“Post Endorses Obama”

So said the front page headline of today’s New York Post (although, slightly below and in smaller letters than “Cop Sex Ring” which should give a little context to what we’re dealing with).

I had a couple of thoughts on this, none of them really substantively political.

First, I had no doubt in my mind that the reason the Post endorsed Obama has nothing to do with politics.  The Post knows that the overwhelming likelihood is that Hillary will win her “home” state of New York.  Nothing will change that.  So, the Post, as it likes to do, will be contrarian.  It doesn’t matter a damn little bit, because no matter who wins the Democratic primary, the Post will endorse the Republican candidate in the general election.

Second, I wonder whether the Post, which on the editorial page makes clear that it is endorsing Obama “for the Democrats” thought through the initial reaction the average reader would have, and whether that average reader will separate a primaries endorsement from a general endorsement?  I wonder if that will confuse readers.

Third, I wondered in general about the propriety of a newspaper making an endorsement, particularly in a race that it so clearly doesn’t care about.  I know it’s done all the time, but shouldn’t newspapers be reporting the news, not making it?  I know all papers have opinion pages and editorial content, which entitles them to, well, have an opinion.  But to put an endorsement on the front page (especially in the Democratic primary race for such a viciously right-leaning newspaper) is more about making the news than reporting it.  I mean, did they have to bring in a guest editor who was a Democrat who could write that piece?  Or did somone just make something up?

Finally, regarding the Republican race, the Post had a poll today that showed the outcome of the four different general election possible matchups: McCain/Hillary; McCain/Obama; Romney/Hilary; Romney/Obama.  The outcome?  McCain wins regardless of opponent.  Romney loses regardless of opponent.  Know what that tells me, Republican voters?  McCain is the guy.  Don’t waste your time with Romney.

Back in 1999, McCain was my candidate.  I affiliated with the Republican party just to vote for him in the primary.  Unfortunately, by the time the New York primary rolled around, GWB had won Iowa and New Hampshire and created enough “momentum” in those inconsequential states to become the front-runner and basically wrap up the nomination before Super Tuesday (meaning, because everyone who voted on Super Tuesday, voted for him in the majority, even where he was polling behind before New Hampshire).  McCain has changed.  He’s pandered a little more, shifted a little more conservative (playing in the Republican “who’s more conservative; who’s more Reagan” game).  However, given the choice of McCain or Romney, I’m not sure he’s changed enough.  And Romney is impossible to pin down.  Romney a year ago sounded like the Republican for me (pro-abortion rights, pro-gay, etc.).  And as has been well-documented, all that’s changed 180 degrees.  So I’ve got to figure out where I am again.

Here’s my one prediction, though.  If McCain wins the nomination, he chooses Giuliani (who was kissing his ass in his endorsement love-fest) as his running mate, strictly for Electoral Math in New York and Florida.  McCain’s only chance of taking New York from a Democrat (and there’s no chance if it’s Hillary) is if people think they’re also voting for Rudy.

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12 responses to ““Post Endorses Obama”

  1. Wow I really liked the old background much, much better.

    I couldn’t vote for Romney because I have no clue where he really stands. He panders for the votes more than anyone in the race.

  2. Agreed on McCain taking Giuliani. He’s the obvious favorite for that, and the only choice (besides someone like Brownback to shore up the RW votes, but Brownback is from AZ too) that would have an impact.

    On the rest:
    1) The Post was all about politics – let’s screw the Clintons as often as possible so it’s harder for her to get ready for national elections. Also, no matter who the candidate is, the NYT will endorse the Dem candidate when it comes down to it. I don’t see why endorsements from almost any paper matter these days.
    2) I don’t think readers are that dumb to think the Post is endorsing Obama for the national elections. And if they are, AND they follow the Post editorials, then lucky Obama. On the other hand, if they’re that dumb, they probably won’t figure out where to vote.
    3) News organizations try to make news all the time. The Times does it consistently, all the major news networks do it, etc.
    4) Interesting polls. Shows how much people are wary of an unfamiliar face.

  3. Wow I really liked the old background much, much better.

    Noted. I think I do also. We’re back.

  4. Romney comes across as totally insincere. He strikes me a the typical pol who will say anything to get elected – I don’t see what voters see in him other than someone more conservative than McCain. For the most part McCain has taken positions and stuck to them. When he has changed course, he has explained to the public the reason for the change in position (voting against the Bush Tax cuts b/c of the outrageous spending went against his party line and was courageous in my opinion as was his push for the surge in Iraq (whethter you agree or not it was highly unpopular and he stuck to his guns – pun intended)). He just seems like an honest guy even if I don’t agree with every position.

    As for whom he will pick as a running mate, I’m not sure he will go w/ Giuliani. He may pick someone with a strong conservative background to sure up the conservative vote and stave off a third party run from a more conservative candidate. Assuming he wins the nomination, I think the political landscape when it comes time to pick a running mate will effect the decision.

    Either way, he’s my guy as he was in the 2000 election primaries. I hope he does better this time around. I wonder what the past 8 years would have been like had McCain been our President (I would love to hear other commenters view on this). I think he could have been one of greatest Presidents had he lead us through the difficult times after 9/11. Who knows? Hopefully he’ll have a chance this time around.

