2000 Media Endorsements

From dKosopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

In the 2000 election, the major party candidates were Vice President Gore and Governor Bush of Texas. As usual a long list of newspapers endorsed either Bush or Gore. The diary, Operation 'Shame on You' advocates writing to those papers who endorsed Bush, to point out how Bush has not lived up to the promise of their endorsement. Operation 'Fool Me Once' has a similar campaign.

Contents

Lists of Endorsements

  • George Washington University has a list, with links, of the 2000 endorsements.
  • Another list is available at WheretodoResearch.com.
  • You might have better luck looking with an archived version of the GWU list.

Unfortunately many of those links are broken, or require subscription.

Links and Excerpts of Bush Endorsements

Alabama

  • Birmingham News --10/29/00, epage@bhamnews.com, contact
  • Birmingham Post-Herald (EWS)--10/29/00, dsharp@postherald.com, jwillis@postherald.com, kseitz@postherald.com
  • Mobile Register --10/28/00, rbuchanan@mobileregister.com, contact
  • Gadsden Times

Arizona

Arkansas

  • Arkansas Democrat-Gazette(below) --11/5/00, contact

Colorado

  • Denver Rocky Mountain News (EWS)--10/29/00, letters@rockymountainnews.com, editor@RockyMountainNews.com, letters@denver-rmn.com, talktous@rockymountainnews.com

Direct e-mail to the editors: blakep@rockymountainnews.com, carrollv@RockyMountainNews.com, editor@RockyMountainNews.com

  • Greeley Tribune <need excerpt>, letters@greeleytrib.com, contact
  • Boulder Daily Camera (EWS, same as Rocky Mountain News)--10/29/00, openforum@dailycamera.com

Also: parkerd@dailycamera.com Write directly to the editors: millards@dailycamera.com, evansc@dailycamera.com, talbottc@dailycamera.com

Florida

Illinois

Indiana

  • Evansville Courier & Press

Letter to the editor: letters@evansville.net

Kentucky

  • Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer --10/29/00, readerswrite@messenger-inquirer.com
  • Kentucky Daily News (Bowling Green)
  • Kentucky New Era
  • Kentucky Post (EWS), kyedits@cincypost.com
  • The Gleaner Letters to the editor: letters@thegleaner.com

Maine

Michigan

Missouri

New Mexico

  • Las Cruces Sun News (below) --2000, letters@lcsun-news.com
  • Albuquerque Journal (below) --10/29/00, contact form
  • Current-Argus (Carlsbad) <need excerpt>--11/2/00 <need contacts>
  • Farmington Daily Times (below) --11/5/00, <need contacts>
  • Roswell Daily Record (below), editorial@roswell-record.com
  • Deming Headlight (below) -- 11/3/00 contact form
  • Albuquerque Tribune (EWS), letters@abqtrib.com

New Hampshire

  • The Union-Leader (below) --11/4/00, letters@theunionleader.com, opinion@theunionleader.com

Nevada

New Jersey

  • Press of Atlantic City (below) -- letters@pressofac.com
  • Asbury Park Press (below) -- yourviews@app.com
  • Trentonian (below) -- editor@trentonian.com


New York

Ohio

Oregon

Pennsylvania

  • The Morning Call (Allentown) --10/29/00, contact
  • Erie Times-News (below) --10/27/00, letters@timesnews.com
  • Tribune-Democrat (below) -- tribdem@tribune-democrat.com, contact
  • Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (below) -- opinion@tribweb.com
  • Scranton Times <need excerpts> --10/29/00, Letters@TimesShamrock.com
  • Harrisburg Patriot News <need excerpts>, jkirkpatrick@pnco.com, ddavenport@pnco.com
  • Altoona Mirror <need excerpts>, opinion@altoonamirror.com
  • The Herald-Standard <need excerpts>, hsletters@heraldstandard.com


Rhode Island


South Carolina

  • The State (Columbia) --10/29/00, stateeditor@thestate.com
  • Anderson Independent-Mail (EWS), PO Box 2507, Anderson, SC 29622

Tennessee

Texas

  • Houston Chronicle (below) --Oct. 8 2000, viewpoints@chron.com
  • Lubbock Avalanche-Journal --10/22/00, contact
  • Corpus Christi Caller-Times (EWS), contact
  • Amarillo Globe-News
  • Galveston County Daily News --10/31/00
  • Abilene Reporter-News (EWS) --10/29/00, wolfj@reporternews.com, burket@reporternews.com, contact
  • San Angelo Standard Times (EWS) --10/29/00, tarchuleta@sastandardtimes.com, jcowan@sastandardtimes.com


West Virginia

Wisconsin

The E.W. Scripps Co. (EWS)

In 2000, the E.W. Scripps Co. chain mandated the use of its endorsement for president in all its 21 dailies. The endorsement was determined through a group discussion of about 20 editors and executives of newspapers owned by Scripps. This is as good an argument against media consolodation as any. Rumor has it that in 2004 they will be allowed choose their own endorsement. They are prime candidates for Project 'Shame on You' especially because you only have to write one letter for 21 papers.

