Presidential Endorsement

The Times' Editorial Board received more than 1,100 letters by e-mail, fax and regular mail in the past week of which 18 percent approved of the endorsement of George W. Bush for president. Today's letters represent a small sampling of your reaction to the board's decision.

Presidential Endorsement

You are parodying Americans' distaste for facts, issues

Editor, The Times:

As I was reading the editorial and column justifying The Times' endorsement of Texas Gov. George W. Bush, I couldn't escape the creeping suspicion that they meant it as a parody ("George W. Bush for president," Editorials; "A glimpse into our decision to back Bush," Mindy Cameron column, Oct. 22).

By the time I got to the sentence, "In the end, important details--abortion rights, drilling for oil in the Alaska wilderness, likely Supreme Court appointments--gave way to a persistent call for change, for integrity and civility in leadership, for a more limited federal government," I knew what I suspected was true!

You are parodying Americans' distaste for facts and issues and their predilection for appearance and posture.

HAHAHA. Thanks for driving home the obvious in such a clever way!

Teresa Nemeth, Seattle

Appalling disservice

How, indeed, could a paper that endorsed Dukakis, Clinton and Bradley choose the manor-born, airheaded "Dub-ya" for the highest office in the nation?

Your editorial praised Bush for being "certain and straightforward" while Gore equivocates. But Bush's `straightforwardness' is only appearance: His campaign promises are all generalities designed to obfuscate his close ties to large corporations, the NRA and the religious right.

Your endorsement of him is shortsighted and an appalling disservice to Washington voters.

Babi Hammond, Seattleite currently a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

An act of cowardice

The endorsement of Bush touched upon beauty-contest issues without mentioning the true reason for the Blethens' support.

The Seattle Times, at the request of the publisher, has published full-page advertisements--in reality, editorials--supporting the repeal of the estate tax. The Blethen family would benefit handsomely from the repeal of the estate tax.

Is The Seattle Times here to serve greater Seattle or to serve the increasingly narrow interests of the Blethen family? I think the answer is clear.

The Bush endorsement is an act of pure cowardice because it is based on a single issue that was never even mentioned.

Jeffrey Kirtland, Seattle

Return to common sense

Wow! Bush for president! Congratulations to The Times for the welcome return to common sense.

Now, make a change in editorial page management and The Seattle Times could become a great newspaper again.

John Riley, Bellevue

Best laugh in weeks

By labeling George W. Bush the "clear choice" for president, your paper has given me the best laugh in weeks. It is sad to see your paper become little more than a publishing service for campaign literature instead of a source of reasoned comparison of the candidate's positions and likely actions. Fortunately, the Internet gives us plenty of alternatives.

Randy Winn, Mercer Island

Help for single parents

Single mothers need help, that should be obvious to everyone. I am glad that George W. Bush recognizes it and will help.

Under Bush's tax plan, a single parent with one child, making $22,000 a year, will receive an extra $1,000 back on income taxes. If a single mother makes $32,000 a year and has two children, she will receive $1,500 back. That would make a huge difference in the life of a family that needs all the support that it can get.

And under Bush's plan, you will not need an accountant to figure out if it applies to you; everyone benefits. What could be fairer than that?

Gail Mallory, Bothell

I've had enough

As I read my paper, my stomach turned and I almost lost my breakfast.

I cannot believe that The Seattle Times endorsed George W. Bush.

The thought of Bush and a Republican Congress makes me want to flee the country.

George W. may have a better understanding of taxes. I, like everyone, would love to have lower taxes. But it's not worth a couple hundred dollars a year to me to let our safety net go--to know that others are hungry, lacking medical care, or in need of social services--and to fear that if I ever needed those services, that they would not be there.

George W. is the president of the rich. Frank Blethen is one of them. And I want no part of this.

After eight years of being a continuous subscriber to The Times, I am canceling my subscription.

Jamie Flaxman, Seattle

Solid, unequivocal

In this heavily liberal area, it took fortitude to make this endorsement. I made the same personal trip from Bill Bradley to GWB for very similar reasons as your editorial board.

Your endorsement shows a level of balance and independence often not seen in local media. For me, it adds a level of credibility that I did not associate previously with The Seattle Times.

More than any of this, however, you deserve high praise that your endorsement is solid, forceful and unequivocal.

Thom McCann, Seattle

Your decision is just

I applaud your decision to endorse George W. Bush for president. You have floored many on both sides of the political spectrum, but your decision is just.

Bush will bring integrity and principle back to the Oval Office, and friend and foe will know that he tells the truth. 

His principles put families first, he believes strongly that peace begins with strength, and understands that America is special among the world's nations, and that freedom and liberty give us life.

To those who are in agony over The Times' endorsement, let me say this: Conservatives have to live with opinions and editorials that make us feel ill every time we read the left-leaning papers.

David Glenn, Renton

See through ambiguity

As a one-time member of your former "readers panel," while I applaud your courage in this case, may I offer these observations:

On the one hand, in endorsing Bush, you cite the need for "integrity and civility in leadership," yet in the case of Gov. Gary Locke you cite "Locke's drawback (is his) trademark reluctance to spend political capital" and state that he has employed "leadership . . . more minimalist than activist."

While Bush indeed has a solid record in Texas (even acknowledged by the White House recently), you have chosen to overlook John Carlson's depth of knowledge of the issues here and his willingness to lead.

Let's hope your readers will see through your ambiguity and not only vote for Bush but for Carlson also.

James Shenfield, Seattle

Suffices to stack deck

As a transplanted Texan, I find it beyond belief that this fine paper would endorse George W. Bush for president. But then, perhaps I should have known better.

