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Endorsement Watch:
A Final Roundup of Editorial Support

Early Returns
A daily dose of online news
from beyond the Beltway.

__ Endorsement Watch __
Vice President Gore
Gov. George W. Bush
Key Race Endorsements

By Jason Thompson
Washingtonpost.com Staff Writer

Over the past few weeks, editorial boards at newspapers across the country have exercised one of their industry's oldest practices – endorsing local, state, and national political candidates.

Often, readers misunderstand this practice and believe support voiced by an editorial staff is indicative of a larger bias within the individual organization (Read comments by Washington Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. on this same topic). This is seldom, if ever, the case. And while newspaper endorsements may not be as effective as they were in the days before the Internet and 24-hour television news, they still play an important role in the Democratic process.

Early Returns has monitored editorial endorsements from most of the nation's leading newspapers during the last two weeks for both Vice President Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush. (A similar, though not as comprehensive, round-up of various congressional and governor's races is also available). Those lists are compiled below, with links to excerpts from each editorial. When available, another link is provided to the full editorial text.

Go straight to endorsement excerpts for Gore
Go straight to endorsement excerpts for Bush

__ Gore Endorsements __
Albany Times Union
Atlanta Constitution
The Baltimore Sun
The Beacon Journal
The Bergen Record
The Boston Globe
The Buffalo News
The Charlotte Observer
The Courier-Journal
Dayton Daily News
Denver Post
The Des Moines Register
Detroit Free Press
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
Fresno Bee
The Honolulu Advertiser
Kansas City Star
Las Vegas Sun
Miami Herald
New York Daily News
The New York Times
The News Journal
Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Inquirer
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Portsmouth Herald
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Petersburg Times
Sacramento Bee
San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Examiner
San Jose Mercury News
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Star Tribune
Tacoma News Tribune
Toledo Blade
The Washington Post
__ Bush Endorsements __
Albuquerque Journal
Allentown Morning Call
Atlanta Journal
The Arizona Republic
Austin American-Statesman
The Birmingham News
Boston Herald
Chattanooga Times & Free Press
Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Tribune
The Cincinnati Enquirer
The Columbus Dispatch
The Commercial Appeal
The Daily Oklahoman
The Dallas Morning News
Denver Rocky Mountain News
The Detroit News
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The Grand Rapids Press
The Hartford Courant
Spartanburg Herald-Journal
The Indianapolis Star
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Lincoln Journal-Star
New York Post
Omaha World-Herald
The Oregonian
The Orlando Sentinel
The Plain Dealer
The Providence Journal
Richmond Times-Dispatch
San Antonio Express-News
The Seattle Times
St. Paul Pioneer Press
The State
Tampa Tribune
Tulsa World
The Union Leader
The Washington Times
The Wichita Eagle
Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Editorial endorsements for Vice President Gore:
Albany Times Union: "At the end of a campaign that's gone on too long, cost too much and been demeaning, at times, to the candidates and the voters alike, we find that Mr. Gore offers sound reasons to hope for a better governed nation. He is ready and able to assume the presidency. Mr. Bush may one day be similarly prepared. But in the year 2000, he is not." (Albany, N.Y., 10/22/00)

Atlanta Constitution: "Gore is prepared to change government policy to reflect the needs and opinions of 21st century America. The Bush team, by contrast, is either denying the reality of those changes or advocating an outright retreat, a bridge back to the 20th century, so to speak...Gore is much more engaged in the world around him, more willing to do the work needed to comprehend a complex situation, more willing to think things through to the point that a solution is found. Bush is either unwilling to submit to that grind, or incapable of pulling it off." (Atlanta, Ga., 10/20/00)

The Baltimore Sun: "Those who disparagingly claim there's not a dime's worth of difference between Al Gore and George W. Bush haven't been paying attention. Make no mistake about it: There's a cavernous gap between the two major party candidates—and Al Gore stands on the correct side of that deep philosophical divide. ...The vice president has a wealth of government experience Mr. Bush lacks. Mr. Gore was an effective member of the House and Senate for 16 years, carving out a record of bipartisan effectiveness as a Southern moderate. Yes, he's a policy wonk who can put an audience to sleep with his recitation of facts and figures. But he knows his stuff." (Baltimore, Md., 10/29/00)

The Beacon Journal: "In this race for the presidency, it is essential to assess the record. Who has shown leadership in the corridors of government? Who better understands the needs of the country? Who has the experience and skills to lead from the Oval Office? In our view, the answer is plain: Al Gore. If his shortcomings are obvious, his strengths far exceed them. ...The record reveals that Al Gore is the better prepared, the more experienced, the more thoughtful and decisive candidate. He is the better choice for president." (Akron, Ohio, 10/22/00)