Copies of their endorsment is on-line at: Denver Rocky Mountain News, Cincinnati Enquirer and Memphis Commercial Appeal

Those papers are: Abilene Reporter-News, The Albuquerque Tribune, Anderson Independent-Mail, Birmingham Post-Herald, The Cincinnati Post (including The Kentucky Post, an edition), The Commercial Appeal, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Daily Camera (Boulder), Denver Rocky Mountain News, Evansville Courier & Press, The Gleaner (Henderson, Ky.), The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Naples Daily News (including Bonita Daily News, an edition), Redding Record Searchlight, San Angelo Standard-Times, The Stuart News, The Tribune (Ft. Pierce), The Sun (Bremerton), Ventura County Star, Vero Beach Press Journal, Wichita Falls Times Record News.

Write all of them: dsharp@postherald.com, jwillis@postherald.com, kseitz@postherald.com, letters@rockymountainnews.com, openforum@dailycamera.com, letters@commercialappeal.com, tarchuleta@sastandardtimes.com, jcowan@sastandardtimes.com, wolfj@reporternews.com, burket@reporternews.com, letters@abqtrib.com, kyedits@cincypost.com

Web Forms: Knoxville News-Sentinel, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Abilene Reporter-News

Snail Mail: Anderson Independent-Mail, PO Box 2507, Anderson, SC 29622

Arizona Republic

Bush Oct. 29 2000

... "But on the whole -- upon a full measure of the candidate -- The Arizona Republic views George W. Bush as the candidate best suited to be elected the next president of the United States.

"While the Republican candidate's flaws have been well noted -- of the two, he is technically the inferior debater, the less nimble technocrat -- Bush has capably identified the agenda he would propose as president and the demeanor he would project as the elected leader of all Americans. He is on the whole superior to Democrat Al Gore on both scores, particularly the latter.

"Bush may not be articulate regarding the names of obscure heads of state, but foreign policy still seems more safe in his hands than in Gore's. Indeed, if a candidate's inner circle counts for anything, it counts best for Bush here. With advisers like Dick Cheney, Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice, Bush is not lacking for sound counsel regarding military and foreign affairs."

... "Alas, fightin' on behalf of some Americans dictates fightin' agin others. The nation, according to Gore, is very much divided into Us vs. Them. While he may have fabricated grand plans for some of us, he has amply demonstrated they come at the expense of others. In all his adult life, Al Gore has never been a chief executive. He may have what it takes to bring two sides to the table, to heal rather than wound, but nothing in the course of this campaign demonstrated he could.

"George W. Bush, committed as he is to ending "partisan bickering" as we know it, has credibly argued he can work with the ideological other.

"There is much temptation to fall on the opposite side of this tightrope. Over the past two months, in eight in-depth editorials, we have analyzed carefully the policies of each, and the Democrat wins nearly as many of those policy skirmishes as he loses.

"But all considered, George W. Bush wins our support in his pursuit of the presidency."

Tampa Tribune

Bush Oct. 22 2000

"The Texas governor states he would not engage in "nation building." Good. It can't be done from the outside, and such an effort isn't worth rivers of American blood. Regressive nations are regressive for a reason. They are poor for a reason. They lack a large middle class for a reason. Their leadership is corrupt for a reason. They are often burdened not only by climate and geography, but by self-destructive cultures that defy reformation either by American blandishments or American guns."

..."When he says that, if elected, he will put his hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution and tell the truth, we are moved to expect he is sincere enough and well-adjusted enough to keep his word"

..."But Gore's support of partial-birth abortion, the killing of a live baby in the process of being born, is a grave insult to our species. It is an act of violence opposed even by many people who are otherwise sanguine about abortion"


..."Few qualities are so essential in a president as the understanding of the limits of U.S. might. By all means, let's beef up the military budget and continue to raise the pay of enlisted men and women. But let's not be swept into action by superpower vainglory.

On this issue alone, Al Gore's judgment rates the most serious skepticism.

