Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Campaign Confidential

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Campaign Confidential

Article excerpt

What? You don't like our favorite son?

Newspaper editorial boards are rarely more in the limelight than when they offer political endorsements. If they lean against a local son, the limelight can burn.

That's what The Hartford Courant found when it endorsed Republican George W. Bush for president over Democrat Al Gore, whose running mate is U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. The Courant barely mentioned Lieberman in an editorial calling Gore a status quo candidate and concluding, "The status quo is not good enough."

The next day, the paper endorsed Lieberman in his concurrent bid for re-election to the Senate. By then, it was reaping plenty of reaction to its presidential pick -- enough to devote a page to letters under a headline that said, "Readers Are Aghast."

Editorial Page Editor John J. Zakarian said the paper examined each race on its own terms. "It isn't contradictory," he said. "We were endorsing for president. That's what's on the ballot, not vice president."

Neither one nor the other

Major newspapers declined to issue endorsements in at least two major statewide races. In Virginia, The Roanoke Times eyed a U.S. Senate race pitting a longtime incumbent Democrat against a Republican former governor. …

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