Four years and six days later, Star-Ledger’s endorsements are still, uh, inscrutable. Promoted by Rosi.
Four years and six days ago, the Star-Ledger offered its notoriously confused, convoluted endorsement of the worst governor in recent memory. This was the governor responsible for not only closing the busiest bridge in the world over petty politics, but also responsible for having an abysmal record on civil rights, an affinity for union busting, a penchant for snubbing of federal dollars for essential transit upgrades, a propensity for denying same-sex couples the right to marry, a proclivity for inhumane treatment of undocumented immigrants, a predilection to withdraw from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a fancy for 11 credit downgrades and a fondness to perpetuate racial and socio-economic educational divisions and a weakness for draining local dollars through the promotion of charter schools.
Good call, Star-Ledger. GREAT call.
But oddly enough, the endorsement was pretty tepid. In fact, it was pretty broad rejection of the Christie administration. They called him a fraud. They blamed him for the credit downgrades. They blamed him for the transit snafu. They blamed him for scuttling affordable housing obligations. They first called him “the most remarkable political talent America has seen since Bill Clinton,” but then later countered that with “his spin is way ahead of his substance.”
Of course, they had to give a reason why we shouldn’t vote for Barbara Buono, who was a fairly honest, fairly progressive Democrat who picked a lieutenant governor candidate from labor. Buono would have certainly brought New Jersey better fortune under a Democratic president. So they took the “quiet honey, there’s men in the room” approach.
Buono lacks the strategic savvy to be a successful governor. She commands little respect among fellow Democrats, who have abandoned her in droves, with nearly 50 elected officials endorsing Christie. She is a loner in the Senate who derides political bargains as “back-room deals.”
She can’t handle tough guy Trenton politics, see?
They didn’t spend any time talking about Buono’s 12 years in the legislature and years on the Metuchen Borough Council. They spent their column inches criticizing Buono specifically for being “openly disdainful of party bosses like George Norcross, but lacks any plan to govern without them,” having “a long list of expensive plans, from universal preschool to more aid for public colleges,” without *gasp* proposal to offset those proposals with cuts.
The one moment of clear, honest sobriety in the editorial was the acknowledgment that the Democratic Party, ultimately, was to blame:
If this is the end for Buono, remember that she didn’t lose this on her own: The Democratic Party punted on this race.
Its major players were scared to challenge Christie, and only Buono showed the conviction to stand up to him. If anyone should be ashamed in the wake of the crushing defeat the polls predict, it is the lethargic and compromised party establishment, not the lone woman who took up the challenge.
Ain’t that the truth.
But back to Christie. The rejected him, except for one thing: they endorsed his contempt for teachers’ unions.
Buono’s close alliance with the teachers union is a threat to the progress Christie is making in cities such as Newark and Camden. She is hostile to charter schools, which now educate nearly 1 in 4 kids in Newark.”
And today, four years and five days later, they endorsed, finally, the Democrat Phil Murphy, but offered one criticism before laying, rightfully and righteously into his opponent:
“[Murphy has a] ferocious loyalty to the public worker unions,”
What gives? I mean, no, unions aren’t perfect but they do, at their core, represent the ideal of a protected working class. I really don’t understand why this is the deal breaker for the newspaper that encouraged Democrats to SWITCH PARTIES in order to vote for John Kasich and against Trump in the 2016 Republican primary.
And why don’t they like Murphy? What did he do? I don’t get it. Maybe someone can enlighten me in the comments section.