The Des Moines Register endorsed Hillary Clinton in what I think was a kind of a ‘damning with faint praise’ accounting -- Here’s what they said:
“Readiness to lead sets her apart from a constellation of possible stars in her party, particularly Barack Obama, who also demonstrates the potential to be a fine President,” the newspaper’s endorsement editorial concludes. “When Obama speaks before a crowd, he can be more inspirational than Clinton. Yet, with his relative inexperience, it’s hard to feel as confident he could accomplish the daunting agenda that lies ahead.” The Boston Globe doesn’t seem concerned about ‘experience’ (I agree with whomever said that unless you have been President you can not be experienced in being President—or was that me?) They endorsed Barack Obama and here’s what that editorial board felt: "It is true that all the other Democratic contenders have more conventional resumes, and have spent more time in Washington," the board wrote. "But that exposure has tended to give them a sense of government's constraints. Obama is more open to its possibilities."
John Edwards, who won the Des Moine Register endorsement in 2004 – which virtually launched his successful campaign for Vice President, has had a few local newspapers say he was a good guy.
The Des Moines Register also endorsed John McCain in this way: "the iconoclastic senator from Arizona has earned his reputation for straight talk by actually leveling with voters, even at significant political expense." I must admit I don’t know what that means but since people don’t read more than the name, it doesn’t really matter.
I guess, judging by their less than enthusiastic ‘go get um’ prose, the Register decided to go with the Senate candidates who had name recognition without Oprah’s help — which is as good as any other reason.
The question becomes, do endorsements have any effect on the outcome of an election. Can a newspaper editorial board sway a voter. I don’t know the answer to the question but I think, when people read newspapers, it might have been a help. In a former blob we were saying how celebrity endorsements don’t really help but they can hurt. Should we consider other elected officials celebrities. Do we think that any Democratic candidates are surprised or upset because that “political star’ Lieberman endorsed McCain. I’m sure the seven people who still think we should be in Iraq are going to be waiting in line for the polls to open on election day but does that say more about the Senator and loyalty than it does about the Candidate? These are questions I’m merely posing. They cannot be answered unless we break through the voting booth curtains and watch how every newspaper reading Oprah or Lieberman groupie casts their ballot.
It would seem to me that the battle of the endorsements is no longer relevant to an independent thinking (especially) young voter. For example, in 2004, Bruce Springsteen endorsed John Kerry. Straight from a concert, he walked 1000 students over to city hall to register to vote—and they did. But then not many of them voted. I have a sense that young voters depend on technology to introduce them to candidates. They see commercials on Youtube, they go on the Facebook and talk to friends, or they text message information they may have gleaned from some other source. But the next question is, will they take all the stuff they know, walk themselves to a polling place and punch a chad or pull a lever—or will they take the time to vote absentee? Only time will tell.
The 2008 election will be won by women who have real issues concerns. Right or left, they want to have a voice and the Presidential election will give them one. From what I read, women who are Oprah fans were uncomfortable with her endorsement of Obama – but that may just be more media babble. I think it doesn’t matter who endorses whom. I think what matters is that people believe what candidates say without the filter of another voice…[Editors note: does C-SPAN ring a bell?] I’m in that, “who cares what anyone else thinks just, sit down and shut up” place. We’re just sayin…Iris