President Obama has lately been trying to make hay over Mitt Romney’s now-infamous “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” 2008 article, mischaracterizing it as the callous approach of a cold-hearted let-them-eat-cake capitalist that contrasts sharply with his own oh-so-munificent taxpayer-funded bailout plan. To hear the president tell it, Romney’s plan would’ve been a disastrous failure while his own has been a resounding success and proof of the soundness of his economic policies — but I have a feeling his recent revisits to the issue may have something to do with the possibility that Michigan may turn out to be a little bit more in play than previously anticipated.

Unfortunately for him, even Detroiters can recognize persistently poor economics when they see them. While applauding the president for “leading the rescue” of the auto industry and assuring readers not to “assume it was a no-brainer for a conservative newspaper to endorse a conservative presidential candidate” (because, hey, who doesn’t like free money?), the Detroit News felt compelled to offer their endorsement to Mitt Romney:

Hope and change are still what Americans are seeking. This time, Republican challenger and Michigan native Mitt Romney offers the best hope of changing the nation’s fate.

We anticipate that Romney will govern in the same manner as Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a practical leader who shares his background as a business executive.

Snyder has rapidly set Michigan on the path to revival by applying sound business practices and accountability to government operations. We expect that Romney will also employ a results-oriented approach and be ever mindful of his customer, the taxpayer.

Also like Snyder, we find Romney to be less partisan than the typical politician, and not bound by rigid ideology. The nation will be best served if the entrenched disagreements of the past four years give way to cooperation and achievement. …

Romney has been an effective leader his entire career, both in business and politics. As governor of Massachusetts, he worked with a Democratic legislature to produce difficult health care and education reforms. We are optimistic he can restore the art of compromise to Washington.

Bazinga. Again, it’s difficult to pin down an exact science on whether or not newspaper endorsements matter too much, but if Michigan really does turn out to be as hotly contested as some sources are suggesting, it certainly won’t hurt Team Romney’s cause, especially with an appeal to moderation and bipartisanship like the above.

In other newspaper news, the Washington Post also released their editorial endorsement for the presidential contest today — guess who?

President Barack Obama is better positioned to be that navigator than is his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

We come to that judgment with eyes open to the disappointments of Mr. Obama’s first term. He did not end, as he promised he would, “our chronic avoidance of tough decisions” on fiscal matters. But Mr. Obama is committed to the only approach that can succeed: a balance of entitlement reform and revenue increases. …

Start with the first-term record. We were disappointed that Mr. Obama allowed the bipartisan recommendations of his fiscal commission to wither and die and that he and Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) failed to seal a fiscal deal in the summer of 2011. Mr. Obama alienated Congress and business leaders by isolating himself inside a tight White House circle that manages to be both arrogant and thin-skinned. Too often his administration treats business as an obstacle rather than a partner. He hardly tried to achieve the immigration reform and climate-change policy he promised.

But economic head winds and an uncompromising opposition explain some of these failures — and render that much more impressive the substantial accomplishments of Mr. Obama’s first term.

Is it just me, or is anybody else sensing that their language feels just a little bit… tortured?