - like a sharply higher capital-gains tax.
This is bad news for the millions of ordinary Americans who own stocks, either personally or through pension funds or who plan someday to sell their homes or other real property.
McCain, wisely, vows to keep capital-gains taxes at 15 percent and to keep the Bush-era tax cuts in place - understanding that new growth will boost revenue, and promising to make up the rest with spending restraint.
And he's called for a one-year freeze on most discretionary spending and an end to pork-barrel giveaways.
* Trade: "I object when Senator Obama and others preach the false virtues of economic isolationism," says McCain - noting that "globalization is an opportunity" for US workers. He adds that while emerging economies like those of China and India are worrisome, the answer is competition informed by education and innovation - not protectionism.
* Energy: On the economic issue most vexing Americans today - energy prices - McCain is aggressive
He is a strong convert to offshore drilling: "We have trillions of dollars' worth of oil and gas reserves in the US at a time we are exporting hundreds of billions of dollars a year overseas to buy energy."
He also strongly backs nuclear power - a carbon-free form of energy that America can produce relatively cheaply.
Obama, meanwhile, hews to the Democratic Party line on energy: no nukes, no drilling and no comprehension of the consequences of such policies.
None of this implies an iota of disrespect toward Obama. It took a formidable candidacy to defeat Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton - a candidacy, by the way, which we strongly supported earlier this year.
And the intelligence, the organizational skills and the ability to communicate that Obama demonstrated from the beginning dramatically underscore the history that is being made by the first African-American to head a major-party presidential ticket.
He should be around for a long time, and we hope that he is.
In the end, though, sound security, economic and energy policies - plus allegiance to principle - are critical to keeping America safe and strong.
On all counts, John McCain and Sarah Palin understand this - and that's why we're in their corner to the finish.