October 18, 2004


The New York Times has endorsed John Kerry. AFP reports:

The Times' backing is one of the most coveted and influential of any endorsement during the US presidential campaign, although given the newspaper's somewhat left-of-centre tendency, not entirely unexpected.

Not entirely, no, considering that the NYT hasn’t endorsed a Republican candidate for President since Eisenhower. The Chicago Tribune opts, like John Kerry’s hometown newspaper, for Bush.

In Australian post-election news:

• "The election result has merely confirmed our belief," writes John Menadue in New Matilda, "that public debate in this country has been corrupted."

• John Quiggin has indisputable proof of the Howard government's evil.

• And Paul Sheehan points out that progressives have stopped progressing:

Three years ago, in the 2001 Senate election, 1.2 million voters supported three broad-based progressive protest parties: the Democrats (620,000 votes), the Greens (569,000) and the Unity Party (25,000). Another half million feral voters opted for One Nation, which shared the anti-globalism of the Greens.

This was a large incursion into the major parties - 1.7 million votes - and it took place even before the highly charged and highly dubious invasion of Iraq.

It was an altogether different story on October 9. The progressive vote collapsed. The combined vote that had gone to the Democrats, Greens and Unity in 2001 plunged 23 per cent, to 932,000. The Democrats disintegrated. Unity did not take part in the election. On the other end of the protest spectrum, One Nation disintegrated as a protest movement.

If this election was meant to be a referendum on Iraq, which is what the progressives wanted, it turned out to be an unmitigated disaster for the prosecution.

(Via contributor J.F. Beck)

Posted by Tim Blair at October 18, 2004 03:24 AM

Well, the Chicago Tribune's endorsement isn't exactly surprising either, since it may well be that what was founded as a Republican paper in the 1850s or so has NEVER endorsed a non-Republican for president. Here's what I wrote to Instapundit about that:

What's surprising isn't that the reflexively Republican Chicago Tribune endorsed Bush-- they've never NOT endorsed a Republican for president, and rarely failed to endorse one for governor or senator, no matter how weak the justification for that endorsement ultimately seemed. Fear of what the ghost of Colonel McCormick might do, I guess.

What's surprising is that after printing dozens of thumbsuckers by R.C. Longworth about how we need to kiss up to the French more (and another bottle of that Bordeaux, s'il vous plait, it's on the Trib's tab), and screeds by M. Cherif Bassouni on why suspicion of Muslims is utterly unjustified by anything that's happened historically, and defenses of Tariq Ramadan's Muslim Brotherhood ties, and Steve Chapman's libertarian objections to Bush, and Molly Ivins' latest autopilot attack-- after all that, the surprise is what a strong and thoughtful endorsement this is for Bush's policies in the middle east. Where was the author of this editorial for the last couple of years when the editorial page and the perspective section read like The Guardian?

Posted by: Mike G at October 18, 2004 at 03:49 AM

Wow, the Chicago Tribune is openly supporting Bush! Chicago is a Democratic bastion; Republican candidates for any office have a very low chance of winning.

And that was a moving endorsement as well. Bush is not 100% perfect, as the editors note, but Kerry is clearly second choice.

Read it, people. This is good.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at October 18, 2004 at 03:53 AM

So Kerry's hometown paper endorses Bush. Think Gary Trudeau will pick up on that next week?

Posted by: richard mcenroe at October 18, 2004 at 04:16 AM

The enthusiasm (``worst candidate ever'') at the NYT is obvious

Voting for president is a leap of faith. A candidate can explain his positions in minute detail and wind up governing with a hostile Congress that refuses to let him deliver. A disaster can upend the best-laid plans. All citizens can do is mix guesswork and hope, examining what the candidates have done in the past, their apparent priorities and their general character. It's on those three grounds that we enthusiastically endorse John Kerry for president.

WHAT THREE GROUNDS? The reader scans back.

3. All citizens can do is hope. (I don't see how guesswork will help Kerry. You'd guess he would suck. Maybe this is tact.)

