When a major newspaper hands down an endorsement to a politician, it is with the weight of as much thoughtfulness any editorial board can give — as a writer, I can tell you that editorials are our biggest think-piece work.
It is one thing to programmatically declare facts to be facts and write about events that require only the consultation of one’s thesauric memory in order to engage a reader. It is another to write persuasively, yet another to do it in the political arena, and still another thing entirely to do it in recommendation of a policy or candidate contrary to the sensibilities of many of your readers.
The Houston Chronicle pulled off the trifecta, and in a way that impressed even me (I’m a writer, remember?) when they surprised even their long-time readers and endorsed Beto O’Rourke for US Senator from Texas.
This wasn’t some liberal takeover of the editorial board, either. The Chronicle endorsed even pathetic Mitt Romney the same year that Ted Cruz first ran for the Senate, and they endorse Cruz that year as well — but I spent long enough scrolling through this year’s endorsements to run out of free views without signing up for their site and didn’t find an endorsement of a single other Democrat.
Perhaps that’s because for as much as they had to say that was positive about Beto — charisma, charm, concern for Texas — they could scarcely conclude the part about him before moving on to what’s wrong with Senator Cruz:
…a ‘Beto’ victory would be good for Texas, not only because of his skills, both personal and political, but also because of the manifest inadequacies of the man he would replace.”
This is where they would have won me over as a Texan. The priorities of the newspaper are clearly for their state, and they feel that Ted’s are not. In fact, the Chronicle believes, as I do, that Ted’s not overly concerned with even being in the Senate:
Exhibiting little interest in addressing the needs of his fellow Texans during his six years in office, he has kept his eyes on a higher prize. He’s been running for president since he took the oath of office — more likely since he picked up his class schedule as a 15-year-old ninth-grader at Houston’s Second Baptist High School more than three decades ago.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Featured image via screen capture