The Bergen Record: "When it comes to leadership, this nation has been adrift for years. Although Mr. Clinton has been strong on the environment and other domestic issues, he will leave the office in disgrace. Not since the Nixon years has the nation been in such a need for a change at the top. But America also needs a president who can guide it through the often-treacherous currents of international turmoil. ...America needs a president who will represent the poor as well as the well-to-do, a president who will be an unflinching steward of the air and water and land. In all of these areas, Mr. Gore, despite his faults, is the stronger choice to lead this nation for the next four years." (Hackensack, N.J., 10/27/00)

The Boston Globe: "Few recent candidates have come to the president's job as well-prepared as Gore. Even before his eight years helping to shepherd the country through the most sustained prosperity in its history, Gore spent 16 years in Congress, becoming expert in arms control and energy policy. President Clinton gave Gore the widest portfolio of any recent vice president, especially on matters involving US relations with Russia and Europe. ...Gore is a thinking-person's candidate, with an elegant analysis of the new economy and a visionary commitment to the environment. By contrast, Bush is given to homilies and easy slogans that reveal a lack of seriousness about the issues facing the nation in a new century." (Boston, Mass., 11/03/00)

The Buffalo News: "Those who believe that Bush is more "likable" than Gore may be right, but that is a weak standard upon which to base a vote for the presidency. Gore's fund-raising past and his bent toward exaggeration are troubling. But they pale before his experience and expertise. As journalist, author and presidential historian Richard Reeves notes, all presidents are prisoners of events unanticipated. We believe that Gore's experience as a congressman, senator and vice president, along with his intellectual depth, best qualifies him to fulfill the promises of the campaign and deal with those unanticipated events." (Buffalo, N.Y., 10/29/00)

The Charlotte Observer: "Vice President Gore is superbly prepared to be president. Government has been his life's work, and he has applied his considerable intelligence to learning the job. Overall, his record is that of a centrist Democrat. He believes in an active government but also believes the government should live within its means. Gov. Bush's recurring taunt – Al Gore trusts the government; I trust the people – offers a false dichotomy. The people need to be able to trust the government to do some things. That list of things is larger for Mr. Gore than for Mr. Bush." (Charlotte, N.C., 10/29/00)

The Courier-Journal: "Mr. Gore offers sounder proposals for safeguarding Americans' economic security and for advancing American interests and principles abroad. To his credit, Gov. Bush, as governor and candidate, has been more moderate and non-ideological than much of the Republican Party... However, Gov. Bush demonstrates an intellect and grasp of issues that are mediocre, to be generous...Al Gore offers superior stature, ability and vision for national leadership. He should be elected." (Louisville, Ky., 10/22/00)

Dayton Daily News: "But the real choice in this election is in domestic affairs. And, what we have is a pretty classic Democrat-Republican split. For people who don't want to make the choice in those terms, the choice is between, in Gov. Bush, an amiable, well-grounded, regular guy of regular abilities and, in Vice President Gore, a sharper, more serious, more dedicated public servant with perplexing personality glitches. It's a choice between pleasant adequacy and flawed excellence. Vice President Gore is the bolder choice, the right choice for a nation still reaching." (Dayton, Ohio, 10/29/00)

Denver Post: "For the first time in several elections, Americans get to choose between two good mainstream candidates who have focused on serious issues and not irrelevant trivia. Either Texas Gov. George W. Bush or Vice President Al Gore would make a fine chief executive for the nation. ...Questions have been raised about whether Bush or Gore better appeals to average voters and which has the better character for the presidency. On these matters, the two may be equally matched in both strengths and defects. The election, then, should be decided on the issues. And on the issues, Gore has made the better case." (Denver, Colo., 10/29/00)

The Des Moines Register: "...being likable is not the most important quality in a president. Far more important are a clear sense of direction about the future, a thorough preparation for the job and being on the right side of the issues. On those counts, Vice President Al Gore is head and shoulders above his rival. ...Both are good men. Both are better than the caricatures painted by their detractors. Neither is likely to rank among the greatest presidents, but either would probably be a president of whom Americans could be proud." (Des Moines, Iowa, 10/29/00)

Detroit Free Press: "(Al Gore) would build on the best policies of the Clinton administration, clean out its worst mistakes, and bring wisdom, consistency and strength to foreign policy...For the continuity of what has gone right for America in recent years, for the dedication and experience he would bring to the office and for his truly compassionate view of issues that affect so many Americans, we believe Al Gore should be America's next president." (Detroit, Mich., 10/22/00)

Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel: "Both Vice President Gore and Gov. Bush are decent, patriotic men who can be expected to bring dignity to the presidency. Both also are firm in their beliefs, and dedicated to improving the lives of the American people. ... The United States does not need a major change in direction. Improvement in American life can come through policies that keep the economy growing, maintain America's leadership role in the world, and uphold the basic rights of individuals. The candidate that can best keep the nation on course is Al Gore, and we urge you to cast your vote for him on Nov. 7." (Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 10/28/00)

Fresno Bee: "The differences in preparation between Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush are stark, as are their disagreements on several key issues. ...The choice portends important differences in how the country is governed and where it goes. By a clear margin, the distinctions favor Vice President Gore. The next president must steer the country through an era of unprecedented change and complexity, at home and abroad – a job that demands the experience, intelligence and judgment that Al Gore has demonstrated in his career." (Fresno, Calif., 10/22/00)

The Honolulu Advertiser: "On the basis of readiness to lead the country, manage the presidency and represent the United States in the world, Al Gore is the better choice. Gore’s background in both domestic and international matters and overall grasp of the issues are all superior to Bush. ...There is no doubting that when Bush describes himself as a 'compassionate conservative,' he is offering a true picture of his heart. But what counts in Washington is not heart but hard-headed policy decisions." (Honolulu, Hawaii, 10/29/00)

Kansas City Star: "Texas Gov. George W. Bush, however, has failed to demonstrate the energy, knowledge and intellectual depth that the country should expect from a candidate for the White House. Bush's uneven, lackadaisical performance through most of the campaign, capped by some of the least impressive debate performances in memory, raise questions about how well prepared Bush might be for the Oval Office and, frankly, how much he really wants the job. ...The Star's conclusion is that Al Gore and Joe Lieberman are the candidates who are most likely to provide the country with responsible, intelligent leadership over the next four years." (Kansas City, Mo., 10/28/00)

Miami Herald: "We are not in thrall to Mr. Gore, nor are we blind to Mr. Bush's attributes. We prefer the Texas governor's willingness to experiment with new solutions to major issues, like education reform, that don't rely on government. We like his willingness to question Social Security and Medicare; we like that he is the brother of Florida's governor, Jeb Bush, whom we support and admire. And we fear that Mr. Gore will not be able to surmount the partisan divides in Washington, D.C., that are so dispiriting. Nonetheless, Mr. Gore is ready now to be a good president where Mr. Bush is not. Mr. Gore has sound judgment, a brilliant intellect, core values and passion for service." (Miami, Fla., 10/29/00)

New York Daily News: "No one in government today better understands that the turbocharged New Economy would be ill served by regressive slash-and-burn tax schemes favored by the GOP. Instead, Gore offers targeted middle-class tax relief and pledges to use the surplus to pay down the national debt, save on interest costs and thus whittle down the debt even further. When all is said and done, there is only one true-blue fiscal conservative in this race, and his name is Al Gore." (New York, N.Y., 10/29/00)

The New York Times: "...we today firmly endorse Al Gore as the man best equipped for the presidency by virtue of his knowledge of government, his experience at the top levels of federal and diplomatic decision-making, and his devotion to the general welfare. We offer this endorsement knowing that Mr. Bush is not without his strong points and that Mr. Gore has his weaknesses. But the vice president has struggled impressively and successfully to escape the shadow of the Clinton administration's ethical lapses, and we believe that he would never follow Bill Clinton's example of reckless conduct that cheapens the presidency." (New York, N.Y., 10/29/00)

Newsday: "It is important to go beyond campaign rhetoric and try to discern how each would govern. Bush's lack of experience has to be balanced against Gore's sober approach to foreign policy, including his support-proper in our judgment-of the war against Iraq. George W. Bush would probably not be a disaster as president. He could even be OK. But don't we expect more than that of our national leaders? Al Gore, even with his less engaging personality, has the potential to be a very good president." (Melville, N.Y., 10/29/00)

The News Journal: "George W. Bush is not presidential material. Vice President Al Gore already has served for eight years at the right hand of a president whose administration set policies that helped accelerate the most prosperous period in this nation's history. ...When the chips are down, the president of the United States must know how to keep the country out of trouble. We do not believe Gov. Bush knows how to do this." (Wilmington, Del., 11/02/00)

Philadelphia Daily News: "We urge you ... to put Al Gore in the White House. ...He has been a principled voice not only for the environment but for justice and democratic values worldwide. He represents the successful policies of the Clinton administration—but without the stain of impeachment. You will live in a safer, cleaner, more prosperous country under Al Gore. We cannot say the same for George Bush. Gore's opponent is a not-very-knowledgeable, laughably inarticulate son of privilege who could have been the model for the musical, 'How to Succeed in Business (and Politics) Without Really Trying.'" (Philadelphia, Pa., 10/27/00)

