N&O's endorsement of McCrory: What does it mean for us?

Here are my questions:

1. Why did N&O endorse McCrory?
Is this about a grudge-match between N&O and the party? Doesn't seem like it, given that most of its other endorsements are for Democrats.

Is it a splashy way of announcing the paper's departure from its older role as a Democratic Party organ? This is a strong possibility, and one suggested by several local media pundits.

Finally, given that the media tends to reflect popular opinion, is it possible that N&O is just holding a mirror up to the face of a constituency tired of the old Democratic Party Machine?

I think I've made clear in other posts that I think this is the case. So here's another question.

2. What do we need to do about it if we, as progressives, still think the Democratic Party offers the best chance for forwarding our agendas?

Maybe nothing for the while. If Perdue wins, and I think she will, she will have the chance to show us what she's made of. We can see whether her zeal to improve things is equal to her zeal for achieving office. Those two aren't always identical enthusiasms.

If McCrory wins and we keep both Senate and House of the General Assembly, he will almost certainly have to govern as a moderate. That would dampen our chances of unseating him in four years. If McCrory wins and we lose enough senate seats to give his party control or at least an even playing field, he will want -- I'm guessing -- to exploit a stronger position by pushing harder for the right wing's agenda. Otherwise he would be pretty vulnerable in four years.

But what nobody really knows at this point is what the effect of the new voters will be. Will it be just this one shot for Obama or will we have a revitalized party as well as a more dominant one?

Given the record number of new voters registered for this election, it seems to me that whomever wins the governor's race, the opportunity exists to build on the framework established by this campaign. We have to be smart about keeping these new voters interested and informed, the better to bring forward an even more progressive slate of candidates when election time rolls around again.

Comments

I think you are right about at least one thing

If McCrory wins he will have to govern as a moderate. Unfortunately, we were just starting to get some progressive leadership in the House. If North Carolina "carries" Obama to victory it could be good for our new Senator, Congressmen, Governor, etc. If McCrory is at the helm, could it be there will be less help from the feds?

I think Bev has been caught up in the change election. McCrory has done a good job labeling her as status quo. She needs to close out strong that he is a good old boy. Sleazy Bushbot.

"You could say, 'Look, is this guy, Laden, really the bad guy that's depicted?' Most of us have never heard of him before." John McCain, following Clinton's strikes on al Qaeda camps

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Today's editorial in the N&O

took on the realtors for their smear campaigns against Norwalk and Harrell (speaking of progressives in office).

According to the editorial, the realtors have backed off a bit -- and it is suggested that they did so in reaction to the N&O's negative news report of what they were doing.

I think that was a damned good editorial giving the N&O a self-contratulatory (but well deserved) pat on the back for its story denouncing the smears and giving good press to both Norwalk and Harrell.

You've totally convinced me to vote for the Rep.

Your continuous posting of YouTube videos have completely opened my eyes. Too bad I already voted. Tsk.

"You could say, 'Look, is this guy, Laden, really the bad guy that's depicted?' Most of us have never heard of him before." John McCain, following Clinton's strikes on al Qaeda camps

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

I feel it coming on...

**BURP**

Proud Educated Elitist With a Poison Pen

Proud Educated Elitist With a Poison Pen

I wrote about this

The N&O editorial page sucks, no matter which candidate they endorse for which race. I have found their analyses to be vapid and trivial. As I pointed out, their assertion that McCrory has "fresh ideas" is incontrovertible bullshit, specifically because his "fresh ideas" are flat-out dangerous: Undermine health insurance, gut funding for public schools, drill-baby-drill, and build more mercury factories for Duke Energy.

I think the reason there's been less discussion about the N&O editorial positions than one might expect is because the editorial pages have so profoundly degenerated into a wishy-washy morass of mindless muddle.
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Doubts about Dole?

One reason I was wondering

about the level of enthusiasm for discussing this is that the comments of late with respect to the race and coverage by the Dome or N&O have tended to be dismissive.

That is, instead of looking at the whys from some distance, some of us have reacted by saying the N&O is irrelevant or the Dome is biased etc . . . .

Maybe the N&O is becoming irrelevant and maybe no one takes the Dome seriously, but I wouldn't count on either of those hunches as a substitute for considering the implications of what mainstream media is publishing the days.

Their medium is dying

Maybe the N&O is becoming irrelevant and maybe no one takes the Dome seriously, but I wouldn't count on either of those hunches as a substitute for considering the implications of what mainstream media is publishing the days.

The N&O would be less and less relevant no matter what they did because their industry is dying.

