Eagle-Tribune (Lawrence, MA)

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Lieberman offers a realistic vision of Democratic leadership


New Hampshire begins the electoral process with its first in the nation primary Jan. 27.

The presidential election of 2004 presents perhaps the most important choice of our generation.

New Hampshire begins the electoral process with its first in the nation primary Jan. 27.

This year's presidential election is the first since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It will be a referendum not only on the leadership offered by President Bush since that terrible day of awakening but also on whether our political leaders understand that the world has changed and they need to change with it.

Sadly, in our visits with the Democratic candidates for president, it is clear that for most, nothing at all has changed.

We have heard or read little that leads us to believe Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry, Missouri Congressman Richard Gephardt, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and North Carolina Sen. John Edwards understand that national security and defeating terrorism are now the overarching issues facing our nation. Grand plans like universal health care mean little if we cannot defend ourselves against those who would destroy us and our way of life.

Some, like Kerry and former Gen. Wesley Clark, believe our national security rightly belongs in the hands of other nations; that alliances and internationalism should dictate our foreign policy, even when it comes to defending our vital interests and security.

We think Americans want a future in which our country remains brave and free. We want a nation in which individual liberty and responsibility are the twin foundations of success and happiness. And we want a nation that bows in fear to no one.

That's why we prefer Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman in the Democratic contest.

Lieberman understands, as his fellow Democrats do not, that we live in perilous times. He has been a steadfast supporter of the war on terrorism and recognizes that the fight in Iraq is but one battle in that war. He is among the few Democrats with the sense to acknowledge that the removal of Saddam Hussein from power has made our nation safer and has been unafraid to call those who suggest otherwise on their foolishness.

But Lieberman is no warmonger. He knows that while our immediate goal must be to destroy al-Qaida and capture Osama bin Laden, our long-term security depends on winning the hearts and minds of the Islamic world. Iraq gives us a chance to establish a stable, modernizing, Muslim democracy in the Middle East. He is a steadfast supporter of Israel and understands that the Palestinian leadership must offer its people more than a seething hatred for that country and the United States. The solution to the Palestinian problem is in the hands of Palestinian leaders.

Domestically, Lieberman has a strong record of support for civil rights and social justice. He remains faithful to the best policies of the Clinton administration -- support for free trade and welfare reform.

Too often, Democrats recoil at the idea of values and faith in the public arena. But Lieberman believes it's important for the nation to have a public discussion of values. We are, he says, a nation founded on a belief in God, and when we separate ourselves from that we are denying our origins. We must have respect for people of faith.

Joe Lieberman is not a front-runner in any polls we have seen. He faces an uphill fight to win the Democratic nomination. But we believe he's the best Democratic candidate out there, one who would not lead our country down a disastrous road to the past. He is a leader among the moderate voices in his party and a check against left-wing demagoguery.

Lieberman is confident in our country. "I remain a great optimist about our future," he says.

So do we. That's why we are proud to endorse Sen. Joe Lieberman as the best choice for Democrats in the New Hampshire primary.Sunday, January 18, 2004

Copyright © 2004 Eagle-Tribune Publishing.  Reprinted with permission. (Al White 03/01/04)

The Eagle-Tribune is a locally owned family newspaper headquartered in North Andover, MA. About 20 percent of the newspaper's circulation is in Southern New Hamsphire. Eagle-Tribune Publishing publishes four daily newspapers.

The editorial board consists of:
Irving E. Roger III, Publisher
William B. Ketter, Editor-in-Chief
Vincent P. Cottone, General Manager, Essex County Newspapers (Salem News,Daily News of Newburyport, Gloucester Daily Times)
Alan J. White, Senior Managing Editor, The Eagle-Tribune
Karen Andreas, Editor, The Salem News
John Macone, Editor, The Daily News of Newburyport
David Joyner, Editor, Gloucester Daily Times
Kenneth Johnson, Editorial Page Editor, The Eagle-Tribune
Nelson K. Benton III, Editorial Page Editor, The Salem News
Taylor Armerding, Assistant Editorial Page Editor for Eagle-TribunePublishing Co. newspapers

Alan White "Before deciding on the endorsement, we interviewed Dean, Kerry, Liebermanand Clark.Edwards, Gephardt, Kucinich and Sharpton did not accept invitations.

"The endorsement was published in all four papers, although only TheEagle-Tribune and The Newburyport Daily News circulate in New Hampshire."