- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 8, 2008



The following are excerpts from editorials that ran in other newspapers:

Daily Herald, Arlington Heights, Ill., on the end of the U.S. presidential election: Depressed about the constant clamor from political candidates? Can’t wait for this all to end? Understood.

But some reflection on two prominent characteristics of this campaign – massive early voting and the heavy involvement of young people – may lend at least one positive note to the season that can make a few more days of cacophony bearable, if not entirely welcome.

In a way, it’s not surprising that early voting, which ends today, is breaking records throughout the suburbs this election year. Early voting is only three years old in Illinois, after all, and this is the first time it’s been available for a presidential general election. So, there’s not much history to beat – and what there is ought to be growing as the public becomes more aware of and comfortable with the process.

But the size of the increases is what’s so encouraging. Early voting isn’t just successful in isolated areas. It is mushrooming in counties all across the country, and especially in the Chicago suburbs. …

Along with all these early voters comes a new show of energy from young voters…

(A) Harvard report made a point of noting that the surge of participation by young people crosses party and gender lines and extends to various candidates. And (senior state government editor John) Patterson quotes the authors of a critically acclaimed book on modern politics who predict today’s active young voters “will not only vote at rates comparable to older voters, just like their G.I. Generation great-grandparents did, but they will also continue to vote heavily and participate vigorously in the political process for the rest of their lives.”

In the interests of democracy, we hope that proves true.

On the Net:


The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, on President-Elect Obama’s victory: … Today an African American is president-elect. That, by itself, is stunning. But the election … of Obama – 47-year-old son of a Kenyan father and a white mother – almost certainly marks a transformation in this country. His victory over Sen. John McCain of Arizona may well mark a time when, at last, the festering wounds of the 1960s and the Vietnam War finally are left in the past.

The so-called culture war that President Nixon launched — the idea that conservatives were “true” Americans and liberals were a gaggle of snobbish, socialist-leaning eggheads — was used repeatedly to cudgel Democrats and city-dwellers and nonwhite or non-Christian Americans.

This year, the Republican Party tried again to divide us into “real Americans” and “Democrats.”

In Greensboro, McCain’s running mate Sarah Palin praised the “hard-working, very patriotic, very pro-America areas of this great nation.” Republican U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes told a rally in Concord, “Liberals hate real Americans that work and accomplish and achieve and believe in God.” Hayes lost his seat in Congress … to Democrat Larry Kissell. And McCain-Palin lost, too.

Obama’s victory has — we fervently hope — buried that old division. Patriotism is not the sole possession of the Republican Party. Americans come in all colors, hometowns and political beliefs. Obama won, not with a divisive campaign, but by appealing to the voters’ better instincts: For unity, for an end to partisanship, for change. …

On the Net:


Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm, Sweden, on the end of George Bush’s presidency: It is over. A record long presidential election campaign and a lengthy power vacuum in the White House. The period during which President George W. Bush was counted out became unusually long. …

Since the U.S. is such a big power — financially, militarily, politically — this power vacuum was a risk for the world at large. Hence, it is probable that a lot of people sigh with relief today, even if they are disappointed with the result. …

However, George W. Bush’s time as lame duck president has been unusually long. It is actually not all that easy to remember when the president last managed to make an impression internationally or nationally. It didn’t always use to be like that…

So what has it all meant? …

The vacuum in the White House first became very visible with the financial crisis. …

Doubt about which measures should be taken, a Congress that totally disregarded the administration, and weeks of political bargaining showed the world that the Bush administration no longer had any say.

For a world that, since 1945, has become used to Washington always having the last word, this was a revealing and decisive moment…

But soon the White House will have a new resident, so won’t it all return to what has become so ingrained? Won’t George W. Bush’s extended powerlessness become a parenthesis in the history of Washington’s always powerful men?

We cannot know yet. What we do know is that the lengthy vacuum in the White House has left traces all over the world: among bankrupt Icelandic banks, disappointed pension savers in Western Europe, among bombed out villagers in Afghanistan and among confined Palestinians in Gaza.

On the Net:


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