Portsmouth Herald   Tuesday, January 14, 2000

Gore's vision best for U.S.; should be Democrats' choice
When Sen. John F. Kerry from Massachusetts stopped by the Portsmouth Herald the other day, he made a salient point: The average American, he said, is unaware of the extent to which countries around the world look to the United States for leadership.

Other countries rely on America to keep trade routes open, to solve internal strife and international troubles, to draft peace agreements and to lead the way on economic and environmental issues.  Since the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the tearing down of the Berlin wall, international relations have become more complicated and more important, not less so.  The role of the United States in those relationships will be both extraordinary and historic.

It is therefore necessary for the Democrats of New Hampshire to choose a leader who has the experience to negotiate our country and the rest of the world through what will prove to be a decade of truly unprecedented challenges.

 This is why we support Al Gore in the Democratic presidential primary this Feb. 1.

During this campaign season, most of the complaints about the Gore candidacy have focused on his personal campaign style.  In a 24-hour-a-day news cycle, revelations about where the candidate has located his headquarters, or questions on how he dresses each day have commanded the kind of attention once given to more weighty issues.

The result has been a rather skewed version of Gore's achievements and capabilities.

Throughout his legislative career, Gore has proved himself to be adept at not just handling crises as they happen, but anticipating them as well.  The vice president from the beginning saw the power of the Internet, and he has been at the forefront on challenging countries throughout the world to strengthen their environmental policies. Since the Internet and international environmental concerns will play an even more important role in the next four to eight years, Gore's authority on these issues will be vital.

The vice president has also put forth policy proposals on education and health care that sensibly combine utilizing programs now in place, while strengthening them for expanded needs in the future.

There is something else Gore brings to the table.  While international relations are certainly of interest and concern, a domestic agenda can only be successful if it makes it through both houses of Congress.  It must be said that the personal and disturbing scandals involving President Clinton have overshadowed the fact that an enormous amount of successful domestic legislation, from Family Leave Act laws to putting more cops in the street, has made it through a Congress hostile to President Clinton.  A great deal of this success has to do with Gore's ability to work with Congress _ a talent that will be needed all the more if a Democratic president is elected along with a Republican majority in Congress.

There is a tendency among politicians and political gurus to call any given election "a turning point" or one that will have a "dramatic impact in the years to come."  This is true up to a point, but, in reality, this year's elections are incredibly important as we begin to tackle the enormous changes and challenges coming our way in the 21st century.

A phrase like "It's the economy, stupid" now has global dimensions, and this connectedness between continents has an impact on whether we remain a country at peace, both within our own borders and with the rest of the world.

We believe Vice President Gore has the foresight and capability to envision and make real a successful future for America.  That is why we urge Democrats to vote for him Feb. 1 and to make him the nominee of the Democratic Party.