Sweet Sioux City [Journal] Puts Omaha [Weird-Herald] to Shame + The Big Mo’s Gonna Kerrey Him Back to his Old Senate Stomping Grounds!

October 28, 2012


OUR OPINION: Senate could use more leaders like Kerrey

In this time of partisan gridlock in Washington, D.C., America needs more leaders possessed of middle-ground reason and a proven track record of reaching across the political divide in search of compromise solutions to complicated problems.

Without them, how will America meet the challenges posed by our growing federal debt, strained entitlement programs, unhealthy health care system and illegal immigration?

This is true, particularly, in the U.S. Senate – evenly divided today (51 Democrats, 47 Republicans and two Independents) and likely to remain closely split in the new Congress.

Bob Kerrey is such a leader. Today, the Journal endorses Democrat Kerrey in his bid for a return to his old U.S. Senate seat from Nebraska.

Throughout the campaign this year and in an hourlong meeting with him, we were reminded of what we admire about Kerrey from his one term as governor of Nebraska in the ’80s and his two terms as a U.S. senator from 1989 to 2001.

His is a practical, no-nonsense vision of the future. He frames in realistic terms the scope and depth of the problems this nation faces, and he understands the essential need for bipartisan cooperation to find solutions. He offers a pledge, supported by demonstrated experience, to work with both sides of the political aisle. Much like Ben Nelson, the man he seeks to replace, Kerrey was a pragmatic lawmaker in his previous 12 years of Senate service who earned respect from and worked easily with Democrats and Republicans. We expect to see the same Kerrey if he’s elected next month.

Kerrey’s candidacy is based on the absolute need for reforms – of spending, of taxes, of entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare, and of Congress itself. These aren’t new concepts for him, either; he was talking about them in the 1990s.

We agree with Kerrey on this: For the sake of our economic future, we must confront these issues in real, substantive fashion – today, not tomorrow. We can’t keep kicking our problems down the road, the status quo won’t cut it, and intransigence solves nothing.

Even after 12 years removed from public office, Kerrey possesses the reputation, political cachet, strength of personality and astute political instincts necessary to open doors, open ears and navigate the often-turbulent waters of political debate and negotiation. At 69, he hasn’t lost the fire in his belly.

Seeking a return to the political arena at this difficult time of poisoned partisanship and economic turmoil speak to Kerrey’s genuine desire to be part of the solution to America’s problems.

He believes he can still make a difference. So do we, and we would welcome his return to the Senate.

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