April 27, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Legislation, debate keep Iraq war out front

Yesterday, the House. Today, the Senate. Next week, the White House.

Newspapers across the country reported that the Senate joined the House in approving an Iraq war spending bill that sets a timetable for troop withdrawal. “White House declares it ‘dead before arrival,’ ” the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal said as part of its two-story package. “Senate sends tough message to president,” The News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash., said in its top headline, “but concedes it doesn’t have override clout.” The Plain Dealer of Cleveland looked at what’s next: “As Senate passage seals its fate, talk turns to next try.” Nine portraits appeared in The News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C. -- the 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers killed this week by suicide truck bombers.

Iraq was the issue all eight Democratic presidential candidates agreed on in their first debate. The South Carolina event provided candidates a chance to make a first national impression. “Sharpening their images,” said The Hartford (Conn.) Courant, whose sharp package included quotes from six candidates and pictured Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  

While The State of Columbia, S.C., asked who stood out, home-state newspapers focused on locals. “Richardson makes points, but fails debate challenge,” The Santa Fe New Mexican said in a commentary on Gov. Bill Richardson’s performance.  “Polished Biden says he can lead,” The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., said of Sen. Joe Biden. The Norwich (Conn.) Bulletin pictured Sen. Chris Dodd with local reaction. Republican John McCain was in South Carolina, too. The Arizona Republic in Phoenix is following the Arizona senator closely.

Who says newspapers don’t print good news? “It’s a new Ford,” the Detroit Free Press said about the motor company’s strong first-quarter financial results. “Ford rebound gains ground,” said neighbor The Detroit News.

Someone else was riding high. The world’s most famous scientist floated in zero gravity in the skies above the Atlantic Ocean. “Stephen Hawking takes an improbable spin, gets closer to fulfilling dream of space trip,” the Houston Chronicle said. His quote -- “Space, here I come” -- dominated FLORIDA TODAY in Melbourne.

kkennedy@freedomforum.org Kate Kennedy, a former newspaper Page One editor, is director/diversity programs.

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