I am not trying to pick on former Congressman and ersatz United States Senator Tom Campbell, but he is the first candidate for a Republican nomination for statewide office to send out an e-mail touting the endorsement of a newspaper editorial board for his candidacy. In this case, the San Jose Mercury news published an editorial, Campbell is the best GOP candidate for U.S. Senate.
To all Republican voters, I would say, without any hesitation: you should be very cautious if not downright skeptical of candidates who are endorsed by main stream media newspaper editorial boards. The reason for this is that with rare exceptions (a shout-out to the O.C. Register and the San Diego U.T.), these editorial boards are packed with liberals who probably feel that the People’s Park in Berkeley should be the state’s political epicenter.
Every election cycle, these Editorial Board members who I’m sure overwhelmingly vote for whatever liberal is on their general election ballot (be it a Democrat, or maybe their local Green Party nominee) put their newspapers on record supporting Democrats in general elections almost every time (usually delightfully bashing the GOP opponent in each race in the process).
But what these Editorial Board members do in the primary season is laughable and insidious – they magnanimously endorse in the primaries of both major political parties – so they pick their favorite liberal in the Democrat primary, and then they seem to look in a Republican primary for a GOPer who is out of the Republican mainstream on social issues (and any other areas where a Republican candidate happens to be “Democrat-Lite” on particular issues). So, in essence, these liberal editorial boards weigh into GOP primaries in a way that is quite corrosive.
Predictably in 2008 most of these newspapers editorials in the Presidential primaries endorsed Obama or Clinton on the Democrat side, and almost exclusively John McCain in the GOP primary. The McCain campaign elevated the importance of these liberal endorsements by emailing and otherwise touting being supported by these newspapers. But then in the general election, these editorial board members tripped over themselves to endorse Barack Obama.
The best thing that we can do to minimize the negative impact of these newspaper endorsements of Democrats this fall is to not promote their game-playing of endorsing Republicans in a contested primary.
Getting back to the Mercury News – look for them to produce an editorial soon on Boxer, praising her as a United States Senator. And this fall, whether the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate is Tom Campbell, Carly Fiorina or Chuck DeVore the Mercury News Editorial Board will back Boxer for re-election. Campbell — and every other Republican candidate should do us a favor — and NOT promote MSM newspaper editorial endorsements in GOP primaries.
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