The management of this particular company has chosen a path of quicker death and irrelevance rather than some of their counterparts like the flourishing newspaper/online medium in Arkansas.

It is sad to see from a historical perspective and painful to watch layoffs happen to people, but their management (and former owners who sold out) can only blame themselves. This version of a newspaper business model is doomed to fail.

Pundits of all stripes believe (and say openly) that newspaper endorsements matter less and less.

If McClatchy wants to remain a player either in editorial influence or market share, they've got to change their business model which includes a revamping of their blogs including UtD.

 

Regarding choice

I see a possible scenario in which legislation restricting abortion rights makes its way out of the General Assembly. Should that happen with McCrory as governor, he would most assuredly sign it. Perdue would veto it in a heartbeat.

Any pro-choice woman who votes for McCrory needs to have her head examined.

The N&O has long stood up for abortion rights. I guess even that is on the table now as far as Mr. Ford is concerned.

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Doubts about Dole?

Victim of corporate merger politics

Editors of the old locally-owned N&O would have leapt from their office windows before endorsing a Republican for governor, regardless of his/her merits. Unfortunately, the corporate media acquisition & merger placing the N&O and Charlotte Observer under the same ownership and quasi-merging their reporting staffs could not have come at a worse time. The CharO, which might normally have been expected to see through the McCrory as Moderate facade, went with the home boy. The N&O, anxious to prove its new bland corporatist editorial chops, followed suit of its new conjoined twin.

That produced a conjoined endorsement result that will prove ugly in the extreme to environmental and health care policies in North Carolina if it helps to produce a McCrory victory.

...not to mention boosting racial and ethnic divisions in our state by elevating to the highest state post a politician who is shamelessly playing the ugly ethnic card on immigration politics. Shame on the N&O and the Charlotte Observer both for turning a blind eye to that factor.

Dan Besse

Dan Besse

The old, locally owned

N&O editors would almost certainly have leapt from their windows, as you've suggested, before endorsing a Republican. Of course, that was also true back in the days that the editorial staff was advocating white supremacy, so tradition has cut two ways as far as the party's hegemony, influence and the N&O is concerned.

And I wouldn't be too sure that the only reason for championing McCrory is that staffs have merged. The editorial staffs are still quite separate, are they not? Even if the editorial staff were identical, I doubt that the only reason for N&O's endorsing McCrory is that Charlotte favors the home-boy.

I think it is a mistake to discount the mood in Raleigh, which is what I've been watching throughout this election season. There are plenty of Democrats who want to push progressive platforms who have lost faith that a party machine that is strongly suspected of corruption can be an effective advocate for our issues.

I'm not catching that mood

I'm not catching that mood in Raleigh. In the final days I'm seeing the battle lines forming as usual on Jones Street.

As far as the N&Os endorsement, it's simply following the dictates of McClatchy, nothing more. N&O is now pandering more to Charlotte due to the merger. As a Triangle resident, seeing local news about Charlotte in a Raleigh paper is as logical as local news about Sacramento in the N&O.

Proud Educated Elitist With a Poison Pen

Proud Educated Elitist With a Poison Pen

I think the "why" is pretty simple

They've been keeping a running tally of newspaper endorsements for different races, and the N&O has followed the lead of the other major newspapers, going for Obama, Hagan and McCrory.

In this time when the future of printed media is in question, they're all desperate to be viewed as relevant. This is doubly important for the Raleigh paper, because they're supposed to be more in touch with state politics than any other. You can't call yourself relevant if you don't pick (enough) winners, so they're watching the different polls and waiting 'til the last turn to pick their horse. Which actually makes them less relevant, frankly, because they're waiting to see what others think.

I'll tell you what I find humorous and ironic: candidates spending a couple of hundred thousand dollars running television commercials about the newspapers that have endorsed them. Think about it. One media outlet telling us what another media outlet thinks? Not to mention, if a person doesn't read newspapers, they're not likely to give a shit what the newspapers think; if they do take/read the paper, they probably already know who their paper picked. Whatever. That just struck my funny bone.

Moderate is an Understatement

McCrory governing as a Moderate is an understatement. I foresee the GA remaining controlled by the Dems. McCrory, if he should win (and I do not think that will happen) will be eaten alive in his first week. He will be a four year joke. He does not understand the intricacies state politics. Charlotte is a world away from Raleigh and Pat is amusingly naïve.

Proud Educated Elitist With a Poison Pen

Proud Educated Elitist With a Poison Pen

Not the only one

The Daily Tar Heel also endorsed McCrory. I know they're only a bunch of college kids (like me) but it says something that a staunchly liberal paper would do that. And Carrboro mayor, Mark Chilton, made some people in Carrboro mad with his endorsement of McCrory.

