It’s a toss-up, but Bush can do the job

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 3, 2000

The nation seems to be pretty well divided on whether Texas Gov.

Friday, November 03, 2000

The nation seems to be pretty well divided on whether Texas Gov. George W. Bush or Vice President Al Gore should become the next president of the United States.

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The two candidates have been running neck and neck throughout the campaign stretch since the August conventions, and the numbers from the polls haven’t taken huge swings. The close call of the campaign has become so intense that the candidates have had to focus their energies on states – such as Minnesota and Pennsylvania – that could go either way on Tuesday. They want to ensure the so-called "swing states" go their way in both the popular vote and the end-all Electoral College.

Lately the biggest issue in the campaign has been Bush’s lack of experience, mainly pushed by Gore’s camp citing the vice president’s extensive service as an elected official. However, what Bush lacks in the office, he makes up with moxie. Bush seems to be able to take charge and be in command. Sometimes Gore’s soft side gets in the way of being tough. The president, as commander-in-chief of our armed forces, needs to be tough.

Bush would bring a fresh outlook to the Oval Office, a view that is from outside the Beltway. Gore has spent a lot of time in Washington in his years of government service, and surely has a good view of politics inside the Beltway, but again, Bush would bring a new dimension that many would appreciate. In addition, it’s likely that Bush would get along better with both parties

The next president may have the opportunity to nominate up to three Supreme Court justices to the bench during his term. We caution voters on Bush’s anti-abortion stance that might drastically change the high court’s philosophy.

On education, Bush probably would spend less than Gore, yet Bush prefers local spending to accomplish the role of government. Perhaps there’s a balance there that would allow local schools more control over their spending, even if they had to raise funds locally if federal sources weren’t available. However, education funding in a Gore administration might mean there would be money available for new schools, something that would be tough for rural districts in a Bush administration, especially considering how farmers are opposed to current school taxation and bonding to fund such projects.

When it comes to Social Security, it’s an issue that everyone is concerned about, whether for immediate needs, or those down the road. The Republican plan is more appealing for young people and Bush is surely to get a boost from that populace. However, older adults are more likely to vote than younger adults, and the support that Gore might get from those older adults for his Social Security and Medicare plans might be just what the vice president needs for a boost into the Oval Office.

As we look at who would be a better president for the residents of Mower County and the surrounding area, we lean toward Bush on Election Day. The race still is close to call, but the governor is a better choice for this area.