Indeed, it may be said that the vice president has made a cottage industry of eliciting skepticism. It is almost certainly true that no candidate for president (and few candidates for anything) has so continually exaggerated or otherwise doctored his life experiences. Certainly no national candidate has told so many untruths, often for no apparent reason, making it appear that he is beset by compulsive excitements."

..."What the American people need in the White House is a moderate man of mainstream convictions, a man both strong and humble, who will release us from the ugliness and embarrassments of the past eight years. We believe George W. Bush is that man."

Chicago Tribune

Bush

"[In the debates Bush] showed a grasp of detail on both domestic and foreign affairs, and told the public what kind of administration he wanted to run.

"That would be an administration dedicated to Republican principles of limited government, low taxes, free enterprise, personal rights and personal responsibilities. But it would be one shorn of the unfortunate vitriol that accompanied the GOP revolution in 1994. It would be an administration that trusts people to make their own decisions, but would not forget that some people need the government's help.

"It would be an administration that recognizes a president doesn't succeed by browbeating, lecturing or intimidating Congress. A president succeeds by setting broad goals, leading by example, and recognizing that the perfect should not be the enemy of the good."

..."Bush has offered solutions to problems. He has, to his credit, not given the impression that he has the last word on every problem to confront government. He would listen."

..."There is, finally, the question of basic honesty.

"Gore, unlike his boss in the White House, has by all accounts lived a life of probity. There's no doubt that he is a decent man. But his penchant for enhancement has become something of a running joke. Created the Internet? Discovered Love Canal? While he may not have explicitly laid claim to those events, the fact is that Gore has a natural inclination for evasion that is deeply troubling. His explanations of his creative fundraising techniques--'No controlling legal authority'?--suggest that the public will grow disenchanted with yet another White House that can't tell the whole truth.

"The White House has seen enough of that. The nation has seen enough of that. It's time to move on."

"This is an election about honesty, about restoring bipartisanship, about fostering government that will nurture a booming economy without getting in the way of American ingenuity. There is one candidate for president who will do all that, and it is George W. Bush"

Bangor Daily News

Bush Nov. 4 2000

"Gov. Bush has been general in his plans precisely because he knows they must be open to debate to become adopted; Mr. Gore spells his plans out exactly, indicating that he would have Washington do things his way or face confrontation. Which is the more likely approach to end eight years of gridlock?"


The Columbus Dispatch

Bush October 22, 2000

"George W. Bush should be the next president of the United States, and Ohio's voters can help make that happen.


"Of the two major-party candidates, Bush is better-equipped to smooth over the bitter partisanship and frequent gridlock that have characterized the eight years of the Clinton administration and stymied efforts to come to grips with looming fiscal crises in Social Security and Medicare.


"As governor of Texas, Bush has won praise from Republicans and Democrats for a political style that builds consensus and cooperation across party lines. Only that kind of political skill can bring an end to the poisonous climate of distrust that exists between Congress and the White House.

.."[Gore's] natural bent is to attack those who disagree with him.

"His election would mean another four years of confrontation, demagoguery and impasse, four years in which this golden moment of peace, prosperity and possibility might reach its end.

"As Ohioans cast their votes on Nov. 7, they will be choosing between two very different philosophies of government.

"Bush believes that Americans ought to control their own lives and money and that government should be the last resort, not the first, when problems must be solved."

"Gore believes only the federal government can protect citizens from these shadowy forces and from themselves. This is why he does not trust citizens to decide how to spend their own money and favors smaller tax give-backs that go only to those who agree to spend the money in ways that Gore thinks are good for them.

"While The Dispatch believes that any tax cuts are ill-advised until Congress and the president address the national debt and the fiscal problems facing federal entitlement programs, if tax cuts are approved, they should be available to all taxpayers, not just those favored by White House officials."


.."Bush calls for fundamental reform of Medicare financing and, in the meantime, supports a more modest, means-tested plan that limits federal help to those seniors who lack insurance or other means to pay for their prescriptions.

"Bush brings similar restraint to his proposals for education.

"Although the federal government has an appropriate role in setting national standards to measure educational performance, the nuts and bolts of education should be controlled by parents, school districts and state officials.

"In recent years, there has been an explosion in education innovation across the country, most of it emanating from state legislatures and governor's offices, not the federal government.

"But responding to the national concern about educational quality, both candidates have put forward plans for increasing federal education spending.

"At $ 47 billion, Bush's plan has the virtue of being less than a third the size of Gore's. But there is another crucial difference.

