'Tis the season for presidential endorsements. The city's paper of record, The New York Times, bestowed an endorsement of Senator John Kerry for President yesterday, describing him as a man with a "strong moral core" and "not just a modest improvement on the incumbent," closing with:

We look back on the past four years with hearts nearly breaking, both for the lives unnecessarily lost and for the opportunities so casually wasted. Time and again, history invited George W. Bush to play a heroic role, and time and again he chose the wrong course. We believe that with John Kerry as president, the nation will do better.

Voting for president is a leap of faith. A candidate can explain his positions in minute detail and wind up governing with a hostile Congress that refuses to let him deliver. A disaster can upend the best-laid plans. All citizens can do is mix guesswork and hope, examining what the candidates have done in the past, their apparent priorities and their general character. It's on those three grounds that we enthusiastically endorse John Kerry for president.

This is unsurprising, given the NY Times's place in a blue state and blue city; the Boston Globe also endorsed Senator Kerry, while President Bush got an endorsement from The Chicago Tribune. Pundits raced to wonder whether or not Americans rely heavily on endorsements to make their political decisions. Gothamist hopes that endorsements are guides, encouraging people to want to learn more and make an informed decision on November 2.

Learn more about the presidential candidates platforms at their websites: Re-elect George W. Bush and John Kerry for President.

Silhouette image of Bush and Kerry from AFP