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LTM Editorial: The next four years

Endorsements are tricky. It requires a bit of prognostication and a level of balancing diametrically opposed core beliefs. And while there are certainly those who believe that endorsements are outside the core functions of a newspaper, the Times-Mirror has a strong history of endorsing candidates. We also believe that the national attention paid to Loudoun in recent months have left us as educated on the candidates as any region in the country.

Very seldom do endorsements please more than 50 percent of the people – sometimes they please far less. But it’s our hope that this editorial page will not shy away from controversial topics or unpopular opinions. It is not our intention to override any reader’s personal beliefs, but we hope that they at least provide food for thought. We call it like we see it.

U.S. House of Representatives, 10th District

When selecting our endorsements, the Times-Mirror has a tendency toward deferring to experience. There are few more experienced public servants than Frank Wolf.

Frank Wolf has represented the 10th District of Virginia since 1981. He was a long-time and leading proponent of the Silver Line and has been an outspoken voice for economic sanity regarding the national deficit. Wolf warned us about the U.S. credit rating years before it made national news and has also been critical in moving resources to combat local issues like Lyme disease, gang violence and helping the less fortunate.

While there is a rightful tendency to lament the gridlock in Congress, we’ve yet to see any viable reason to lay the problem on Wolf’s door. In fact, his proposed bipartisan SAFE commission would have gone a long way to reform government and his willingness to confront his own party over the extremism in Grover Norquist ‘s no tax pledge demonstrate him to be the type of congressman we’d like to see the rest of the country adopt.

His opponent Kristin Cabral is a well-intentioned candidate who has seen significant growth on the campaign trail. She understands Virginia families and has a strong background as a federal prosecutor. However, we haven’t seen enough of a unique vision to believe that trading her for a longtime incumbent who understands Washington is best for the district.

Once again, we endorse Rep. Frank Wolf.

U.S. Senate, Virginia representative

Virginia’s rule limiting a governor to one term leaves us with an abundance of strong, qualified candidates on the national stage. This year, we are faced with a decision between two former governors, each with experience on the national stage. Tim Kaine as former Democratic National Committee chair and George Allen as a former U.S. Senator and national figure within the party.

Both are genuine public servants and both want nothing but the best for Virginia. Their experience means that they have a better understanding of the state and how government works than many of those running for office in other areas. Both have called for a bipartisan approach and their respective personalities make these claims ring true.

Allen had a singularly successful term as governor, during a time of prosperity. He made welfare reforms and generally put the house in order. And he is not a culture warrior obsessed with the social issues that seem to emanate from Richmond in recent years.

Alternatively, Gov. Kaine was faced with a more challenging scenario during his tenure, which saw the beginnings of the economic recession. It was a time for tough choices, which forced him to cut the state budget by $5 billion, but there was still the opportunity for an investment in education. The end result was Virginia maintaining its bond rating and its Forbes rank as best state in business. Additionally, he has demonstrated a unique intellectual agility and an openness to new ideas and approaches that the country needs.

In a choice between two former governors, the current economic landscape leaves us favoring the one with experience dealing in hard economic times. We endorse Tim Kaine.

U.S. President

For president, we find ourselves torn between the sitting president Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney, not unlike the population at large if one places credence on the various polls.

Unlike many, we do feel strongly that the country is in a better position in 2012 than we were in 2008. Too many people forget how close to the edge we were and the government’s actions to stop job losses is to be commended, particularly the moves that saved the American car industry, prevented a collapse of our banking system and instituted a stimulus plan that appears to have at least stabilized the economy.

But that seems to be where political pundits and the candidates themselves get it wrong. It’s not whether the country is better off than it was four years ago; it is which candidate will put us in a stronger position four years from now.

If there is a problem with the Obama presidency, it’s a problem of overextended expectations. And Obama does need to be scolded for the promises that simply weren’t going to come true in the existing economic times. However, this shouldn’t overshadow the successes of his first term. And in regards to the economy, we’re not there yet but the economic indicators are slowly improving. When he took office, everything was in rapid decline. In itself, this is a strong indicator that the president’s policies deserve more time to show success.

If conservatism would have been the wrong choice to stop the economic free-fall in 2008, it’s a centrist approach that is necessary in 2012. Despite his many accomplishments, the president has been unable to find middle ground with a loggerhead Congress, and the debt accumulated during our attempts to push a recovery is a sword hanging over our heads.

Romney has made what appears to be a sincere push to the center of American politics and articulated an apparently genuine desire to create bipartisan solutions using his experience in business. And despite the acrimony that pervades all national elections, we know that Romney can work with members of the opposing party. His experience as governor of Massachusetts demonstrates that he can reach across the aisle. During this time he steered the state out of a budget deficit and helped to implement a workable state health care system.

And while there are elements within the Republican Party that seem fixated on social issues, Romney has made it increasingly clear that his focus will be on dealing with the economic crisis.