Staunchly liberal

The Daily Tar Heel? I read it every day and would put it in the same category as O-No!: vapid and trivial.
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Doubts about Dole?

Being vapid and trivial or

Being vapid and trivial or not, that doesn't change the fact that it exhibits a clear lean toward Democratic candidates. I hadn't heard of this before now and am shocked that the DTH would go with McCrory.

I just have to wonder. Is

I just have to wonder. Is there any reason not to believe that Bev will win? I mean I see close polling and some polling that shows McCrony ahead. I see so many editorial endorsements and I wonder will Bev win? I think that African-Americans will turn out in huge numbers and are always a sure lock for Democrats and we hold a 2-1 advantage over Republicans. Not to mention that 55% of the North Carolina electorate are female and are usually inclined to vote female (based on what I've read). So are the chances good for her or not? Will we win or not?

The chances are good for her

and I understand from friends of friends that the campaign is quite optimistic. This discussion seems more focused on the role of the old media in either setting or reflecting the political agenda. Today that role is still one they enjoy ... but the democratization of agenda-setting is well underway.

Dan Besse's comments above seem right on the mark to me.

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Doubts about Dole?

I understand that. It's just

I understand that. It's just that you know, these newspapers (major ones at that) are endorsing McCrony and not Bev. And to so its a little disheartening to read that they're endorsing him while in the same breath endorsing Dalton and Hagan. It's not consistent at all in my opinion.

It's not consistent at all

I guess they figure Pittenger is such as freakin' lunatic that they can't endorse him over Dalton (who has the exact same record as Perdue and Hagan). This is why I wrote my post "McCrory the Snake Charmer" - leaving no confusion as to who are the snakes in this case.
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Doubts about Dole?

It's consistent

in that Hagan and McCrory are both seen as the fresh faces.

And like James said, Pittenger is such a complete lune that they just couldn't go there.

Note that they didn't have that problem with McCrory, presumably because of the way McCrory has run or is said to have run Charlotte as its mayor. But as I think I said somewhere else, the campaign he is running is so far to the right that the N&O must be hoping that he's just pandering (like Bill Maher talking about Obama's profession of Christianity in the movie "Religulous.")

Here's the problem.

You're right--McCrory is "seen as the fresh face"--but I think we should be able to have a reasonable expectation that a major(?) newspaper editorial board will do more research and think more deeply than a candidate's image. A paper which persistently in its editorial space champions choice, expansion of health care coverage, and protection of the environment, has no rational business endorsing a McCrory over a Perdue. For it to do so on image or vague "leadership" grounds is a stark abandonment of what I see as its community responsibility.

Dan Besse

Dan Besse

Image

I don't disagree that it's problematic for those of us concerned about health care and environment (and I'm particularly concerned about abortion rights), but it bothers me that this idea of the influence of "image" or "leadership" might be regarded as something lesser than our interest in these issues.

A great deal of what Obama has going for him in this race against McCain is image. He represents a hope for transformation that is extremely important, more important to me than his relative inexperience in office. Yes, he is also on the right side of the issues, but you and I both know that for millions of voters, the image is more significant than the issues that so many barely understand or care to investigate. I suspect that most people don't try to grapple with the issues because they don't believe they can. They read the headlines -- maybe -- read the comics, and then wait for some talking head on the news to spew some easily understood blather that has a HELL of a lot more to do with image than it does with issues.

I think anyone who watches Obama can see that he has the potential to lead, and that, again, is extremely important -- not vague at all as a factor for evaluation.

Since I think it is fair to assume that the N&O does get pretty close to the action in state government and is reasonably informed on not only the issues but the players who will be sorting them, I am not convinced that its refusal to endorse the Democrat constitutes wilful disregard of the state's interests.

Granted, I'm on record for having my own doubts about Perdue, so I can't pretend objectivity in the N&O's choice. But regardless of my concerns about the candidate, my concern about the issues and our platform is only growing as we see the dow plunge. Tough economic times are hard on social policy. Things will be harder still if McCrory prevails.

However, if he were to prevail, I think the Democrats could use the ground we've gained in this election to promote a true progressive, maybe our own "fresh face" to unseat him in four years.

So I do reject the idea that by its favoring the "fresh face" over the party machine, the N&O has abandoned any high ground. They're just standing on a different hill.

