Daily News goes Kerry *

The Daily News of Los Angeles backed George W. Bush in 2000 and praises the president for his guidance after 9-11, but says "for all the leadership Bush showed in those first days, the record has been far more troubling ever since." The paper concludes:

"To wage an effective war on terrorism, we must restore national unity and repair our damaged international alliances....John Kerry offers the change that America needs for the next four years. But more importantly, at a time when the nation and the world need it most, he offers hope."

It's not a chain thing, as Dean Singleton's Long Beach Press-Telegram and flagship Denver Post endorsed Bush. Here's some of the P-T's editorial today:

Just like the nation, the Press-Telegram's small editorial board is divided right down the middle on the election of the next president. And just like the nation, both sides are impassioned....

The president led the nation into a war we would not support now if we had known the facts at the time; his administration again and again made wrong decisions in waging that war and its aftermath; we can only hope that war does not leave us substantially less safe than we would have been without it....A principled position might be to refuse Bush a second term based on the record, except it is not at all clear that Sen. Kerry would do any better on the war, which he supported (as well as opposed)....

It is easier to describe the two candidates' shortcomings than their prospects for success, but it must be said nonetheless that looking ahead, rather than at blunders of the past, is far from hopeless no matter who wins the presidency on Nov. 2....Still, despite the failures and excesses of the recent past, Bush seems the better choice.

Editor & Publisher, which is keeping score, says that nationally Kerry leads 125-96 in newspaper endorsements, including 24 new ones today that had gone for Bush last time. The Los Angeles Times appears to be sitting this one out, as it has since 1976—making the LAT the only large California paper not to announce an endorsement in the race, despite Michael Kinsley letting drop in September that he was advocating a position be taken. [* Correction: Not quite the only paper. The Orange County Register also does not endorse.] In the parent company, Newsday, the Orlando Sentinel, Allentown Morning-Call and Stamford Advocate today endorsed Kerry, while the Chicago Tribune itself and Hartford Courant went for Bush.

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