Philadelphia Inquirer: "Any choice for president hinges in part on a gut assessment of what cannot be known: How an individual will cope with the stresses of the world's toughest job, how he will react to perilous crises or momentous trends yet to unfold. ...If you think the world America leads in the early 21st century will be a simple, predictable place, Gov. Bush's blithe style may seem fine to you. But if you recognize that running the world's greatest democracy and economy will take great foresight, flexibility and knowledge, then Al Gore is your choice." (Philadelphia, Pa., 10/29/00)

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Which candidate is better prepared to lead the world's only remaining superpower? And which candidate offers a vision of governing that better promotes prosperity, a strong role for America in the world and continued progress toward the goal of equal rights for all Americans? Those are the questions, and to us the answer is obvious. Whether the yardstick is qualifications or policies, the superior candidate is Vice President Al Gore." (Pittsburgh, Pa., 10/29/00)

Portsmouth Herald: "Al Gore has a 25-year record of accomplishment and, even though he does not have the most exciting political persona out there, he does have an exciting and ambitious and well-articulated vision for America that is appropriate for the beginning of the 21st century. ...There has been, needless to say, an anger that clings to the Clinton presidency. But Gore is not President Clinton, so whatever loss of dignity Clinton imposed on the office of the presidency is his alone. The office itself cannot be tarnished; only the person holding it." (Portsmouth, N.H., 10/22/00)

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "Mr. Gore has prepared for this daunting job for three decades ... Mr. Bush, his likable opponent, doesn't have what it takes. His resume is thin and his command of issues is thinner. This is a man who governs the biggest state in the lower 48 from 9-5, with two hours out for lunch. Working stiffs should have it so good." (St. Louis, Mo., 10/22/00)

St. Petersburg Times: "...Gore is, in many respects, one of the most highly qualified candidates to seek the presidency in modern times. He has played a more substantive role in administration policy than any previous vice president, and his intelligence and diligence are unquestioned. In the Clinton administration and during his years in the Senate, Gore developed an acknowledged expertise on a range of crucial issues, from arms control to energy policy to the environment. ...By contrast, Bush, for all his charm, has a skimpy resume and an incurious mind. On any subject other than education, Bush rarely sounds capable of straying beyond platitudes and sound bites." (St. Petersburg, Fla., 10/29/00)

Sacramento Bee: "By a clear margin, the distinctions favor Gore, a tested leader. The next president must steer the country through an era of unprecedented change and complexity at home and abroad—a job that demands the experience, intelligence and judgment that Gore has demonstrated in his career." (Sacramento, Calif. 10/22/00)

San Francisco Chronicle: "It will take seasoned judgment, leadership and familiarity with the world to keep the United States on top on the complex and ever-changing global challenges. Bush downplays his inexperience by arguing that he will take his cues from a cadre of expert advisers. Gore, by contrast, offers on-the-job experience. His foreign affairs Rolodex and his extensive travels provide him with a clear advantage in anticipating problems, making judgments and in advocating America's case." (San Francisco, Calif., 10/22/00)

San Francisco Examiner: "It's crazy to think that either Gore or Bush would be a runaway success while his opponent would prove a dismal failure. But Gore will protect Roe v. Wade, while there's good reason to think Bush will not. Gore will not open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration; Bush says he will. Gore is more likely to lead the country toward economic justice. He is against Bush's monstrously large tax cuts, which even Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan says we don't need. ...George W. Bush has a bright future as a national political figure, but Al Gore is the best candidate to lead the United States over the next four years. The issues favor him by a wide margin. Give him your vote." (San Francisco, Calif., 10/08/00)

San Jose Mercury News: "The question before the United States is how best to sustain and share the current prosperity. The man who best answers it is Vice President Al Gore. Gore has a better economic plan for the foreseeable future than does George W. Bush. And Gore has a keener mind and greater training for charting the course when the foreseeable inevitably becomes the unforeseen. ...The Clinton-Gore administration has presided over eight years of prosperity in America. Much of that has been good fortune, but the rest, due to astute leadership, has earned for Vice President Gore our recommendation that Americans elevate him to the top job." (San Jose, Calif., 10/29/00)

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: "The son of a U.S. senator, Gore has served a president's intensive apprenticeship for a quarter of a century...As a result of this training, we believe that Gore would take his seat behind the desk in the Oval Office and discharge its awesome responsibilities without missing a beat; this man does not have a steep learning curve." (Seattle, Wash., 10/22/00)

Star Tribune: "Today's good times may lull Americans into thinking the occupier of the presidency doesn't really matter. But even a cursory look at the issues facing America shows that the stakes in this election are high and America's choices are clear...Al Gore has proved he has what it takes to lead, and he has it now. He deserves election on Nov. 7." (Minneapolis, Minn., 10/22/00)

