The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, October 28, 2004  

New York Observer Endorses Kerry

The New York Observer is like no other newspaper and so its endorsement of Sen. John Kerry -- "After Blundering Bush Years, John Kerry for President" -- is like no other.

Pull quotes:

It’s hard to believe that only four years have passed since Mr. [George W.] Bush left Texas and his callow past to assume the post of leader of the free world. So much has changed since the Supreme Court anointed Mr. Bush as President in late 2000. Little of that change has been for the better, and the America of Inauguration Day, 2001, now seems to belong to a vanished era. [...]

Before Sept. 11, this generation believed that the stupidities, absurdities, corruptions and venalities of modern American politics were the new business as usual. Before Sept. 11, the President of the United States, the indispensable man in American life, could still afford to be a kind of imperial Li’l Abner, brave, good-natured and oblivious. [...]

So, to succeed Mr. [Bill] Clinton, the nation sort of elected the ne’er-do-well son of a former President, a Connecticut preppie in Stetson boots, figuring that we could take our chances with him because, really, how much damage could he do? As a personality, he had an advantage on his stiff opponent, Al Gore. His ignorance of world events seemed inconsequential as long as the economy kept creating wealth and jobs. He was another example of what the age seemed to be creating, a personality with a slogan: "I’m a uniter, not a divider," with a wink toward those who knew he meant exactly the opposite. [...]

Mr. Bush [...] managed to set into motion staggering, mind-boggling, almost hallucinatory tax cuts and rebates, destroying Bill Clinton’s most impressive legacy -- an American balance sheet written in black ink -- and hurling the federal budget from a $5.6 trillion surplus back into a $5 trillion deficit. [...]

The nation can no longer entrust its future to a man so unsuited, in intellect and temperament, to grave responsibilities. John Kerry of Massachusetts is not a perfect alternative, but an impressive alternative he is.

The Observer endorses Mr. Kerry and his running mate, John Edwards. [...]

As a front man, this light-minded draft dodger is a pale shadow of the man he seeks to emulate, Ronald Reagan. The late President was a giant of principle and pragmatism compared to George W. Bush.

It is time for him to go. He has sharded America’s reputation abroad, weakened our economy, undermined the concept of American democracy. His Presidency has been more than a disaster: It has been an assault on the integrity of American life. [...]

His management of the war has been a disaster. Indeed, the shocking theft of 380 tons of explosives from an unprotected bunker in Iraq demonstrates the President’s incompetence as commander in chief.

John Kerry understands that disorder is dangerous in this world, that intelligence and rationality are the right partners to passion, resolve and principle. As he showed in his three focused and well-prepared debate performances with President Bush, he is a man of intensity and rationality, whose 30 years in public life have prepared him to restore America’s fundamental understanding of what it takes to be the "last, best hope on earth." A soldier of freedom, an American idealist, a public man with a tested private soul, he seems to understand that leadership in a democracy entails eliciting the better angels of our nature, and that greatness begins with goodness and surmounts in strength.

John Kerry is the right choice now to lead our country.

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