The New York Times: Hillary and McCain
"If you look at the history of endorsements in this campaign, they haven't had a lot of sway with voters, which is understandable, ... Voters make their own decisions in presidential campaigns." John Edwards
Seemingly out of nowhere and so quietly you could hear a poll drop, the New York Times editorial board today endorsed Hillary Clinton and John McCain as its candidates for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations.
An editorial endorsement is perforce a partisan announcement, so why today? Apparently to give the candidates time to incorporate the endorsement in their campaigns for Super Tuesday.
So why throw the endorsements away on a Friday, 5 days ahead of time? Why not give them that added punch on Sunday, February 3? Haven't they heard Everybody Reads the Sunday Times?
I'm sure people all over South Carolina have been waiting with baited breath for the New York Times to tell them how to vote.
As if it matters. The only people who care about newspaper endorsements are ...well... nobody. Except of course the newspaper itself.
Endorsements are so last century. In this unusual election cycle, even celebrity endorsements mean little, except perhaps to the young. And they've made their candidate, Barack Obama, into a superstar himself.
Even George Clooney can't compete. Although if Britney awoke from her stupor and tagged a different candidate, it might raise a blip.
The Times endorsed my candidate, Hillary Clinton rather begrudgingly as highly intelligent and a solid, experienced leader while showering lavish praise on Barack Obama's future near-messianic promise. In the end, that's what I believe --and hope-- America's voters will do too.
John McCain gets the usual deserved points for his war service and sacrifice, but overall is damned with faint praise as the least objectionable Republican candidate.
Neither Times endorsement is meaty or substantive. The most excited prose is reserved for Bush-bashing. And in fact the best part of the McCain endorsement is its bitchy, vicious evisceration of Rudy Giuliani. That alone makes it worth the read.
In the end, I hope you choose your own candidate for your own reasons. Not from Facebook or Fox TV or Entertainment Tonight ... or your church. Not even from the New York Times.
Primary Choices: Hillary Clinton - New York Times
Primary Choices: John McCain - New York Times