  5. For the most part McCain has taken positions and stuck to them. When he has changed course, he has explained to the public the reason for the change in position (voting against the Bush Tax cuts b/c of the outrageous spending went against his party line and was courageous in my opinion

    Baloney. He never said that when he opposed the tax cuts. Back then he said he opposed them because they were a gift to the rich.

    Only now does he said he opposed them because of spending.

    It’s obviously better to sound like a deficit hawk than a left-wing populist, but he can’t change history.

    I don’t see Rudy agreeing to run as VP. More likely McCain chooses someone who will placate the right.

    Even if McCain is the GOP’s only shot at winning the Presidency, a part of me is still rooting for Romney. On three major issues that I care about (economic policy, judicial appointments, and free speech) there is little to like about him.

  6. “He never said that when he opposed the tax cuts. Back then he said he opposed them because they were a gift to the rich.”

    I don’t think you’re right. I think he made it clear that it was the deficits that he feared b/c of the spending and not the fact that he loved taxes. I will poke around to see if I can find some old articles.

  7. Just to clarify, he did also oppose the cuts b/c he felt they primarily affected the rich as opposed to the middle class but I think he always argued that the root of the problem was the spending and that if the spending went away he would be happy to cut taxes. As I said, when I have time I will research a bit.

  8. http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jj0M3zl6JrNYBv6Gkbc8T_Ot0A-AD8UH1CF80

    “I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who most need tax relief,”

    That quote is enough of a reason for me not to vote for him .

    I don’t need a GOP candidate that basically parrots democratic talking points.

  9. I doubt that McCain would choose Guiliani. He really doesn’t do anything for a McCain ticket. Particularly if (and polls seems to be indicating this will be the case) Hillary wins, there’s no need to add another liberal Republican from a state that’s effectively going to be conceded to the Dems (as it will be Hillary’s home state – look at what she’s doing to Obama in NY polls).

    I think it’s more likely that he’d choose a more conservative individual (perhaps a woman, if such a woman exists, to counter the Hillary effect and make some women feel that they don’t HAVE to vote Dem) from a larger, more swing-ish state.

    Further, if I were McCain and I were choosing an East Coast liberal Republican from NY, I’d choose Bloomberg ahead of Guiliani. Bloomberg has better approval ratings in NYC right now than Guiliani probably, he’s Jewish but not as in-your-face Jewish as Joseph I. and he’d give McCain a much better shot of winning NY and the surrounding states.

    That was long. Sorry.

  10. Mike – I agree with much of what you said, but I disagree on Bloomberg. He will not be the Republican VP candidate.

    With respect to who McCain will choose (and, at this point, I do hope it’s McCain), I think it’s too soon to make predictions. We still have to see how the issues break. It could go in multiple directions: (1) The Republicans could realize that in the 2008 political climate, the only way of keeping the White House is to concede that they must have a moderate ticket. (2) If the values-voters are polling as though they might stay home, McCain will have to throw them some red meat – but do so in a way that doesn’t turn off moderates and independents. (3) If the value-voters decide they can live with McCain because of his social views, he can’t turn them off by selecting a social liberal. (4) If the fiscal right-wing is turned off by McCain, he could choose Rudy, who offered the most conservative economic plan among all the Republicans (other than Ron Paul). (5) And all this has to be done in the context that McCain will be older than Ronald Reagan, and that the VP must be a serious man who can assume the presidency.

    Finally, a point on Romney – aside from John Edwards, he is my least favorite among the entire field. The man has zero principles. Anyone who votes for him because he’s “the conservative candidate” is being foolish because, frankly, he’s not conservative at all. He is just playing one on TV because he saw a niche there. He’s a business man; he finds a need in the marketplace, and he fills it. He has shown a lack of integrity by airing false accusations on TV, knowing that the other candidates don’t have enough money to clear their names. It’s shameful, and frankly I would probably submit an empty ballot in November rather than vote for him.

  11. I meant my comment to be if I were mccain or romney and had to choose one or the other, I’d go with bloomy. I don’t think hed be the VP choice either.

    Not sure that fiscal-focused gop’ers are gonna stay away from the party bc of mccain and that rudy would cure these concerns. These guys are gonna show up bc the alternatives are so much worse. You wanna see that big lawyer salary of yours get slashed?

    Conversely, the social conservatives are far more likely to stay home with a mccain + another liberal republican ticket, which is why johnny mac (I like calling him this bc it reminds of a certain SS who has the best defensive skills in baseball) needs to align himself with someone that better represents the classic conservative values. If this person happens to be a) female and b) from a large state that could deliver votes that wouldn’t otherwise go the gop’s way, all the better. Not sure whether this mega-woman exists though.

  12. I agree with you Mike. I guess this was my reaction from a Drudge headline that Ann Coulter would vote for Hillary over McCain. Obviously this is just her way of making an outrageous remark, but still got me thinking that some conservatives wouldn’t vote for McCain (not that they would really vote for Hillary, but that they wouldn’t come out in large numbers for a McCain) – even though McCain is a social conservative but maybe not such a fiscal conservative.

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