"While Bush approves of educational innovation, including publicly funded school vouchers, Gore stands firmly against any innovation that threatens the education monopoly held by the two big teachers unions, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers."

.."There is another area in which the candidates' philosophies will have a profound effect: the U.S. Supreme Court.

"By some estimates, the next president could appoint as many as three justices to the high court. Bush's appointments would be likely to maintain or strengthen the 5-4 majority that has gone some way toward adjusting the power balance between the states and the federal government, reining in some of Washington's more egregious incursions on state turf."

.."Equally important will be the next president's approach to foreign policy. The end of the Cold War left the United States in a foreign-policy limbo.

"Without a deadly superpower rival to confront and deter, what is the U.S. role in the world?

"What are its national interests, and which ones are worth defending with American blood?"

.."The U.S.-led United Nations coalition that corralled Saddam Hussein in Iraq has fallen to pieces on Clinton's watch. Today, there are no U.N. inspectors on the ground in Iraq to deter Saddam's missile and chemical- weapons programs. At the same time, France, Russia and several Arab nations are violating with impunity the U.N. sanctions imposed on Baghdad.


"While Gore promises essentially more of the same, Bush has expressed deep misgivings about the way the U.S. military has been stretched thin in nation- building and open-ended deployments around the world. Though he is no isolationist, Bush would require much more concrete and compelling threats to U.S. security and interests before committing U.S. forces overseas."

..."Bush has excellent ties to Mexico, which will be a plus as the North American Free Trade Agreement draws the United States and Mexico ever more tightly together. His friendship with Mexican president-elect Vicente Fox could mean real progress to stem the flood of drugs and illegal immigration pouring across the U.S.-Mexico border.

"For all these reasons, the Dispatch urges Ohio voters to cast their ballots for George W. Bush on Nov. 7. Doing so will help ensure a fresh start in Washington, one that offers the best chance for the nation to use its current good fortune to lay the groundwork for future prosperity.

"Bush believes that Americans ought to control their own lives and money and that government should be the last resort, not the first, when problems must be solved."


Oregonian

Bush October 22, 2000

"Sometime between now and election day, Texas Gov. George W. Bush or Vice President Al Gore might emerge as the nation's clear choice for president.


"To date, neither man has staked an indisputable claim to the job.


"Here in Oregon, though, our 21/2-week election day is upon us. We have to decide.


"We recommend that voters select Bush."

"...We have our policy differences with both candidates, and on some issues we are more comfortable with Gore than Bush. If the single issue in this election were abortion, for example, we would prefer Gore, who is pro-choice. If you are a single-issue voter on this topic, Bush is not your man, even if he is more moderate and tolerant than the right wing of his party."

"...Bush's education proposals have merit, too, especially his views about testing for accountability, targeting some money for primary grades and replacing low expectations with high. In Texas, Bush's administration has helped make affirmative action in college-entrance unnecessary by making it impossible to discriminate. If you have the grades, you get in."

"The federal government with a Bush White House would not necessarily be a smaller government. Significantly, though, there is every reason to believe it would show more respect for the legitimate prerogatives of state and local governments -- and state and local opinions. This is federalism as it should be practiced, and it is important for Oregon, which has pursued its own course on such topics as health care for the poor and saving our rivers for native fish.

"But something else goes to the heart of our preference for Bush. To be successful, the next president must be more! than the sum of his views on the issues. He must have a talent for listening, setting priorities and he must be authentic.

"During his tenure as governor, Bush has shown he can listen. He has been almost self-consciously bipartisan in Austin. His selection of a group of strong advisers -- Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, foreign-affairs expert Condoleezza Rice, innovative Indianapolis mayor Stephen Goldsmith, Montana Gov. Marc Racicot -- shows both moderation and a willingness to consider a wide range of views.

"During the three national debates with Gore, Bush surprised his critics with a talent for seeing issues and questions the way voters see them. Certainly, Bush has a warmer personality than Gore, but it was more that -- time after time, Bush was able to connect with people in a low-key, effective way. That is, specifically, a leadership talent. It is, specifically, a talent Gore lacks."

"...Neither candidate in this campaign has captured the public imagination the way a Roosevelt, Kennedy or Reagan might. But on a range of topics, and in a variety of ways, we think Bush has shown he has the intellect, character, fortitude and talent to be a better president."


Houston Chronicle

Bush Oct. 8 2000

"More important than any one of these issues is the need for effective, responsible leadership in the White House. Americans of both parties are frustrated with the selfish partisan bickering that holds needed reforms hostage to political ambition."


