The Oakland Press (Pontiac,
Sunday October 10, 2004
Bush is best choice for
presidential campaign of 2000 seems far more than four years ago.
most memorable aspect was its disputed outcome. Then came Sept.
2001. Three thousand of us were killed in our own country by
terrorists and we were awakened to a challenge to our safety and way of
life we’d hardly known existed.
That event and its aftermath are the defining reality of the 2004
We need a president for the next four years who will not let us forget
the new global peril and who will maintain an effective defense against
it. At the same time he must maintain our internal prosperity and
While neither George W. Bush nor John Kerry has fully satisfied our
concerns in these areas, we believe the re-election of George Bush is
the best course for America.
President Bush showed remarkable strength and leadership in the
aftermath of 9/11. He successfully initiated our war against
with the ouster of the Taliban from Afghanistan, where the leader of
the 9/11 plot against the United States was hiding. However, Osama bin
Laden managed to escape and remains at large, if he still is
Of course, 9/11 changed everything. No longer will this
until attacked before we wage war on our enemies. And while the
evidence of Saddam Hussein’s threat looked conclusive at the time of
our invasion, it is now clear to many — including this newspaper’s
editorial board — that it was ill-timed and diverted much needed men
and supplies from finishing off bin Laden and the Taliban.
win the peace in Iraq has cost us dearly. We have squandered a
deal of the worldwide sympathy and goodwill directed at us three years
Kerry, however, goes too far in arguing the president has served our
military poorly by sending in too small a force, failing to provide
security after the government of Saddam had fallen, and being too slow
to crack down on local insurgents and those from outside the country.
Kerry has offered nothing of significance other than “getting the
United Nations and other countries more involved.”
leader of this country can seriously rely on that agency or any other
collective approach to preserving the security of this country and
other threatened nations. An ardent foe of the Vietnam War, Kerry since
has voted against virtually every American action abroad, including
Kerry has been all over the map on the terror
no time has he convinced us he realizes 9/11 changed everything.
We feel more secure with President Bush leading the global war on
terror and our national security. Kerry still appears indecisive,
quality we can ill afford with our commander in chief.
At home the issue is the economy, which could have just as significant
an impact on Nov. 2 as Iraq. And it could be where President Bush
most vulnerable. That would be wrong, because many of the causes
economic downturn were in place when Bush took office. The
Bush-initiated tax cuts did what they were supposed to do. They
the economy out of its deep post high-tech boom collapse. That’s
creating deficits are appropriate.
In the second quarter of this
the gross domestic product is up 3.3 percent and in the past year
personal income is up 5 percent. The jobless rate is 5.4 percent,
than the 5.8 percent average of the 1990s. And just 1 percent of
jobs lost have been to other countries. So much for the
The deficits already are more than $100 billion lower than doubters
expected, thanks to the economic growth.
Domestically, the economy and our staggering health care costs will be
major concerns during the next four years. Kerry has offered
substance to either debate and his unimpressive 20-year stint in the
Senate offers little confidence he can champion needed policy
initiatives during the next four years.
Bush, however, also has his faults on the home front. He has
unite a deeply divided nation. He has imposed his personal
views on public health and scientific research policies. This has
done to the country’s detriment.
On the other hand, one of the president’s domestic achievements has
been the No Child Left Behind legislation. Its goal is to end the
“leaving behind,” academically and otherwise, of so many of the
nation’s youngsters. No Child Left Behind shines the spotlight on
needs and stops cloaking their failures in overall achievement
“averages.” Unfortunately many of Kerry’s fellow Democrats are
pressure to shift our focus away from that sad educational
Yes, George W. Bush has made some mistakes and miscalculations in the
past three and a half years. But his leadership in the most challenging
period this nation has endured since Pearl Harbor makes him the best
choice on Nov. 2.
Copyright © 2004 The Oakland Press.
Reprinted by permission. (John
Cusumano, Oct. 13, 2004)
- Edward Moss: President & publisher; Garry Gilbert: Executive
Neil Munro: Editor; Susan Hood:
Managing editor; John Cusumano: Senior editor;
Roger Wingelaar: Assistant managing editor; Sandra Groves: Human
Laurie Puscas and Stan Kurzman: community members.