In Mindy Cameron's comment on the endorsement, she mentions the makeup of the selection board, and after reading the passel of names at the bottom of the page, it becomes evident that A. J. Liebling's adage that "Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one" is still true and very much in evidence. It is not necessary to muzzle; it suffices to stack the deck.

She writes about sweeping aside the solid reasons in favor of what you call "persistent call for change."

Let me offer one more quote. It was Washington Irving who said, "There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse; as I have found in traveling in a stage coach, that it is often a comfort to shift one's position and be bruised in a new place."

Y'all think about it, ya heah?

Joseph Vitovec, Anacortes

Breath of fresh air

I would like to commend The Times for being so brave to endorse a Republican candidate despite the fact that so many Washingtonians are liberal in ideology.

I also respect the fact that you were fair when fairness is hard to achieve in a state of hardcore left-wing opinions.

I understand that many citizens of this state will be angry with you, you may lose a few subscriptions, but don't back down because of outside opinions.

Retracting your endorsement would only hurt your reputation.

I would have understood an endorsement for Vice President Al Gore even if I am a 17-year-old conservative, but an endorsement of Bush is a breath of fresh air in an environment where I am constantly harassed.

Derek Case, Edmonds

Fails straight-face test

Putting aside whether or not you made the right choice, your endorsement of George W. Bush doesn't pass the straight-face test.

On that flight over the Himalayas to get from Bill Bradley to Al Gore, you smacked into Mount Everest. About your unprecedented, early Bradley endorsement last December--a pick that leapfrogged all the other candidates and every primary--you said "the core issue is Bradley's commitment to racial equality." This was the most singular aspect of his candidacy that drew your support.

Yet, nowhere is race addressed in your Bush endorsement except to say that the Texas governor was elected in a "multicultural" state (well, Gore was elected vice president twice of a multicultural country).

What you don't mention is that Bush opposes hate-crimes legislation, affirmative action and presides over more executions than any other governor, deaths mandated by a deeply flawed and racially biased system. You said last year that race was a forgotten issue in America--now you've proved the point.

Knute Berger, Kirkland

Write-in candidate

If you want to base your vote for president on civility and integrity rather than on facts (Houston first in pollution; Texas 49th in education), or issues (reproductive freedom), then I suggest a write-in vote for Mr. Rogers.

Susan Anstine, Seattle

Good ol' boy from Texas

Take it from a former Texan, George Bush is opposed to the current rendition of affirmative action but he's the poster boy for the old version--the kind that bred white men who felt they were entitled to power and money not because they earned it, but just because their daddies had it.

If this good ol' boy is elected to office, many will suffer the consequences.

As a woman from Texas who voted with her feet by leaving, I can tell you that poor women will suffer the most and reproductive freedom will disappear. I've been there and done that with George Bush, and believe me, y'all don't want to be like Texas.

Kate Wolfe, Federal Way

Thieves can be charming

I vehemently disagree with the editorial board's endorsement of George W. Bush for president because he is supposedly more ethical and civil than Al Gore.

Bush is not an ethical person. He made $850,000 in 1990 by dumping his oil company's stock just a couple of months before the company tanked and its stock lost 75 percent of its value.

Although he denied having insider information, he was a member of the company's internal audit committee. He skated on the SEC investigation because the commission was chaired by a family friend and its general counsel had previously been his private lawyer.

The members of the board who voted to endorse Bush for his ethics must either be ignorant if they didn't know of his exploits, or dishonest if they did. As for civility, I don't understand why that was chosen as an important criterion. A lot of thieves are charming.

Fred Leatherman, Mukilteo

Seattle not tolerant

If you thought Seattle is a liberal, tolerant, diverse city, you would be wrong.

I put a Bush bumper sticker on my car, and carried a Bush sign at Westlake Park, and here's what happened:

My car has had nails punched into its tires each of the last three work days, while parked in the secure lot at The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.

I have been spat at. I have been flipped off and harangued too many times to count. I have been threatened with assault multiple times.

Have the totalitarian leftist tactics worked? Yes and no. My 10-year-old daughter is now scared of living in Seattle. And I put bigger Bush signs on my car. I'm working harder and writing more checks to Republican candidates.

Why? Because I believe Bush can restore national civility, trust and respect for the law that has been actively undermined by Clinton/Gore.

Brad Cloven, Seattle

I feel reconnected

Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! Thank you for your endorsement of George W. Bush for president. It's a choice we all can be proud of! I am pleased as punch to feel reconnected to my home town newspaper.

I must admit I am stunned that The Seattle Times has returned to the land of the reasonable, after its misguided infatuation with the lying, scheming Snake Oil Salesman from Arkansas.

Steve Manning, Tacoma

A president inspires

I am an undecided voter. In the great presidential sweepstakes, it is I (along with my fellow undecideds) who will cast the final vote.

The plain truth of the matter is that I am less undecided as ambivalent.

As I see it, Gush and Bore are indistinguishable from each other. Try as they may to show how different they are with their tax cuts, Social Security, feed the poor with lower drug prices in a lock-box, they miss the real mark by a mile.

Don't they know the president does not offer any legislation, nor does he chair any committee nor cast a single vote on their proposals. Do they think we are daft? Are we?

A president leads by inspiration, by outlining a vision and by force of his personality and strength. These men are indistinguishable because they are both plumbing the depths of the mediocre.

Give me a president who can grasp the issues, form a vision worth following and has the intelligence to articulate a complex thought, and I'll accept their flaws. In other words, give me Clinton.

Steve Daley, Seattle