"Americans of both parties are weary of the scandals and ceaseless investigations that have marred the last eight years and long to leave them behind."


Tribune-Democrat

(JOHNSTOWN, Pa)

"Our region is in tremendous need of an advocate in the White House, something we have not had, despite pledges by the Clinton administration to fix the problems of troubled cities such as Johnstown," the paper said in Sunday's editorial.

"We've been largely left out of the economic boon that has swept across our nation over the last decade. Without a better strategy, our region will not gain new businesses and will continue to lose population, creating a ghost town where opportunity should rightfully flourish."

Specifically, the newspaper lauded Bush's plans for across-the-board tax cut, restructuring Social Security and Medicare reform, in addition to praising Bush's pledge to "restore honor and decency to the presidency."


The Union Leader

(Manchester, NH)

"For President: George W. Bush: Bush failed to impress us during the New Hampshire primary, but he has improved immeasurably on the campaign trail. He might not be considered the intellectual Bill Clinton is, but if all intellectual Presidents are like Clinton, all the more reason to vote for Bush. He has maintained his honor and dignity throughout this campaign, even in the face of attacks from the 'Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.'"

Erie Times-News

(Erie, PA)

Saying the nation needs a candidate "willing to restore civility and integrity to the presidency," the Erie Times-News endorsed George W. Bush.

"Washington desperately needs the change in tone Bush promises to provide."

"...To vote for Texas Gov. George W. Bush imagines a fundamental break from the past, with the offer of a sweeping new beginning up and down Pennsylvania Avenue."

The newspaper said Bush would improve educational achievement and accountability better than Gore, and that there was a ring of truth to Bush's argument that Gore would drastically increase federal spending. It also said Bush appears to be more principled than Gore.

Press of Atlantic City

(Atlantic City, NJ)

Republican George W. Bush has been endorsed by The Press of Atlantic City, who said America needs 'a clean break with the past eight years.'

The Press, in supporting Bush, said most of the criticism leveled against him has been unfair. While the paper disagreed with Bush on his tax-cut plan, it said he is more likely to be a unifying leader.

"...The nation needs a leader right now who can bring people together, not perpetuate divisiveness. We believe George W. Bush is best able to provide that kind of leadership."

Asbury Park Press

(Asbury Park, NJ)

"Bush has articulated with refreshing candor his trust in the people who must give him their votes if he is to win the nation's highest office."

"...We hope and expect that Bush will be a consensus-builder who can work effectively with a Congress that is sure to be a leavening factor."

Trentonian

(Trenton, NJ)

"What we're concerned with here is Gore's ill-disguised haughty arrogance and know-it-all attitude on all topics - a style that would seriously hobble his leadership both domestically and internationally."

The Trentonian also said it supported Bush's belief that "America needs a missile defense system to protect itself and its allies against a missile launched by a lunatic leader in, say, Iraq, or a deranged general in, say, Russia."

The paper concluded, "Gov. George W. Bush is the candidate better suited - and better suited by far - to take a seat behind that all-important desk in the Oval Office."

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

(Pittsburgh, PA)

"America has had enough. She barely survived in the oppressive, freedom-robbing environment of Clinton Canyon; surely she would succumb in Gore Gulch," the endorsement said.

Bush has clear and commonsense goals for Social Security reform and foreign policy, the newspaper stated. The endorsement also cites Bush's effort to make "a new constitutionalism the contemporary mindset."

"George W. Bush offers an expansive vision for America based not on expansive bureaucracy but on limited administration, trust in people, and a thorough understanding of and reverence for the free marketplace that is so fundamental to our sacred liberty," the endorsement said.

New York Post

(New York, NY)

"George W. Bush - by virtue of experience, temperament, worldview and integrity - is by far the superior candidate in this race."

Cincinnati Enquirer

(Cincinnati, OH)

"For this region, Bush is the right fit," the newspaper said in an editorial Sunday. "He's a moderate conservative who has found a theme that is in harmony with our lives: empowerment of the individual, not government."

"...Mr. Bush trusts us to make the right decisions," the newspaper said. "Mr. Gore would rather trust government to make those decisions for us."

Providence Journal-Bulletin

(Providence, RI)

Who is more likely to strengthen America's national security, and broaden our prosperity to benefit all Americans? Gov. George W. Bush of Texas...

"Governor Bush believes that the hard work of Americans ought to be rewarded. I don't think the surplus is the government's money, he said in the final debate. It's the people's money..."

