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The Presidential Campaign

Newspaper endorsements

A survey of recent editorial endorsements in the presidential race by U.S. newspapers.

By wire services
Published October 24, 2004


60 newspapers total

9,592,196 daily circulation

New York Times, Oct. 17:

"We have been impressed with Mr. Kerry's wide knowledge and clear thinking - something that became more apparent once he was reined in by that two-minute debate light. He is blessedly willing to re-evaluate decisions when conditions change. ... He strikes us, above all, as a man with a strong moral core."

Boston Globe, Oct. 17:

"These are challenging times for any leader. On the signal issues of this campaign - the Iraq war and terrorism - Kerry is up to the challenge. ... He is best suited to heal our painful rifts now - not just with the community of nations but within this nation, rent by social, ideological, economic and religious diversions. These sap the strength of America."

Charlotte Observer, Charlotte, N.C., Oct. 17:

"When a president is seeking re-election, the contest is inevitably a referendum on his service. ... We think George W. Bush has made the wrong choices on too many matters important to our country."

Kansas City Star, Kansas City, Mo., Oct. 17:

"John Kerry is not a perfect candidate with a flawless record. But he is a man of obvious intelligence, compassion, patriotism and courage whose presidency would be guided by a clear understanding of what went wrong in the last four years and what needs to be done in the next four."

Oregonian, Portland, Ore., Oct. 10:

"Kerry ... has demonstrated, through his personal heroism in Vietnam and his positions in this campaign, that he is strong, aggressive and thoughtful enough to perform well as commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces. A long record of public service shows that he possesses a deep, nuanced understanding of the central domestic issues of our time."

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Oct. 10:

"Too often, Bush has seemed to disdain rational analysis of a situation in favor of a rigid, unbending ideology that recognizes no shading of gray. ... In contrast to the incumbent, Kerry has shown the ability to look at a complex problem honestly, listen closely to the input or experts and then take the course that sounds most reasonable. ... It's time to give competence a chance."

San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 17:

"Seldom have the differences between the major-party candidates been as profound as they are this year. ... This government needs a change in direction: in how it preserves liberty and opportunity for its people, in how it manages its rich resources, in how it applies its military superiority to protect us, in how it relates to the world. One candidate for president sees those challenges."

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Oct. 10:

"America needs a leader who sees the world as it is, who knows how to rebuild international alliances, who focuses on threats to homeland security, who runs the government for the benefit of all Americans. By virtue of his knowledge of world affairs, his life story of national service and his moderate values, John Kerry is that leader."

Detroit Free Press, Oct. 4:

"Kerry is not a perfect candidate, but he is a promising alternative to things as they are. The Massachusetts senator is certainly more thoughtful than Bush, more open to new ideas and more sensitive to the issues confronting the middle and working classes. He is as resolute as the incumbent about fighting terrorism but more willing to change strategies that are not effective."

Seattle Times, Aug. 27:

"Four years ago, this page endorsed George W. Bush for president. We cannot do so again - because of an ill-conceived war and its aftermath, undisciplined spending, a shrinkage of constitutional rights and an intrusive social agenda. ... Certainly, the man now in office forgot some of the things he said so fetchingly four years ago."


53 newspapers total

6,425,856 daily circulation

New York Post, Oct. 22:

"America will be safer with George Bush in the White House. ... For starters, the Bush doctrine of pre-emption and aggressive promotion of freedom abroad has put dictator-thugs and terrorists everywhere on notice.

"It is true that criticism of the president - particularly from Kerry and his backers - has been vicious this year. But, again, the fact that Bush has weathered it, without surrendering an inch, is yet more proof that he is the man for the job, at a time when resolve in the war is America's greatest asset."

Washington Times, Oct. 19:

"Our nation is mortally threatened and deeply divided. ... The sheer vastness and duration of Mr. Bush's solution leaves one wishing that the danger did not require so overwhelming a response. Many ... wonder whether the project is doable. ... On the other hand ... Mr. Kerry's more limited proposed response does not even offer a theoretical end to the terrorist threat.

"Whatever lessons history has in store for the next president, we believe that Mr. Bush's character and personality are better suited to those challenges."

Boston Herald, Oct. 20:

"Certainly, both John Kerry and George Bush love this country. ... But only one would never sacrifice principle for political advantage. One of these men says he craves the respect of the world. The other by his words and deeds commands it. ... John Kerry, who has served this state well in the U.S. Senate is in his bid for the presidency simply the wrong man, in the wrong place, at the wrong time."

El Paso Times, El Paso, Texas, Oct. 17:

"This nation is engaged in two wars. One is in Iraq, and it would not be advisable to change command and policy in the middle of the fight. ... Then there's the war on terror ... the battle against terrorism is progressing both domestically and internationally. That shouldn't be interrupted."

San Diego Union-Tribune, Oct. 17:

"John Kerry's record of waffling on issues large and small does not instill confidence that he would provide the steady leadership that these uncertain times demand. With George Bush, however, there never is any doubt about where he stands. That is why he merits another four years in the White House."

Indianapolis Star, Oct. 17:

"It is time for experience and resolve, which is why George Bush should be re-elected for a second term. Without a re-election facing him, the president can move to do those things he said he would do in his first presidential campaign."

Chicago Tribune, Oct. 17:

"There is much the current president could have done differently over the last four years. ... But for his resoluteness on the defining challenge of our age - a resoluteness John Kerry has not been able to demonstrate - the Chicago Tribune urges the re-election of George W. Bush as president of the United States."

Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Oct. 16:

"If it weren't for 9/11, the 2004 presidential campaign would be a weary reprise of the one four years ago, with John Kerry substituting for Al Gore. ... What was different four years ago, of course, is that America was not at war. Now it is, and George W. Bush's vision for American foreign policy is a major reason we support him."

Sources: Associated Press, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Seattle Times, Washington Times, New York Post, Editor & Publisher [Last modified October 24, 2004, 00:27:32]

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