This is where The N&O has lost its relevance

Since I think it is fair to assume that the N&O does get pretty close to the action in state government and is reasonably informed on not only the issues but the players who will be sorting them, I am not convinced that its refusal to endorse the Democrat constitutes wilful disregard of the state's interests.

Even if I agreed with this premise a few years ago, it certainly doesn't apply now. McClatchy has destroyed any small proximity to "the action" that a state capital's newsroom should have.

Stith is gone.

Christensen's bit of relevance during Brubaker's speakership is long since gone. He's been peddling books about last century for months now.

Poor Ford and Drescher are trying to flail into new markets (Mid-town, GOP, cut out eastern NC coverage to merge with Charlotte coverage, anything) while the corporate bean counters slowly drain them dry.

Tony Rand laughs at the idea that The N&O matters. Phil Berger will laugh just as hard if the scene flips.

 

Relevance

Ok, I realize I'm leaving myself wide open to be called naive -- and the tag might be accurate, but still . . .

While you are probably right that times have changed so much that a newspaper endorsement doesn't mean what it used to mean, I think it would be crazy not to try to figure out what it does say about the political milieu the editors are tracking. After all, endorsements have been going on a long, long time, with each failure inviting derision and each success encouraging the tradition, and whether or not they are useful as predictors, they reveal something about the lay of the land

More to the point, I wouldn't discount the idea that even if things are changing pretty fast, the insights these fellows have into the politicians they've spent the last couple of decades watching are not irrelevant or easily dismissed. I think it's those insights that steered the endorsement decision, not a publisher's preference or a sister city's enthusiasm.

And this may be really reaching, but I would guess that the editors wouldn't have changed their endorsement even had they been able to forsee the outcome of this election.

She'll win, RangerKing

Perdue has outraised McCrory by many, many, many dollars and can afford to do quite a lot of tv ads featuring her standing side-by-side with Obama or Andy Griffith, and however many radio ads she wants featuring their voices.

I don't think she should worry, but my question is still the same. And I have to disagree with those who simply write off the relevance of so many papers' endorsements.

It isn't that endorsements can win a campaign, but rather what we might learn from the fact that the papers made the choices they made.

In fact, lemme amend this, having just noticed at the DOME the report that Perdue raised 15.5 million thru October while for the same period McCrory raised 5.

Cha-CHING! I believe the Democrats will be ordering the good champagne for the party this year.

I don't know...

In fact, lemme amend this, having just noticed at the DOME the report that Perdue raised 15.5 million thru October while for the same period McCrory raised 5.

That same article shows them both just about out of money. I think Bev has $300,000 left and Pat has $200,000. Of course, I don't know how much air time each one has already purchased for the next week or so...

I think he's right on target

The Perdue campaign has pulled out and is heading for the homes stretch with an expanding lead.

I hear the horse-hooves a thunderin' and think McCrory's campaign is about to east eat dust. Eastern dust.

McCrory was doomed in the

McCrory was doomed in the east from the onset or at least when they found out his birthplace - Ohio.

Proud Educated Elitist With a Poison Pen

Proud Educated Elitist With a Poison Pen

My thoughts

Not that I think the endorsement from the N&O makes any major difference, but I honestly see McCrory pulling this election out. It'll be real close but unless Perdue's tv campaigns are going to convince more people than I think they will, she's going to come up short.

That said, this will give the Democrats 4 years to come up with a better candidate for Governor than Perdue. There are a number of Democrats in the state who could perform the job admirably. We'll just have to see if any want to wait on a shot at Governor or if they'd rather get Richard Burr out of office.

Betcha a dollar Perdue wins

Her campaign is so swollen with money right now it's about to burst and shower the state with green. She's going to be allllll over the airwaves and you won't be able turn around without seeing Andy on one side and Obama on the other.

McCrory doesn't have the dollars to compete at this point.

WRAL grudgingly announced

WRAL grudgingly announced Perdue up two points over McCrory last night. McCrory is still unknown in the east. Bev will win.

Proud Educated Elitist With a Poison Pen

Proud Educated Elitist With a Poison Pen

Great Radio Spot

There's a great anti-McRory radio spot I have heard a bunch of times this week.

There are a couple of good ol' boys talking about that city slicker mayor from Charlotte and how he wants to take money away from rural areas. They mention something about him saying he questioned the need to pave roads in small towns and rural areas.

I'm thinking being the Mayor of Charlotte might be a strike against you when you are running for NC Governor. Much of NC seems indifferent or hostile towards Charlotte. Additionally, due to the form of government the Mayor of Charlotte has less power and accountability than the Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska; you are not necessarily even getting someone with "executive experience."