Newspapers, world leaders lend support to favorite U.S. presidential candidates

With only a few days left before the presidential election, newspapers and world leaders alike are stepping forward and backing the two main candidates, John Kerry and George W. Bush.

For the most part, the results have been predictable. Papers such as the Chicago Tribune, which backed Bush in the 2000 election, are once again backing him in 2004. The New York Times and The Boston Globe, which backed Al Gore in the 2000 election, have given their support to Kerry.

In Florida, where voting has begun early this year, the Tampa Tribune said it could not support either candidate. While it disapproved of Bush’s handling of the Iraq war, it was dissatisfied with Kerry’s liberal senate record and his lack of a clear policy on Iraq.

Internationally, Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin has urged support for Bush. While he condemned and continues to condemn the war in Iraq, Putin claimed that a loss for Bush would be a victory for international terrorism.

In England, The Times reported that British politicians are having a hard time deciding who they want to win. Labour party members of parliament, who would normally back the Democratic candidate, fear that if Bush loses, the political standing of Prime Minister Tony Blair will weaken.

Meanwhile, The Times reports, the Tories, Britain’s more conservative party, are leaning toward Kerry.

While one member of parliament said that he felt Kerry would be better to work with, he also noted that Downing St., Britain’s equivalent to the White House, has not made much of an effort to build a relationship with Kerry.

Al Jazeera reported that in the Middle East, Israelis support Bush’s re-election, while most Arabs and Arab-Americans tend to favor Kerry. The paper itself did not publish an official position, however.

Meanwhile, third party candidate Ralph Nader has struggled to get on the ballot in a number of states, including Pennsylvania, where a court ruled that many of the signatures on his petition were forged.,,

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