Tacoma News Tribune: "Gore would have an easier time of it in this tightly contested campaign if it weren't for some of his personal flaws. His awkwardness in trying to connect with the public is a liability. His penchant for exaggeration and embellishment makes it easy for opponents to brand him a liar or, at the least, a serial fibber. But such failings are overblown and outweighed by Gore's strengths. We believe, and Gore's extensive record of public service in both houses of Congress and as vice president attests, that his essential character is sound. His maturity and capability for presidential decision-making are not in doubt." (Tacoma, Wash., 10/29/00)

Toledo Blade: "It's ironic that had President Clinton not been dragged down by personal weakness, Vice President Gore might be steaming toward a relatively easy win, given the prosperity of the 1990s. We acknowledge that Al Gore is no Bill Clinton, but unlike Mr. Gore's detractors, we do not consider that a bad thing. He is much better prepared to become the leader of the free world than Mr. Bush, and he has earned the opportunity." (Toledo, Ohio, 10/29/00)

The Washington Post: "We are by no means blind to the risks of a Gore presidency. His political clumsiness and know-it-all manner raise questions about his ability to inspire the country and work with Congress. ...Nonetheless, we come to our choice without hesitation. Mr. Gore has shown himself through the years to be a man of good character. He brings a maturity, a soundness of judgment and a balance of priorities that would be reassuring in a leader. He is well qualified to be president, and we hope he gets a chance to put his qualifications to work." (Washington, D.C., 10/22/00)

Editorial endorsements for Gov. George W. Bush:
Allentown Morning Call: "It comes down to which candidate voters trust to pave the way for a prosperous future and which candidate has demonstrated an ability to bring people together. It comes down to whether the voters want a change or the prospect of gridlock and inaction while the clock continues ticking on problems crucial to every American, such as Social Security and Medicare. ...The country cannot afford four more years of gridlock. ...For his political courage and ability to lead, The Morning Call recommends the election of Republican George W. Bush." (Allentown, Pa., 10/29/00)

Albuquerque Journal: "There are ... positions on which the Journal disagrees with Bush, but this is a campaign for president, not king. And a president must work with Congress, a decisive factor in supporting Bush. The record in Texas is not his alone, but that of an executive branch able to work productively with a bipartisan legislative branch rather than accepting gridlock as the price of partisan primacy. Matters of policy aside, the decision to support Bush is clinched by the man – steady, consistent, dependable. The Journal urges voters to call for change in Washington. " (Albuquerque, N.M., 10/29/00)

Atlanta Journal: "More important than their approaches to any specific topics, however, are the differences between the two on two more fundamental matters. Here, the distinctions are dramatic and of far more consequence to the future of our nation. ...If we want to live in a country where personal responsibility is valued and individual freedoms are protected, we need to go to the polls on Nov. 7 and vote for George W. Bush." (Atlanta, Ga., 10/19/00)

The Arizona Republic: "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. And while Bush's tax-cut plans may indeed be eagerly anticipated by the wealthiest one percent, his core economic theme remains refreshing: That no one is better suited to decide where to spend a dollar than the American who earns it." (Phoenix, Ariz., 10/29/00)

Austin American-Statesman: "The Republican Texas governor has demonstrated the rare combination of humanity, humility and leadership in using the limited power of his office to lead and push a dynamic and growing state with grace, dignity and confidence. Has he done everything right? Of course not. Whatever our disagreements with the governor on policy matters—and there have been some—we know him and we respect him. Moreover, we trust him." (Austin, Tex., 10/22/00)

The Birmingham News: "For those paying attention, the differences between the two candidates are stark, both on a personal and policy level. That's why George W. Bush should be the next president of the United States. ...Gore's propensity to prevaricate shouldn't be ignored. It's troubling when a candidate has a hard time telling the truth, especially after it's become a campaign issue. ...In contrast, Bush is an honorable man who means what he says. ...But the biggest difference that separates the two candidates is their philosophy. Bush trusts people; Gore trusts government." (Birmingham, Ala., 10/29/00)

Boston Herald: "Great leaders are – and should be – known by the company they keep. But as we have come to realize in the past several years, the presidency is about far more than policy or personnel choices. It is about honor and decency and values. It is about things which are beyond price and above partisanship. And it is time that the presidency was filled by someone untainted by the greed, the corruption and the lies that have sullied the office during these last eight years, that have diminished those who have served and made excuses for this president and in the end helped to destroy the public's trust in the highest office in the land. It is time for a clean start." (Boston, Mass., 10/27/00)

