Thursday, January 3, 2008

Concord Monitor primary endorsements

I wrote about this earlier this week over at and I don't know why I didn't think to post it here, since it is local and all.
Mike Pride, one of the Concord Monitor's editorial board, explains the newspaper's decision to endorse Hillary Clinton and John McCain here: ["The story behind the 'Monitor's' presidential endorsements"].
Some people in the newspaper business don't think you should write these kinds of columns, explaining why a newspaper came to a certain decision; others do. I tend to side with the airing of information versus the fourth estate wall.
I do find the piece a pretty good explanation of how the newspaper came to its endorsements. But, frankly, it was not surprising. I knew that the Monitor would take the safe route this year and go with both Clinton and McCain. I just had a hunch in my gut and it proved to be correct. The editorial board really seems to take things from a baby boomer/Yuppie point of view and you can see it in the endorsement of Clinton ...
Clinton's ambitious to-do list for her first few weeks in office gives us confidence that her priorities are right and that she would act swiftly to make a positive difference.
But what real, tangible things has she done in six-plus years? She hasn't done anything!
In addition, by endorsing McCain, they indirectly drive independent voters away from Edwards and Obama, which in turn, helps Hillary.

Sidebar: The Boston Globe and other newspapers seem to be taking the same strategy with their editorials. This was done in 2000 too and led to a virtual collapse of Bill Bradley's campaign against Al Gore. I still contend that Bradley would have won against Bush because he would have eliminated any alleged Nader "factor."

I found this comment by Pride pretty revealing here:

Monitor endorsements have tended over the years to have far more influence in elections for school board and city council than for president. Voters live busy lives, and they know we take local election campaigns seriously and try to endorse on the basis of what's good for Concord and its schools.

I wonder if this is a reaction to what I wrote on in the "Election Aftermath" piece:
Future candidates can learn from this but the message might not be the best one to hear: You really need to figure out a way to get the Monitor endorsement. It isn't a guaranteed win, but it clearly doesn't hurt. And, if you don't get it, well, you better really get out there and hustle or else you are not going to win.
Also, there is this:
Belman, who had written the anti-Romney editorial the previous Sunday, drafted the Clinton endorsement.
No surprise there. But who wrote the previous semi-pro-Romney piece, commending him and saying he understood the nation's problems? That question was not answered and should have been. That would have been an interesting disclosure and it is too bad Pride declined to tell us.

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