Sunday, October 24


In an editorial that at some points seems a reluctant victory of good sense over emotional attachment, WaPo endorses (weakly) John Kerry for president:

On balance, though, we believe Mr. Kerry, with his promise of resoluteness tempered by wisdom and open-mindedness, has staked a stronger claim on the nation's trust to lead for the next four years.
These failings have a common source in Mr. Bush's cocksureness, his failure to seek advice from anyone outside a narrow circle and his unwillingness to expect the unexpected or adapt to new facts. These are dangerous traits in any president but especially in a wartime leader. They are matched by his failure to admit his errors or to hold senior officials accountable for theirs.
SO MR. BUSH HAS not earned a second term. But there is a second question: Has the challenger made his case? Here's why we say yes.

Mr. Kerry, like Mr. Bush, offers no plan to cope with retirement and health costs, but he promises more fiscal realism. He sensibly proposes to reverse Mr. Bush's tax cuts on the wealthiest and pledges to scale back his own spending proposals if funds don't suffice. He would seek to restore budget discipline rules that helped get deficits under control in the 1990s.

On many other issues, Mr. Kerry has the better approach.
We do not view a vote for Mr. Kerry as a vote without risks. But the risks on the other side are well known, and the strengths Mr. Kerry brings are considerable. He pledges both to fight in Iraq and to reach out to allies; to hunt down terrorists, and to engage without arrogance the Islamic world. These are the right goals, and we think Mr. Kerry is the better bet to achieve them.


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