--- Looking at the endorsements this week:
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
For George W. Bush
Lakeland Ledger (Friday)
Winter Haven News Chief (Sunday)
For John F. Kerry
Orlando Sentinel (Sunday)
Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Sunday)
UNITED STATES SENATE
For Betty Castor
The Sentinel endorsement of Kerry is especially interesting, since it 1) it is the first endorsement of a Democratic presidential candidate in four decades by the traditionally conservative newspaper, and 2) it had previously endorsed Mel Martinez for the U.S. Senate race against Betty Castor.
The News Chief endorsement doesn't mean a great deal when compared with the larger newspapers, but the tone of the editorial is quite interesting when one considers that it is owned by the staunchly conservative Morris Publishing Group of Georgia, which also owns the Florida Times-Union...considered one of the most right-wing publications in the Sunshine State. I excerpt from the N-C editorial:
"History will judge George W. Bush harshly, in our estimation, and unless things change, the harsh judgment will be justified. After narrowly winning the presidency four years ago, his tenure was unremarkable until the shocking events of Sept. 11, 2001 provided him an opportunity for leadership...
"The Congress sat by - timid, reticent, gutless - and let Bush have his way. American men and women have died in combat and many more will die because of Bush's choices...
"On the domestic front, this president - with U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam and other members of Congress as his handmaidens - has run up an obscene deficit. With nary a veto, Bush has elected to pass enormous debt to future generations. Even conservatives are dismayed, though few are alarmed enough to object vigorously...
"We recommend the George Bush/Dick Cheney ticket, but we do so with the weakest of enthusiasm, for they have not served this country well. We trust that any survey of recommendations will list ours as the most reluctant."
Many of the major newspapers in staunchly conservative North Florida have yet to offer their endorsements on either race, including the largest of the bunch, the Florida Times-Union of Jacksonville, plus the Tallahassee Democrat, the Pensacola News-Journal, and the Gainesville Sun. I fully expect most of them to endorse Bush next week, but miracles do happen. If the Tampa Tribune can choose not to endorse anyone, and the Sentinel goes with Kerry, maybe...just maybe...
--- Speaking of the Castor-Martinez race, they come together tomorrow evening (Monday) for their second and final debate in Miami, which will be aired on the state's eight CBS affiliates: Gainesville - WGFL-TV; Jacksonville - WTEV-TV; Miami/Fort Lauderdale - WFOR-TV; Fort Myers - WINK-TV; Orlando/Daytona Beach - WKMG-TV; Tallahassee - WCTV-TV; Tampa/St. Petersburg - WTSP-TV; West Palm Beach - WPEC-TV.
--- And if you haven't read it yet, check out this article from the current Rolling Stone magazine, written by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. His work is always an interesting read, often funny, and doesn't pull any punches. If you enjoy sports, he is a regular columnist on Page 2 of ESPN.com.
--- There's been a lot happening, so don't just read this post and get away...scroll down a little and check out the posts from earlier this weekend and in the week to learn my take on whatever else is going on. It's always interesting to find out who's visiting this site, and where you are from. Recently I've noticed visitors from Singapore, Finland, and India. Thanks for taking time to visit. While events here in Polk County, Florida, USA may not mean much to you personally --- even if you are in neighbouring Hillsborough County --- these rants and raves provide a different perspective that you may never find otherwise in the "mainstream media". And let me take a moment to promote my fellow Tampa Bay/Florida bloggers noted to the right of these posts. They are excellent, post regularly, and always have interesting things to say on politics, entertainment, or whatever else is going on.