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Sherman Says: Consider all the facts and issues, when voting for president on Nov. 6

BUFFALO — The debates are over and the barrage of television commercials and personal attacks will cease, within a few days. On Tuesday, those among us motivated enough to go to the polls will cast ballots for the office of president of the United States.

I am not going to tell anyone how to vote. My opinion is just that – my opinion – and not an official stance taken by this newspaper. But, my personal vote will be for Mitt Romney.

Despite the rants of some of my critics who claim I belong as a commentator on Fox News because of my conservative tone, I make it a point to listen to all candidates and read their views on major topics. Only then does my decision gel.

President Barack Obama has dealt with many difficult issues, since taking office, but failed to demonstrate broad leadership, especially in the field of foreign policy.

I find it insulting that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took responsibility for security at the American embassy in Libya, saying, in a CNN interview, “The president and the vice president wouldn’t be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals.” And then she laughed.

U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed on Sept. 11. Obama administration officials initially blamed a mob inflamed by a U.S.-produced movie that mocked Islam and its prophet Mohammed, but later said the storming of the consulate may have been a terrorist attack. We cannot afford to be unsure about the security of our overseas diplomats, especially in a country where tensions remain so high.

“In the wake of an attack like this, in the fog of war, there’s always going to be confusion,” Clinton said. That is simply not acceptable. There was a breakdown in communication and lack of coordination of protection in a vulnerable area on a vulnerable day.

The commander-in-chief should have accepted the fact that he is responsible for what happened in Benghazi and not allowed Clinton to step in front of the cameras to fabricate a fluffy answer.

I am also disappointed by the president’s failure to move ahead with his pledge, to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil and the inaction that resulted in the end of a manned space program. Both are linked to continued growth in science, education and manufacturing, at a time when these are exactly the types of jobs we need, to grow the economy. It baffles me that Obama’s inaction on both issues has gone largely unrecognized.

He placed so much importance on having his universal health care initiative passed by Congress and then upheld by the Supreme Court, that precious time was lost that could have been devoted to other issues. But, they were not as important as what even he himself now dubs “Obamacare.”

Priorities during this administration are often difficult to comprehend.

Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline project on Jan. 18, claiming that a “rushed and arbitrary deadline” prevented the state department from making a “full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment.” That’s not leadership. That’s walking away.

Jobs would have been created along the pipeline’s path and beyond. Wherever crews set up to extract and ship the product, they will need such essentials as housing, transportation and food. Hundreds more would be hired to manufacture the infrastructure needed to send it to American refineries, where even more jobs would be created.

Finally, there’s the manned space program. Project Constellation, intended to return astronauts to the Moon, was canceled by the Obama administration. Funding also was cut for improvements to the Kennedy Space Center, which translates to a drop in future Space Coast employment.

These topics are not the only ones to consider, when voting next Tuesday. Yet, in my opinion, they demonstrate a lack of accountability and leadership. In my opinion, the country needs to reverse this trend. Make your own informed decision on Nov. 6.

David Sherman is the managing editor of Bee Group Newspapers and a columnist for the Weekly Independent Newspapers of Western New York, a group of community newspapers with a combined circulation of 286,500 readers. Opinions stated are those of the author’s. He can be reached at dsherman@beenews.com.
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2012-11-02 | 09:10:05
Sherman says....Right On
You have managed to say what I have been trying to say for several years now. Your article is very well written, I believe 100% factual and right on message. Thank you.