Chattanooga Times & Free Press: "Mr. Gore is a man of extensive experience in government, and is intelligent and vigorous. Unfortunately, he has been a cheerleader for and an uncritical ally of one of the most disreputable presidents in history—evaluating him "one of our greatest presidents...Gov. Bush has better judgment, sounder principles and greater credibility." (Chattanooga, Tenn., 10/22/00)

Chicago Sun-Times: "...our grueling and often criticized political machinery has produced two men of appealing character and judgment who offer competing views of where they would take the country. One sees an energized federal government taking a bigger hand in the economic and personal lives of Americans. The other believes democracy means that decisions about their lives should reside with the people. Our choice is for the latter view, the one espoused by George W. Bush. ...Throughout the campaign, Bush has sounded a conciliatory tone, avoiding the ugly culture wars of recent years and promising to work across party lines for unity. His election would mean a clean slate in Washington." (Chicago, Ill., 10/29/00)

Chicago Tribune: "Bush would be far less patient with public schools that persistently fail; he also would recognize that innovation is nurtured and achieved from the local level up, not dictated from Washington. Gore would expand a failing Medicare system, but essentially not change it to significantly prolong its life. Bush would venture an overhaul and encourage cost containment through competition. ...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." (Chicago, Ill., 10/29/00)

The Cincinnati Enquirer: "Our city and region are proudly conservative, a place that cherishes the kind of moderate values that most Americans are embracing as they grow up and raise families. We are increasingly worried by government intrusion. We understand and appreciate the contributions to our region by Fortune 500 companies that provide jobs, leadership and philanthropy. ...For this region, Mr. Bush is the right fit. He's a moderate conservative who has found a theme that is in harmony with our lives: empowerment of the individual, not government. Those like Mr. Gore, who put so much faith in government, have too little faith in the American people." (Cincinnati, Ohio, 10/29/00)

The Columbus Dispatch: "The Dispatch urges Ohio voters to cast their ballots for George W. Bush on Nov. 7. 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." (Columbus, Ohio, 10/22/00)

The Commercial Appeal: "George W. Bush has a practical, principled view that the federal government's role in American life should be restrained. He wants Washington to help raise up the poorest among us and to solve such problems as guaranteeing the future of Social Security. But with tax cuts, he also wants to liberate the American people further and to make government less like a shadow that follows everyone everywhere. That is among the primary reasons the Texas governor should be elected president of the United States." (Memphis, Tenn., 10/29/00)

The Daily Oklahoman: "America must have a person who is honest, has a vision for our place in the world and understands the proper role of government in aiding the prosperity of this great land. We must have a president who will do more than mirror the popular culture and divine direction from the winds of public opinion. America must have a leader. By this measure, as well as his positions on the major issues facing the country, Texas Gov. George W. Bush is the best choice for president of the United States." (Oklahoma City, Okla., 10/29/00)

The Dallas Morning News: "The modern presidency may compete with Wall Street, Silicon Valley, state capitals and even Hollywood to shape American society. But the nation still needs a president who can build bipartisan relationships, restore honor to the White House and promote a responsible agenda. George W. Bush could bring change on each of these fronts." (Dallas, Tex., 10/22/00)

Denver Rocky Mountain News: "Al Gore, as vice president in the Clinton administration, cannot be held to blame for the worst deeds of the president. Indeed, Gore has much to commend him. He is an alert, capable public servant. He has nevertheless been peculiarly given to excess, both before this campaign and during it. ..More than anything else, however, Gore has been excessive in his government-enlarging promises. For every problem and some non-problems, he has a multibillion-dollar spending plan. In all, he has called for 66 new or expanded programs. He just cannot do all of this, and if he were to pull it off, the economy would suffer." (Denver, Colo., 10/29/00)

The Detroit News: "The nation is enjoying the legacy of government restraint initiated by President Ronald Reagan. But we can’t expect to coast on the current prosperity. Prudent management and discipline are needed in Washington. If our leaders become drunk on the surplus and launch a massive new spending spree, we very likely will find ourselves once again facing deficits and a stagnant economy. George W. Bush has the commitment, vision and courage necessary to keep America growing." (Detroit, Mich., 10/22/00)

Forth Worth Star-Telegram: "The basic philosophical differences between Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore about the role of government couldn't be more clear. Throughout the campaign, the vice president outlined a litany of new federal programs he wants to initiate, from steps that would approach universal health care to universal preschool, because he believes that more government is the answer to America's ills. It is for exactly that reason that George W. Bush should be the next president of the United States. Gore's brand of top-down control and dictation should be anathema in a nation that professes to value liberty and self-determination." (Fort Worth, Tex., 10/22/00)