"Governor Bush is a proven leader, in the private sector and public life. Unlike Vice President Gore, he has not spent the bulk of his adult life in political office, and he understands how the economy works ... Americans have a genuine hunger for cooperation in Washington. Governor Bush is far more likely than is Mr. Gore to bridge the partisan gap, and make legislative progress."

"Which brings us to character. No one doubts that Vice President Gore has high intelligence and fierce energy ... And Mr. Gore's tendency to exaggerate, conflate, invent and mislead is not a charming quirk; it is a worrisome habit that could be dangerous in a president."

"As he demonstrated in the three debates, Gov. George W. Bush is a strong and responsible leader, charming, devoted to principle and guided by a series of fundamental beliefs devotion to freedom, faith in the people, suspicion of Big Government that have served America well. Furthermore, he has recruited a running mate, Richard Cheney, of great ability and integrity."

Rockford Register Star

(Rockford, IL)

The Rockford Register Star praised Bush for his "demonstrated ability to work with both Republicans and Democrats, and his willingness to challenge the status quo on major government programs."

The Bloomington Pantagraph

(Bloomington, IN)

"We've had eight years of big government and its free-spending patterns. It's time for change - and George W. Bush can help influence that change," The (Bloomington) Pantagraph wrote in its endorsement.

Chicago Sun-Times

(Chicago, IL)

"Throughout the campaign, George W. Bush has sounded a conciliatory tone, avoiding the ugly culture wars of recent years and promising to work across party lines for unity."


Detroit News

Detroit, MI

The News praised Bush's willingness to build consensus on budget, trade, environmental and regulatory issues. "Mr. Bush's presidential campaign stresses conciliation and cooperation. Mr. Gore preaches divisiveness and class warfare," The News wrote.

Saint Paul Pioneer Press

Saint Paul, MN : letters@pioneerpress.com

"Representing a generation of popular, moderate Republican governors, Bush has muted the sweeping anti-government rhetoric associated with some Republicans in Congress," the Pioneer Press said. "Absent from Bush's philosophy is the notion that slashing taxes and dismantling a few federal departments is all Americans need from their national leadership."

The newspaper said Bush is leading the GOP on a new, constructive course that is making possible new political partnerships and coalitions.

"Bush's can-do conservatism may similarly open the way for the nation to at last squarely address looming challenges on Social Security, Medicare and education," it said."

"....Our view is that Bush has emerged as the more energetic, creative, unifying leader, eager to challenge habitual assumptions of his party and his nation and seek out practical compromise solutions to the complex problems confronting America," the Pioneer Press concluded.


Pioneer Press Enitre Endorsement:

St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN) October 15, 2000 Section: EDITORIAL Edition: CITY Page: 24A Memo:Campaign 2000//Presidential Endorsement


CAN-DO CONSERVATISM, MOVE TOWARD CENTER MAKE BUSH THE MORE ATTRACTIVE CANDIDATE

Gov. George W. Bush of Texas has made a convincing case that he would bring fresh, beyond-the-Beltway pragmatism to the challenges facing American government. He should be elected the nation's next president.

In many ways, Bush has done for the Republican Party what Bill Clinton did for Democrats eight years ago. He has led his party smartly toward the political center on key issues. Representing a generation of popular, moderate Republican governors, Bush has muted the sweeping anti-government rhetoric associated with some Republicans in Congress. Absent from Bush's philosophy is the notion that slashing taxes and dismantling a few federal departments is all Americans need from their national leadership.

Bush shares the traditional conservative respect for the indispensable benefits of free markets. He recognizes the limits of government. But he does not doubt that public policy and federal action, adjusted to and making use of market forces, can contribute to solving social problems. Indeed, he is eager to prove they can.

Bush wants tax cuts, yes - deeper than may be desirable. But he does not mistake less government or cheaper government for the totality of good government.

In leading his party on this new, constructive course, Bush has already demonstrated the kind of leadership that can get things done in Washington, by making possible new political partnerships and coalitions. On that score, he is better positioned than Vice President Al Gore, though Gore had a good teacher. Even amid partisan rancor of historic bitterness, and for which blame is widespread, Clinton's New Democrat centrism led to bipartisan progress on welfare, trade and budgetary issues.

Bush's can-do conservatism may similarly open the way for the nation to at last squarely address looming challenges on Social Security, Medicare and education.

Bush has, to be sure, hardly solved all the problems of Texas. But he has worked successfully there across party lines, a skill Washington, D.C., sorely needs.

