Former Virginia Governor Doug Wilder: No Obama Endorsement

Douglas Wilder, America’s first African-American elected governor and 2008 Barack Obama supporter, has decided against endorsing his fellow Democrat for re-election.

Wilder, who was governor of Virginia from 1990 to 1994, wrote a column for Reuters in which he declined to back either major party candidate.

Moreover, instead of overtly expressing his own opinion on the candidates, Gov. Wilder carefully couched his essay in terms of the feedback he’s been getting from Virginia voters in the run-up to Election Day.

“I have campaigned for and supported the president in the past, and many people now want to discuss his job performance with me. They often note that Obama ran as a moderate — and that is the man they threw their support behind in 2008. But some look back and say that he has governed as a left-of-center liberal who did not keep the focus squarely on jobs and economic recovery.”

Wilder’s editorial did not endorse Mitt Romney instead of Obama, however, but he did provide some positive commentary for the GOP challenger:

“The Republicans endured a bad nominating process. Yet in the end, they seem to have chosen a credible candidate that many Virginians tell me they would feel fairly comfortable with in the Oval Office.”

Wilder’s evaluation of Romney sounds familiar to the comments from former President Bill Clinton this summer who said Romney had a “sterling business career” and has the necessary threshold qualifications to serve as president of the United States.

Douglas Wilder was also mayor of Richmond, Virginia from 2005 to 2009.

Virginia is a swing state, but polling seems to give the edge to Romney.

[Image credit: spirit of america/]