The Grand Rapids Press: "Our purpose here is not to idealize Mr. Bush. We wish he had a deeper reservoir of federal experience and a firmer grasp of foreign affairs. ...But in this choice between Mr. Bush, Mr. Gore and the Green Party candidacy of Ralph Nader, the Texas governor convinces us that he is better suited to bridging the partisan and ideological gaps that proliferate in Washington. He would restore dignity, character and good example to an office that has suffered grievously for the lack of them in recent years. ...Gov. George W. Bush has our vote." (Grand Rapids, Mich., 10/22/00)

The Hartford Courant: "This has been a long and confusing campaign forged by reams of position papers, countless speeches, incessant commercial messages, marathon punditry and, most useful of all, informative debates. At the end of the day, the decision on who will make a better president boils down to subjective and visceral considerations. ...Mr. Bush's theme is that America should take advantage of its good fortune by making changes, which no doubt will carry some risks. He is right. At the dawn of a new century, the status quo is not good enough." (Hartford, Conn., 10/29/00)

Herald-Journal: "Bush has a record of working across party lines. He has a leadership style that can unite different factions in a cooperative manner that will renew public confidence in the government. ...Gore's part in the corruption and various scandals of the Clinton administration cannot be ignored. His exaggerations and fabrications during this campaign also cast doubts on his character. Americans do not need another four years of a president lying to them." (Spartanburg, S.C., 10/22/00)

The Indianapolis Star: "Despite their foibles, both candidates are qualified for the job. The question each voter must decide is: Which candidate offers the more compelling vision for the future? On that basis, The Star endorses George W. Bush for president. He offers the sounder vision for the nation ... Bush has proven himself to be an honest man. We need a president in whom we can have confidence that he will always tell us the truth. George W. Bush would restore integrity to the White House." (Indianapolis, Ind., 10/29/00)

Las Vegas Review-Journal: "The new economy and the new century demand a new vision. On issues including entitlements, education, tax policy, the environment, and the role of the federal government, Mr. Bush has put forth innovative proposals that break from the typical beltway perspective. Mr. Gore has largely embraced the status quo." (Las Vegas, Nev., 10/22/00)

Lincoln Journal Star: "There also is a clear difference between the candidates when it comes to credibility. Gore's error-plagued anecdotes are only the tip of a deeper problem. Disagree with Bush if you must, but his political philosophy has remained constant. Gore, however, was pro-life, resisted gun control and supported tobacco interests when he was a congressman from conservative Tennessee. Today, seeking the presidency, he is a pro-choice, anti-tobacco gun control advocate. ...On balance, George W. Bush offers a blend of sound political values, capable leadership and trustworthiness." (Lincoln, Neb., 10/23/00)

New York Post: "Most of all, Americans need to be shielded from dissembling politicians—candidates who promise integrity and deliver moral squalor. It's time to say: Enough! Materially, America is doing well. ...However, integrity counts, too. Bill Clinton isn't the first president to dishonor the White House, but he's the first do it so banally - and the first to be adjudicated a perjurer while in office. And Al Gore—whose own troubles with the truth have become the stuff of legend—considers Clinton to be one of the best presidents ever. ...George W. Bush—by virtue of experience, temperament, worldview and integrity—is by far the superior candidate in this race." (New York, N.Y., 10/23/00)

Omaha World-Herald: "Certainly few people in public life can rattle on as long about public policy, or in such great depth, as can the vice president. But Bush, although sometimes less smooth in discussing policy details, clearly knows enough to lead—and knows how to lead. The country needs a president who could win the trust of the people—all the people—and lead them wisely in time of crisis. George W. Bush would be such a president." (Omaha, Neb., 10/22/00)

The Oregonian: "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." (Portland, Ore., 10/22/00)

The Orlando Sentinel: "Americans, though, are detached from—some even disgusted by—the government that presides over such good times. Coarse behavior, infantile squabbling and naked greed at the top have undermined people's trust in their government. That must change. The nation needs a leader who can bring people together, who can stand firm on principle but knows the art of compromise. America needs a president who is willing to serve as a role model for all its citizens. The Orlando Sentinel trusts Texas Gov. George W. Bush to take on those weighty responsibilities." (Orlando, Fla., 10/29/00)

The Plain Dealer: "...Bush possesses a quality his opponent, Al Gore, cannot claim: authenticity. After nearly eight years of the Clinton-Gore administration, we believe Americans long for leadership that will not hide behind the absence of a 'controlling legal authority' to justify its actions. In George W. Bush, America has such a candidate. This straight-talking Texan brings a promise of political and ethical constancy that Gore simply cannot match. ...We have had enough fighting in Washington. America cries for a coming together - for leadership that will reason across party lines to answer the needs of our schools, our elderly, our infirm and our future." (Cleveland, Ohio, 10/22/00)