It is harder to be confident that Al Gore could build the bridges across party lines that will be needed to work out compromises on essential but politically sensitive reforms. Gore is an able and seasoned public servant who doubtless has many more contributions to make. But his campaign against ``the powerful has had a divisive tone. Worse, Gore has seemed to rule out needed change in some areas. He has largely promised to preserve the status quo on Social Security and Medicare, which makes facing facts and tough choices more difficult.

This is not to endorse Gov. Bush's Social Security and health care proposals in detail, to the extent details exist. The costs and risks of his plan to transform part of Social Security into funded private retirement accounts must be scrutinized carefully. His proposal to rely more on subsidies for private insurance for Medicare recipients and the uninsured likewise needs refinement.

But these are among the kinds of reforms that must be explored in the face of mounting health-care costs and a growing population of elderly. Bush seems ready for that task in a way that Gore is not.

There are other Bush proposals that will benefit from refinement in the process of political compromise. As noted earlier, his tax cut plan seems overlarge in the face of a robust economy. Yet his principle that all taxpayers deserve relief in an era of surpluses is sound.

This editorial board disagrees with Bush's opposition to abortion rights. But it is highly unlikely that he or any president could dislodge the Supreme Court majority supporting women's fundamental right to choose. We hope the governor will live up to his pledge that he will apply no abortion litmus test to court appointments.

On national security and foreign policy, Gore has both the better grasp of future challenges and a more frank assessment of the price tag to taxpayers. Bush lacks direct experience. But his instincts seem serious and sane. His advisers in this area, beginning with vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney, are superb.

Both Bush and Gore are free traders and see the imperatives of full engagement in the global economy.

We are under no illusions about this choice. George W. Bush is not a perfect candidate. Al Gore is not a bad one. America faces no crisis. The fact that these two candidates appear to be splitting the American electorate in half, based on the polls, is an indication that each has strengths that would be appealing if combined in one candidate.

But that choice is not available on Nov. 7.

Our view is that Bush has emerged as the more energetic, creative, unifying leader, eager to challenge habitual assumptions of his party and his nation and seek out practical compromise solutions to the complex problems confronting America.

Richmond Times Dispatch

Richmond, VA

"...Bush is better on character. Contrary to his opponent, he has no history of embroidering his accomplishments to his own glorification. He has no history of campaigning where he should not - such as in Buddhist temples and White House offices - and denying he did. He has no history of terming the incumbent 'the greatest President' since Pericles."

"By many accounts, including his own, Bush was a rounder who reached 40 before finally growing up. The good news is he did grow up, as too few in politics do, and now knows himself full well. His opponent goes daily through a chameleonlike process of redefinition. We doubt the American public needs or desires a Clinton disciple trying to figure out who he is during a presidential watch. Of Al Gore, Bush says: I don't trust the man. We don't either - particularly after studying him closely and enduring him through three debates."

"...In the final debate, Bush spoke to the character question - the most important in any election - when he contrasted himself with the Clinton/Gore administration by pledging to uphold the dignity and honor of the [presidential] office."

"...George Bush echoes Ronald Reagan's efforts to "get government out of the way." Bush says, I don't trust the federal government. He wants to reduce its size and role. He seeks limited, minimal government."

"...Bush is better on the issues - much better.

On the military (let's restore it).

On oil (let's expand domestic R&D and move toward petroleum independence, rather than relying ever more on foreign oil).

On Social Security (let's add a private investment component, allowing individuals to earn more with their government-required retirement money).

On Medicare (let's add choice matching the options government workers and members of Congress now enjoy through the competitive Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan).

On education (let's have high standards, choice, vouchers, and charter schools).

On the environment (let's love our Mother and treat her right - yet carefully, gently, allow her to help us meet our needs).

On foreign policy (let's know our mission and goals, have an abiding strategy, and be scrupulous in the deployment of our troops).

On the collapsing culture (let's (a) move to a renewed civility that will encourage us to (b) make cultural choices based to a greater degree on how such choices will affect not only ourselves but - most important - our young)."

"...It's time, past time, for these disreputables and incompetents to go."

"Vote Bush."

Daily Times of Farmington

Farmington, NM

Gore probably has more day-to-day experience and at-hand knowledge of White House workings than does Bush," it said. "Bush, however, has less political baggage and will more easily be able to make needed changes in that Washington pressure cooker.

"Gore appears to be the more intellectual of the two almost to the point of being a robotic computer spewing out data on the working of our national government. Bush, on the other hand, appears less concerned with seeing the trees and more concerned with seeing the forest," the paper said.

Los Alamos Monitor

Los Alamos, NM

It supported Bush's strong educational record in Texas. Although both candidates claim the success of the economy to be their own, "Bush's laissez faire approach would be a better fit for the rapidly expanding technology businesses that are driving the unsteady stock market," the Monitor said.

