Sunday, February 9, 2014


You don't see this everyday, a newspaper essentially withdrawing its endorsement of a candidate for re-election.

But it happened in today's Star-Ledger when Editoral Page Editor Tom Moran wrote that the newspaper "blew this one" when it endorsed Chris Christie for governor last fall.

Moran states: 

"Yes, we knew Christie was a bully. But we didn’t know his crew was crazy enough to put people’s lives at risk in Fort Lee as a means to pressure the mayor. We didn’t know he would use Hurricane Sandy aid as a political slush fund. And we certainly didn’t know that Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer was sitting on a credible charge of extortion by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.

Even before this scandal train got rolling, this endorsement was a close call and a split vote among the editorial board. We regard Christie as the most overrated politician in the country, at least until now, a man who is better at talking than governing. We criticized him for trashing the working poor, for his tea party approach to the environment, for his opposition to gay marriage and a livable minimum wage. And so on."

As a longtime New Jersey resident, this is of interest to me. But also as a longtime media reporter.

So does The Star-Ledger get a break by regretting its decision this late? It received major criticism when the endorsement was made given the editorial page's years of attacking Christie. To admit a mistake this late, and when Christie is in a full-fledged scandal, can only do so much.

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