We’re still waiting, waiting to get Hillary Clinton in for an endorsement interview. We want to give her every opportunity, yet still get our endorsement published in time for folks to digest it.
Here’s my e-mail correspondence over the last few hours with Zac Wright of the campaign. (And Zac is by no means the only Clintonista I’m pestering.) Zac’s an ol’ boy from West Tennessee, where I spend the first decade of my career (’75-’85), so I’ve tried to speak in terms he would fully understand:
ME: Zac, we’ve GOT to get Sen. Clinton in here for an editorial board meeting!
What’s our status?
Pursuing logistics, but no further developments at this point.
ME: Doggone it, Zac, what would Ned Ray McWherter say about all this lollygaggin’?
ZAC: Now that was spoken like a man with real West TN roots! I’m working on it and hope to know more COB today. Monday is the absolute latest, correct?
ME: It would be damnably hard to go any later. But if you have something later to propose (say, early Tuesday) at least run it by us so we have the chance to refuse.
Our plan at this point — and mind you, this is already plan B, or maybe C — is that the board will assemble here at the paper (it’s a newspaper holiday, so people would be coming in just to deal with this) to meet with Sen. Obama at 11. Figuring that would be the latest candidate we’d see (because Obama wasn’t going to be in SC this week, and we thought Sen. Clinton would be), we were going to go straight into making a decision. (And don’t think having the last word gives him a leg up; McCain had the last word in 2000, and we went with Bush). Then Mike and I would stay the rest of the day to get everything written, but we would not publish until Wednesday, to give other board members a chance to see proofs — and to give me a chance to record a video as we did with McCain, and post online early (3 p.m. Tuesday).
A Wednesday endorsement is really late, in terms of giving folks a chance to respond. But we moved it back to there to give the leading candidates what we thought was plenty of EXTRA time in which to get here. Remember, we had really wanted to endorse on Sunday.
When you talk with the folks in your organization, deal with them the way Ned Ray would have when he was Speaker. I remember once the House was having trouble moving along on an issue the way he’d like, so he rumbled something like, "Y’all better get it together before I come down there and rip off some arms and beat you about the head and shoulders with ’em."