2. A disaster can upend the best-laid plans (how much more then, Kerry's).

1. A candidate might explain his positions (Kerry avoided this) and still he might not get anywhere.

Enthusiastic support naturally follows.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at October 18, 2004 at 05:11 AM

Real JeffS, this all means a lot less than you think.

Illinois politics aren't split on the Republican versus Democrat fault-line. The city of Chicago is overwhelmingly Democratic-- and the line is drawn between the white Democratic machine which has the power of the unions behind it, and the hapless black opposition which can't even get most of the black vote, let alone any white or other ethnic votes. As a result, the smarter black politicians make their peace with the Irish machine, like Jesse Jackson Sr. and Jr. did. (Their reward for Jesse Sr. never running for mayor against Daley was a congressional seat for Jr.-- and a Budweiser distributorship for Sr.)

Statewide the situation is reversed-- the Republicans dominate. So the Mayor usually makes common cause with whoever's the Republican gubernatorial candidate and screws over the Democratic governor candidate. The result is that the state is run by "the combine," which is the strategic combination of Chicago Democrats and statewide Republicans and effective one-party rule.

So the Tribune, a good Republican paper, endorses Republicans for state and national office and Daleys for mayor. While the Sun-Times, a sort of blue collar Reagan Democrat paper, endorses... Republicans for state and national office and Daleys for mayor. It's just another normal day in Daleyland.

Posted by: Mike G at October 18, 2004 at 05:23 AM

Yeah, that sounds reasonable, Mike. I used to live in Chicago, but I never did deal much with Springfield --- by choice, I might add, and I was in the Illinois National Guard at the time.

But I did have to deal with Cook County, the various Districts, Chicago officials, and the suburbs a lot, as part of my job. I got quite jaundiced about local politics, especially after Washington died in office, with the resulting feeding frenzy amongst the black politicians.

Thanks for the correction!

Posted by: The Real JeffS at October 18, 2004 at 06:17 AM

the NYT in it's editorial used the subjunctive:

John Kerry for President
John Kerry has qualities that could be the basis for a great chief executive and we enthusiastically endorse him for president"


I could win the lottery too.

Posted by: marc at October 18, 2004 at 08:11 AM

I could also learn to spell, I suppose

Posted by: marc at October 18, 2004 at 08:13 AM

Another half million feral voters opted for One Nation...

Came out of the bush, one imagines...

Posted by: mojo at October 18, 2004 at 08:15 AM

"that public debate in this country has been corrupted."

I'll say it has, the bloody public has gone and involved themselves, why can't they just sit down, shut up and let us get on with telling their opinons. pack of bastards the lot of them!

Posted by: Phillip Adams at October 18, 2004 at 08:37 AM

There's only one really effective way to "corrupt" a debate, and that's alcohol.

Ban beer! That should be Labor's new platform. We'll see if the Left takes me up on my suggestion.

p.s. if you have any surplus to unload, you can send it here.

Posted by: southerncross at October 18, 2004 at 09:10 AM

A surprising development! At a party on Saturday night several people who had argued almost violently with me that Howard/Bush were evil revealed that they had voted for Howard and were very relieved that he had won.

This grounds for this "switch" appeared to be that they thought that Latham would take us back to "Whitlam" days and policies.

Posted by: Allan Morton at October 18, 2004 at 11:01 AM

Does it matter who pathetic provincial rags like the Chicago Tribune or the New York Times endorse? All America waits impatiently to discover who the Silly Moaning Herald will endorse.God help us if they decide to dog it like they did in the OZ Election.

Posted by: Lew at October 18, 2004 at 02:31 PM

Allan, that is some fucking funny shit.


Posted by: Quentin George at October 18, 2004 at 06:04 PM

The NYT = "somewhat left-of-centre tendency". Yeah, and Pol Pot was somewhat intolerant of dissent...

Posted by: Major John at October 18, 2004 at 08:10 PM


Your ABC.net link on the Times' endorsement of Kerry has been altered, and the bit you quote is no longer in it.

Still in these, though:

And google still thinks the ABC link says what you quote, according to the current search results.

Posted by: MattJ at October 19, 2004 at 03:38 AM