"...with the considerable weight of national and international problems to contend with, the Bush-Cheney ticket is the better-equipped team," the Monitor said. "In fact, Dick Cheney may elevate the traditional role of the vice president beyond its current shadowy dysfunction."


Hobbs News-Sun

Hobbs, NM

The Hobbs News-Sun also endorsed Bush on Sunday, supporting the governor's reading evaluation tool for students in kindergarten through second grade and additional training for teachers. The paper also felt Bush's tax cut proposal made sense.

"Bush and his running mate, Dick Cheney, have an energy policy that we can all salute," the paper added. "Bush and Cheney understand the oil business, which is what drives our economy. We can only think that they will do what is best for those of us living in the Oil Patch."

Roswell Daily Record

Roswell, NM

"We believe Bush when he says he would make education his first priority because it is the best way of leveling the playing field for all Americans. We believe he would hold educators more accountable, insist that higher standards be set and met and push for more local control in public schools."

Deming Headlight

Deming, NM

"While some politicians seek to divide America, Bush constantly tells audiences, 'I am a uniter, not a divider.' Through his efforts, he is slowly but surely changing the image of the Republican Party in the eyes of minorities. Again and again, Bush shows he is willing to trust the people, not the government."

Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque, NM

The Albuquerque Journal, the state's largest newspaper, cited Bush's record on education in Texas and his circle of experienced advisers from his father's administration on such subjects as the military.

"Bush has a team - including running mate Dick Cheney, former secretary of defense - seasoned by experience during the presidency of Bush's father. That experience goes beyond diplomacy to include the allied campaign against Iraq ... Since then, deployments of U.S. troops in nonmilitary situations have spread resources too thin, sapping readiness."

Las Cruces Sun-News

Las Cruces, NM

"The United States is ready for a change in leadership," the Sun-News said. "The Sun-News believes George W. Bush would be the best president to push for policies that let individuals and families - not government - decide how to spend their money."

Daily News of Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

"Bush seems to be a consensus builder, someone who can and has reached across party lines and tapped Democrats to help win support for programs in Texas. That kind of quality is needed in Washington to help heal the divisiveness created by years of partisan warfare."

Spokane Spokesman-Review

Spokane, WA

"The White House needs a good scrubbing. The executive branch of federal government needs a new attitude."

"The Spokesman-Review endorses George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, who offer the integrity, the policies and the fresh, bipartisan approach to governing that our country needs."

"uring the past eight years the U.S. economy boomed - in spite of anti-business attitudes of the Clinton/Gore administration, which attacked Microsoft for its competitive success, throttled the Northwest's natural resource industries and threatened our hydroelectric dams."

"During these same eight years, Americans became increasingly cynical, disillusioned and divided about politics - this, the result of an administration that specialized in spin, manipulation, triangulation, obfuscation. An administration that often preferred combat with Republicans to the search for middle ground. An administration that had every opportunity to reform Social Security and Medicare. Instead of fixing those problems, it highlights them in campaigns, working to scare the elderly about needed reforms."

"Those who dislike Bush's politics accuse him of a weak grasp of detail. But the critics overlook Gore's gaffes, and the fact that policy wonks (consider Jimmy Carter) tend to lose their way in thickets of arcane argumentation. Good leaders, like Bush, rally the nation for reform. Good leaders become great if they're willing to hire aides of superior ability, integrity and independence. Bush has said he'll give Gen. Colin Powell a post in his Cabinet and has picked as his running mate Dick Cheney, who showed in Thursday's debate the thoughtful, bipartisan competence that the executive branch needs."

"...Voters who want leaders they can trust should choose leaders who trust the people they serve."

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Little Rock, AR

"George W. Bush has delivered some sharp criticisms of his rival, but have you noticed that he does not attack the other party--as if he understood that a president must be president of all? And that, if elected, he will have to work with all?"

"Al Gore's has been the familiar politics of fear, an ever more strident fear as this campaign closes, while George W. Bush asks Americans to hope."

"He does not curry favor or rely on fear, but addresses us as adults. And he somehow manages to cross his own language barrier; we know what he means. (He reminds us a bit of General Eisenhower that way.) Good will can do more than clever phrases to bring a country together."

"Nor do we consider it a sign of weakness but of strength that W. does not hesitate to consult with advisers who have won the confidence of the American people--like Colin Powell and Dick Cheney. A leader doesn't just talk, he listens. And George W. Bush is a listener."

Personal tools