In its Sunday endorsement of Kerry and scathing critique of Bush, The New York Times spends more time on the environment than the candidates did in their three debates. (To whom does such an endorsement speak — do any undecideds read The Times?) Amidst the many many paragraphs that lay out an argument against a second Bush administration, the patient greenie finds this one:

If Mr. Bush had wanted to make a mark on an issue on which Republicans and Democrats have long made common cause, he could have picked the environment. Christie Whitman, the former New Jersey governor chosen to run the Environmental Protection Agency, came from that bipartisan tradition. Yet she left after three years of futile struggle against the ideologues and industry lobbyists Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney had installed in every other important environmental post. The result has been a systematic weakening of regulatory safeguards across the entire spectrum of environmental issues, from clean air to wilderness protection.

The editorial spends more time condemning Bush’s record than building a case for a Kerry presidency. Yet, the editorial board found space among the relatively few sentences allocated to praising Kerry to call attention to this environmental matter:

Mr. Kerry has an aggressive and in some cases innovative package of ideas about energy, aimed at addressing global warming and oil dependency.

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Interesting word choices those:  aggressive and innovative. In a way, The Times’s assessment of the Democratic senator’s energy plans seems to surpass that of many environmentalists.