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.