A vote for Bush in our state's March 7 election is an unmistakable signal to the rest of the country that it's time to end the inglorious Clinton-Gore era of perfidy, moral decay, class warfare and a foreign policy that's dictated by polls and political expediency. Before the Ross Perot-like fascination with Sen. John McCain captured the media's attention, Gov. Bush gave a series of detailed speeches on international relations, education and economics that were overwhelmingly applauded within his party. He took a daring swipe at the Republican-controlled Congress, insisting on a less hostile and mean-spirited engagement with the minority party.
Bush's call for a school system that's firmly administered within local communities, where teachers who have difficulty reading themselves are removed, is long overdue. His proposal that parents have the right to choose adequate schools for their children, with federal assistance if necessary, makes sense.
The Texas Governor, who in just six years has produced startling changes (education, tort and HMO reforms) in the nation's second largest state?he was overwhelmingly reelected in '98?is ready to assume the presidency. He's pro-immigration, a free-trader, a tax-cutter and a man who promises to represent every economic and social class in the United States. Unlike Bill Clinton, Bush will govern with a team of experienced advisers and won't conduct focus groups on issues that are vital to all Americans. When facing international crises, it's certain that Bush won't let petty domestic politics interfere. He won't bomb a pharmaceutical plant to alter the day's news cycle.
It's understandable that after almost eight years of Bill Clinton, a faux-reformer like McCain, who's run a brilliant political campaign, might appeal to voters. But aside from his bravery in Vietnam, McCain has little to show for his 17 years in Congress. Unlike Bush, the Arizona Senator is bullheaded and given to tantrums when he doesn't get his own way. That's not a reassuring makeup for a chief executive. A main concern with McCain is that he's been seduced by liberal reporters and now believes he's Teddy Roosevelt. Which McCain would citizens get in the unlikely event he defeated Al Gore in the fall: the veteran conservative legislator or the calculated "reformer" who courts Democrats and now feels their pain?
The Bush campaign has made some strategic mistakes, which are magnified by a media enamored of the "fun" candidate, but his core beliefs and the substance of his stated initiatives are far superior to those of McCain. This is arguably the most significant presidential election since 1960: we urge New Yorkers to ignore the loud rhetoric on both sides, and compare the details on the issues that Bush and McCain have presented to voters. Upon close inspection, we're confident that New York Republicans will agree with New York Press that Gov. Bush is the superior choice on March 7.