BOSTON (AP) – The Boston Globe’s editorial board has endorsed Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain ahead of the New Hampshire presidential primary and the Iowa caucus, the newspaper reported Saturday.

The endorsements followed in-depth interviews with the presidential contenders.

The board says Obama’s diverse and international life experience helped the Illinois Democrat develop a unique perspective of the world.

“The most sobering challenges that face this country – terrorism, climate change, disease pandemics – are global,” the board said in early excerpts of its endorsement. “America needs a president with an intuitive sense of the wider world, with all its perils and opportunities. Barack Obama has this understanding at his core.”

Obama’s relative lack of Washington experience may enable him to explore creative solutions to national problems, according to the endorsement.

“It is true that all the other Democratic contenders have more conventional resumes, and have spent more time in Washington,” the board wrote. “But that exposure has tended to give them a sense of government’s constraints. Obama is more open to its possibilities.”

The newspaper’s editorial board praised McCain as a straight talker whose honesty, despite the political cost, might help a polarized nation. The board described the Arizona Republican as a possible antidote to the “toxic political approach” of the last two presidential elections.

“McCain’s views differ from those of this editorial page in a variety of ways. Yet McCain’s honesty has served him well,” the board wrote. “As a lawmaker and as a candidate, he has done more than his share to transcend partisanship and promote an honest discussion of the problems facing the United States. He deserves the opportunity to represent his party in November’s election.”

The Globe also endorsed McCain before the New Hampshire primary in 2000.

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AP-ES-12-15-07 2104EST

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