Columnists Weigh In on Bush’s Re-election

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By: Erin Olson

During the day Wednesday, columnists at some of the nation’s largest newspapers weighed in on Sen. John Kerry’s concession of the presidential race to President Bush earlier in the day, posting essays on their newspaper’s Web sites.

At the traditionally conservative Chicago Tribune, columnist Eric Zorn voiced his cautious optimism for another four years with Bush in the White House.

“Republican President Bush will enjoy a Republican Senate, a Republican House, Republican appointees in seven of the nine Supreme Court justice seats, 29 Republican governors and virtually 24/7 support from right-wing talk radio to help him realize those promises and confirm the beliefs of his supporters,” he wrote.

Zorn continued, “Credit and blame for what happens in this country and to this country in the upcoming years will belong to him and his party. Speaking for myself, I’ll be happy to apportion both and trust that they will accept it honestly.”

He noted that some of Bush’s supporters have been less than kind to the columnist today following the incumbent’s re-election: “Some of my e-mail this morning has been taunting and ugly — celebrating the Bush victory by inviting me to eat crow and do anatomically impossible things. But winning an election does not demonstrate the superiority of your principles and programs; it’s merely a chance to do so.”

At the more conservative New York Post, in a column entitled “His Victory, Our Luck,” columnist John Podhoretz expressed his support of Bush’s win and reminded readers of the promises the president upheld in his first term.

Among those Bush promises Podhoretz listed: protecting the American people by fighting a war on terror, remembering the lessons of 9/11, leading a coalition of nations to remove Saddam Hussein from power, and cutting taxes.

“The key to understanding his victory,” Podhoretz wrote, “is that he is a man of action. After a 2000 election in which he did not win a mandate, he chose to govern by seeking to institute the agenda he ran on. This was a bold stroke. He might have been careful, cautious, a tip-toer, trying not to offend too many people.

“Instead, he governed. He took the view that a president can either lead or follow. He chose to lead.”

Columnist John Baer of The Philadelphia Inquirer, in a piece that explored what the president’s re-election will mean for readers in the city of brotherly love, came to this conclusion: “In truth, probably not all that much.”

He explained, “It’s a good bet Bush won’t visit the state — ever again.

“The city? Well, it’s not like it flourished under his Republican White House, and since neither the city nor the state helped elect or re-elect him, I wouldn’t look for much White House attention.”

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