Denver Post Endorsement Causes Stir

The Denver post, Sunday, became the second paper in the city to endorse George W. Bush for President. They received so many responses they felt compelled to place this story in Tuesday's paper:

Editor's note: More than 700 readers have given us their thoughts on Sunday's presidential endorsement, and they add up to a passionate dissent. An endorsement is meant to provide the newspaper's perspective and to stimulate readers' consideration of issues and candidates. Most readers look over the paper's analysis and then draw their own conclusions, as today's letters certainly demonstrate. Every letter we received was critical of the Post endorsement; we publish a sampling here today.

The Post editorial policy is established by its editorial board and is entirely independent of the paper's news coverage. In the case of Sunday's Bush endorsement, the editorial board, like the country, was divided, and we took extraordinary steps to ensure that the full range of views was represented in our pages. On the adjacent page, we ran a column by two of our editorial writers, "Kerry's appeal - 'America can do better."' We hope our readers will take a look at that piece as well as the endorsement itself. Together, these pieces reflect the sharp division of opinion in Colorado as Election Day nears.

- Jon Wolman, editor of the editorial pages

700 people sounds like a lot of people to respond to just one story. Here's some of the best of the responses:

... I'm befuddled! You're endorsing George W. Bush for president while telling us that we're worse off than we were four years ago? You want us to vote for a man who, in your words, "squandered global good will," "labored erratically" and is "mishandling all things Iraq"? Sorry, it's not the kind of behavior I plan to reward.

Your endorsement was less than compelling - it was lukewarm at best. But even more telling was that two of your editorial writers, Julia Martinez and the esteemed Bob Ewegen, provided a strong commentary in support of John Kerry on the very next page.

I too believe that America can and must do better - on health care, the environment, the economy, civil liberties and fighting the real threats to our national security. America simply can't afford four more years of Bush's consistent but misguided decisions on domestic and foreign issues. Let's vote for a man with a vision and a plan rather than one who governs by "instinct." Elect John Kerry on Nov. 2.

Marilyn Saltzman, Conifer

... The Post's endorsement of George W. Bush is one of the best condemnations of his administration that I've seen. It's a grand litany of failures, all of which you acknowledge. Re- reading the article carefully, I found one positive word about Bush: "decisiveness."

Decisiveness? This man decided to invade Iraq, cut taxes, loosen environmental laws, suppress stem-cell research, etc., long before he became president, and never changed his mind nor admitted any mistake in face of manifest evidence, and never will. And in face of this stubbornness, you offer suggestions that he should do all things differently in his second term, expecting, I suppose, that he will, and therefore you endorse him.


Ed Schreiber, Denver

... To say I am disappointed in The Denver Post's endorsement of George W. Bush for president is an understatement. I am, in fact, flabbergasted at The Post's attempts to rationalize the president's record in reaching its conclusion. The Post repudiates his policies even while it endorses him for a second term.

The most revealing sentence in the endorsement is, "So the president has our endorsement for a second term, even as we call on him to steer a more moderate course that is in keeping with his campaign appearances, but not his first-term performance." In other words, since there is a large discrepancy between the president's election-year words and almost four years' worth of deeds, The Post chooses to put its faith in the words rather than in the deeds.

Jack Sebesta, Carbondale

... The Post's endorsement for president was entirely on the mark, except for one glaring error: the headline writer mistakenly wrote "George W. Bush" when the endorsement was obviously intended for John Kerry. Are the editors familiar with the phrase "Damning with faint praise"?

John Bair, Golden

... Shock and awe cannot begin to describe the way I felt when opening your newspaper on Sunday to find a Bush endorsement. It's time to say goodbye to The Post. Having had a subscription in my family for 45 years, I did pause for a moment in cancelling my subscription. But only for a moment. I cannot support a group of people who are aiding and abetting the destruction of my country, by helping the campaign of a man who is not fit to be elected dog catcher.

Lynn Highland, Morrison

... Congratulations to The Post for its outstanding spoof, the send-up on newspaper endorsements in Sunday's paper. What a brilliant idea, spending nearly an entire page listing the failures of George W. Bush, building a strong case for denying him a second term, then delivering the hilarious punch line, endorsing him for re-election. In serious and troubling times, such comic relief is a pleasant respite.

Arnold Grossman, Denver

Seriously, this was some excellent work by the men and women of Denver and it's surrounding areas. I'm no longer surprised to hear that Kerry might not be as bad off there as once believed.

In related news, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer appears to have bent to public pressure after word got out their publisher had overridden the editors to force a Bush endorsement. Thanks to lots of protest (including an email from yours truly!) they decided not to endorse this year. Big news for Ohio.
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