FOUR years ago, as America faced serious trouble at home and abroad, this news
organization embraced the need for bold change to a different brand of leadership and endorsed Barack Obama for president.

That assessment of the depth of the nation's problems and the most promising solution was correct in 2008. Regrettably, it applies no less in 2012, after nearly a full term of Obama's
administration. This is why the editorial board urges voters to choose Mitt Romney for president in the Nov. 6 election. He is the leader this country needs for the future.

The election is likely to be very close, the Electoral College tally to be tipped one way or another by the results in just a few states. Alas, California again will not be among the difference-makers.

The mere fact that Obama finds himself in a neck-and-neck race speaks to the disappointment he has inspired in many one-time believers. Even if he ekes out a victory, as the public-opinion polls suggest, he will be the first president in 180 years to be elected to a second term with a lower percentage of the popular vote than he received the first time around.

That Democrats and Republicans are so evenly and stubbornly split also speaks to the political state of a nation beset by corrosive partisanship. An unhealthy number of supporters of the Democratic ticket, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, and the Republican standard bearers, Romney and running mate Paul Ryan, cannot imagine what the other side is thinking.

It is precisely this kind of partisan divide that Obama promised to end. He was going to make history not only as the United States' first black president but as its healer, vowing to lead the nation into a new era of cooperation. But that promise to blend blue America and red America into purple America is an example of Obama's failure of leadership.

Sad to say, the reservations our editorial board expressed about Obama in 2008 have been borne out. His inexperience in an executive position has been exposed. His naivete about his chances of getting much of his program through a deeply partisan Congress has been cured the hard way. Instead of taking charge in Washington, Obama has shown unwillingness to take even the most basic step in presidential leadership: picking up the Oval Office phone to bring his influence to bear on reluctant representatives and senators.
Obama's signature domestic achievement, the Affordable Care Act, is symbolic of his term for another reason: It passed entirely because of Democratic support.

The economy is making an all-too-slow recovery. The nation's budget problems remain unsolved, portending a new financial crisis ahead. In the ending of the Iraq War and the killing of Osama bin Laden, there is a sense that we've already seen the high points of an Obama administration.And Americans hoping for better from a prospective second term are frustrated by Obama's failure to explain how four more years would be different. Meanwhile, Romney is not merely an acceptable alternative to Obama.He is an honorable, trustworthy and steady leader who, had he been the Republican Party's nominee four years ago, would have given Obama a tougher challenge than the reckless duo of John McCain and Sarah Palin. 

Romney has proven his leadership qualities as a business success, as the trouble-shooting head of the Salt Lake City Olympics, and as the governor of Democratic Party-dominated Massachusetts.
And, at a time when leading Republicans and Democrats fly the flag of inflexibility, the worst thing that many critics say about Romney is that he is too flexible, that he bends his policies to the situations in front of him.
As president, Romney would not be restrained by foolish consistency. He would be expected to do the right thing no matter where the solutions originate. This is the most precious trait an officeholder can have in this era of corrosive hyperpartisanship.

The best first move a President Romney could make would be to claim ownership of the nation's problems from the minute he is sworn in. Little has shaken Americans' faith in Obama as his - and his most ardent supporters' - habit of reminding us of the problems he inherited from President George W. Bush.
Instead of following through on his hope-and-change message, Obama keeps telling us the limits of hope and change.

We are all for hope and we champion change. Many of this organization's editorial positions are guided by the belief that change in government is to be sought, not feared. We embrace new leaders, independent thinking, and shaking up the status quo; this philosophy is evident in several other endorsements this fall. Four years ago, the editorial board's willingness to change horses in the middle of a churning river led us to call for voters to break the Republican hold on the White House and try a Democrat with a fresh spark. Today, it leads the editorial board to urge voters to say "enough" to a Democratic administration whose sincere best has turned out disappointing, and install a seasoned leader with a record of fixing problems. 

Mitt Romney is that seasoned leader. 
Z:  HOLY COW is all I have to say.   How about you?  If an LA Paper is endorsing Romney, how many more are across our land?  How about your town papers?