Now, we all know Newsweek isn’t shy when it comes to controversial cover photos and headline stories. Indeed, on more than a few occasions, Newsweek Editor Tina Brown has had to defend the magazine’s less-than-flattering photos and oftentimes incendiary articles.

Everyone’s also familiar with the publication’s left-leaning tendencies, right? Right.

Well, that’s precisely why Newsweek’s latest cover may surprise you:

Whoa: Newsweeks Latest Cover May Surprise You“Hit the Road, Barack”

Whoa. Well, that’s certainly a departure from the type of headline stories and cover photos we’ve grown accustomed to:

Whoa: Newsweeks Latest Cover May Surprise You“The Queen of Rage”

Whoa: Newsweeks Latest Cover May Surprise You“Why Are Obama’s Critics so Dumb?”

Whoa: Newsweeks Latest Cover May Surprise You“The First Gay President

Whoa: Newsweeks Latest Cover May Surprise You“We’re All Socialists Now

Whoa: Newsweeks Latest Cover May Surprise You“Romney: The Wimp Factor

Whoa: Newsweeks Latest Cover May Surprise You“George Bush: Fighting the Wimp Factor”

Newsweek’s latest cover story comes from none other than noted historian Niall Ferguson. The article, titled “Hit the Road, Barack,” argues that President Obama has proven that he’s an economic illiterate and that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan’s “path to prosperity is our only hope.”

“Unemployment was supposed to be 6 percent by now. It has averaged 8.2 percent this year so far. Meanwhile real median annual household income has dropped more than 5 percent since June 2009. Nearly 110 million individuals received a welfare benefit in 2011, mostly Medicaid or food stamps,” writes Ferguson.

“Welcome to Obama’s America,” he adds.

“America under this president is a superpower in retreat, if not retirement. Small wonder 46 percent of Americans — and 63 percent of Chinese  — believe that China already has replaced the U.S. as the world’s leading superpower or eventually will.”

Ferguson makes the case that the alternative to President Obama’s “Hopenchange” machine, though not the strongest he has ever seen, is infinitely preferable for the health of the U.S. economy:

Mitt Romney is not the best candidate for the presidency I can imagine. But he was clearly the best of the Republican contenders for the nomination. He brings to the presidency precisely the kind of experience — both in the business world and in executive office — that Barack Obama manifestly lacked four years ago. (If only Obama had worked at Bain Capital for a few years, instead of as a community organizer in Chicago, he might understand exactly why the private sector is not “doing fine” right now.)

“And by picking Ryan as his running mate, Romney has given the first real sign that—unlike Obama—he is a courageous leader who will not duck the challenges America faces,” Ferguson adds.

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Click here to read Ferguson’s full article.

(H/T: BI)