The president has done laudable work in difficult circumstances, but has not adequately articulated what the next steps of our recovery should be. And while we credit the White House with good work in stabilizing the economy, we feel that a Romney presidency is in a better position to make it thrive. The Times-Mirror endorses Mitt Romney.


Like to perseverate much,  SWSWSWSWSWSWSWSWSWSWSWSWSWSW?  So Bush/Cheney’s lies about WMDs don’t count for treason?  Mitt’s lies about Jeep production selling out to China should make us trust him?

@Equity… Address the comment, Benghazi, versus saying it’s all “Bush’s Fault.”  What did the president know and when did he know it?  The CIA has denied that they told their operatives to stand down.  That only leaves the President who left his hand-selected ambassador for dead.  This is only going to get worse as the they continue their cover up.  Tragic

“Not only should Obama be voted out, he should be arrested for Treason!”  ??  I suppose you would also support Bush/Cheney arrests for treason ??

Colin Powell understands the difference between the administrations, has more knowledge and credibility than R & R will ever have on foreign policy, economy, education, real science, bipartisanship, etc.

Instead, R & R surrogates like Sununu and Trump keep blowing their dog whistles to the racists and birthers who have hijacked the Republican party.  Akin, Walsh, and now Mourdock keep making comments about forced, God-intended pregnancies from rape to appeal to undecided women voters?  Aren’t we glad that freedom, that big idea of R & R, doesn’t apply to over 50% of the population - that they don’t support equal pay, family and medical leave, or affordable healthcare, and show clearly a disrespect for every woman’s ability to make her own decisions with regard to reproduction.

On a side note - As far as singers, I prefer Bruce’s and Pearl Jam’s lead’s great voices over the Meatloaf’s screeching anyday.

After today’s latest Benghazi story where CIA told operatives at the annex to stand down when our Consulate were under attack—while the President prepared to go off the Vegas and then covered it up for two weeks… Not only should Obama be voted out, he should be arrested for Treason!

Powells endorsement is the same as a actor or singer coming out for a candadate. Should not be a factor in any decision making of who to vote for. It’s nice to have the thoughts of high profile people but it’s just fodder for discussions.

Sorry LTM, there’s more credibility in Colin Powell’s endorsement.

OMG, LTM just endorsed Romney… I guess they’re going with the winner

Yes to Mitt, Obama lacked leadership, Benghazi dibacle and it’s the Economy Stupid!
No to Wolfe, too old, unimportant member who’s been there what seems like 50 years, and he’s too old.
No to Kaine, can’t vote an ex gov that gave DTR to MWAA. Just stupid politics.
I hope Mark Warner runs for the next presidential election.

Thank you for what I believe is a reasoned, thoughtful and balanced opinion. I don’t necessarily agree with all of your endorsements or the reasons for them but I do appreciate your logic. I believe myself truly non-partisan - fiscally conservative but socially progressive. However, i do strongly believe in limited government, especially on most social issues. Diversity is what makes us unique in this world and whenever the government takes on a social issue, they divide us.

Personally, I really wish the Democrats would have run a stronger candidate or race against Frank Wolf. I was once a fan but no more. He is past his prime and I believe one of the masters of the earmark or special interest. I would just as soon see him go but, like you, don’t believe there is any real choice in this race.

I am somewhat more decidedly in favor of your endorsement at the top of the ballot. I believe the incumbent has been particularly partisan, misguided and downright divisive. I believe he has picked the wrong battles at the wrong time and I don’t entirely agree that we are better off than we were when he took office. I know too many people without jobs and with little hope. I know my own household is struggling much more than we were four years ago. We are among the fortunate to have jobs and we do pay our bills but our savings have taken a beating, our newest car is 13 years old, our pay has stagnated and we are paying more for gas, groceries, insurance, and total taxes. The only relief I see the incumbent’s policies providing is for those who don’t have a job, won’t look for one (or take one that is offered), and who don’t honor their mortgages or their other financial obligations. I am disappointed in the promise we were offered four years ago and for that reason will cast my vote for yet another change.

I had also been very undecided about my vote for the U.S. Senate seat but find myself increasingly inclined to vote Democrat on this one. I believe Tim Kaine has made a much more plausible and reasoned argument for my vote and I agree with you that he did as good a job as could be expected during his tenure as Governor, in spite of the challenges he faced. That and I just get an uneasy feeling about George Allen’s decidedly far right associations and social leanings. I don’t trust him as much to legislate from the center as I do Tim Kaine. In my book, like yours, the edge goes to Kaine.

I’m sure my views will be the subject of just as much (perhaps more) vitriol from some quarters as yours but then I have served my country and am as entitled to my opinion as every other American. Thank you for the forum.

Ah, now I understand why the last 6-7 comments I submitted (within stated guidelines) have not been posted.  It would appear that LTM does not wish to share other opinions or fact-checking with readers. Or are you putting a quota on who gets to post and how many times?

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