The Providence Journal: "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. George W. Bush offers a vision that is optimistic and practical. He deserves to prevail in this crucial election." (Providence, R.I., 10/29/00)

Richmond Times-Dispatch: "George Bush is vastly better than the alternative on character, philosophy, and the issues. What's more, in Texas, where he is wildly popular, he has demonstrated amply that he can succeed. Al Gore, a central player in the most miserable administration in modern times, goes around pledging to do what he and the Clintons have failed to do in eight years—or to reverse the deterioration they permitted. It's time, past time, for these disreputables and incompetents to go. Vote Bush." (Richmond, Va., 10/22/00)

San Antonio Express-News: "But perhaps the most important change Bush offers the nation is his dedication to ending the taint of scandal that has plagued the White House during the Clinton-Gore administration ... Bush has vowed to bring honor and respect back to the White House. That would be a welcome, overdue change, advancing the cause of bipartisan cooperation among government leaders on the issues truly important to Americans." (San Antonio, Tex., 10/22/00)

The Seattle Times: "How Bush became the candidate of this editorial page that endorsed Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton and ... the fledgling campaign of Sen. Bill Bradley, is a tale of this political year ... Bush has emerged as the superior candidate. Much about him is unknown and much about him remains untested in national office. But in the end, this was not a decision based on offices held or promises made, it was about the qualities Americans need and deserve in those who hold public trust." (Seattle, Wash., 10/22/00)

St. Paul Pioneer Press: "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." (Minneapolis, Minn., 10/15/00)

The State: "The president's job is to be chief executive. He must hire the right experts and listen to them and make decisions based on what he hears. As Mr. Bush has often said, 'That's what leaders do.' That's what he has done as governor of Texas, and he has done it well, accomplishing such feats as leading his state to institute a system of accountability for public schools that stands as a model for South Carolina and other states to follow. Gov. Bush listens not only to his own team, but to those who disagree with him as well – a critical skill in a leader (and something it is hard to picture Mr. Gore, with his pedantic habit of lecturing others on issues, doing)." (Columbia, S.C., 10/29/00)

Tampa Tribune: "From the outset, Bush's burden has been to satisfy the public that he has thought through the nation's most pressing problems. We believe he has done that. If he even now must admit he doesn't know the name of the prime minister of a remote country, Bush is likely to be forgiven. For better or for worse, few Americans know or care to know the names of inconspicuous foreign leaders. ...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." (Tampa, Fla., 10/26/00)

Tulsa World: "Although Bush has good grounds to say he will work with Democrats, Gore cannot say the same about Republicans. If he is elected, there will be a continued war with Republican leadership. Although it will be a test of Bush's abilities, we believe he will be more able to forge partnerships with Congress than Gore. When it comes to records, Gore has a bad one in regard to campaign finance. He and Bill Clinton 'elevated' fund-raising out of the White House to a new level." (Tulsa, Okla., 10/24/00)

The Union Leader: "Bush casually mentioned that Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, and Larry Lindsey are already advising his campaign. Then Bush pointed to ... vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney. If Bush’s Cabinet members are men and women as solid and professional as those four, this country will once again be led by honorable, patriotic adults. That prospect alone is reason enough to vote for Bush." (Manchester, N.H., 10/22/00)

The Washington Times: "Texas Gov. George W. Bush far surpasses Vice President Al Gore whether the qualifications are measured in terms of political priorities, leadership, personal character, governmental philosophies or vision of the future. On issue after issue ... Mr. Bush offers the correct approach to the problems confronting America." (Washington, D.C., 10/20/00)

The Wichita Eagle: "The past eight years under President Bill Clinton have shown us that a legacy can be full of contradictions. Looking back, there has been a decrease in violent crime, but an increase in fear. No declared wars, but a staggering number of military deployments. Plenty of top-level scandals, but a scarcity of accountability. We stand on this election threshold wanting more, craving a leader who believes in our strengths as individuals and as a nation. George W. Bush offers that hope, as well as the temperament and integrity to earn – and maintain – our trust." (Wichita, Kan., 10/29/00)

Worcester Telegram & Gazette: "Along with new ideas, we believe Mr. Bush would bring a fresh, more civil tone to a national government that is chronically paralyzed by partisan distrust. He has demonstrated in Texas not only his competence as a leader, but also his ability – and sincere desire – to work across party lines. Americans are justifiably disgusted by the bitter class warfare and venomous civic debate in Washington. We believe George W. Bush offers the best chance of beginning a change for the better." (Worcester, Mass., 10/29/00)

Jason Thompson can be reached at jason.thompson@washingtonpost.com. Early Returns will return to a regular Monday-Thursday schedule following election week.

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