New Castle News

Local News

November 2, 2012

Our Opinion: Neither Obama nor Romney are worthy of endorsement

NEW CASTLE — The race for Pennsylvania attorney general has gotten lost in the shuffle this campaign season.

That’s because it’s been overshadowed by better funded and more contentious campaigns.

Attorney general in Pennsylvania is a powerful and influential position. It propelled Tom Corbett to the governor’s office, mainly on the weight of his efforts to prosecute state politicians in the Bonusgate scandal.

And the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case is another highly visible example of the impact the attorney general’s office can have.

The current attorney general, Linda Kelly, was an appointee who replaced Corbett when he became governor. She did not seek election this year.

Instead, Democrat Kathleen Kane and Republican David Freed are vying for the post, running minimally funded campaigns.

Both Kane and Freed have the sort of prosecutorial background one expects for this position, although it has more to do with management than working in a courtroom.

We are endorsing Kane in this race, mainly because of party. Right now, Republicans dominate all branches of state government, and that’s not going to change after Tuesday. Kane’s election would help to provide the sort of political balance we prefer.

Another important contest on Tuesday’s ballot is that of United States senator. Here, the incumbent is Democrat Robert Casey, who is being challenged by political novice Tom Smith, who is in the coal business and has advocated for that and other industries.

But we think voters should stick with Casey, a moderate politician who has demonstrated an ability to work with others regardless of party. Smith hasn’t shown us he’s prepared to do that.

Finally, we come to the top spot on Tuesday’s ballot: president of the United States.

Four years ago, this newspaper endorsed Barack Obama for president, believing — among other things — that he had the sort of leadership and communications qualities that would make him an effective and unifying leader.

It didn’t work out that way. America is still an ideologically divided nation, unable to tackle serious issues as a result. And while blame for that falls upon plenty of people, Obama can’t duck his responsibility.

Obama’s inability to reach out cost his party control of the House two years ago. And he is now in the political fight of his life against Republican Mitt Romney.

Obama inherited a lousy economy. But he has not demonstrated the leadership necessary to move the country back to real prosperity. Washington’s failure to resolve differences and craft a clear fiscal direction creates the sort of uncertainty business despises.

This situation leaves the door open to a challenger who can make a constructive difference, someone who can end the partisanship and direct the nation toward better days.

Unfortunately, Mitt Romney fails to persuade us that he is that person. Frankly, we don’t know what he would do as president, because he flips and flops on assorted issues, seemingly seeking to shape his message for the moment. That’s not leadership.

Sadly, we can offer no guidance for the office of president Tuesday. But in two key races, we recommend Kathleen Kane for state attorney general and Robert Casey for U.S. senator.

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