Watch for endorsement, 3 p.m. Saturday

There are several things I want to blog about this morning — from last night’s GOP debate, other things — but I’m out of blogging action for the next few hours. We’ve had our editorial board meeting to determine our endorsement. It started at 9:30, and ended 15 or 20 minutes ago, as I write this just before 11:30. There was a lot to discuss, even though to our great disappointment, not all of the candidates came in for face-to-face interviews. (I’m beginning to really, really hate this compressed schedule, which has pulled candidates in too many directions.)

Now I have an editorial to write, and my Sunday column, then I have to paginate the Sunday edit page, and get proofs to my colleagues before the day is over.

When I’m done with all that, I have an engagement with Andy Haworth of to shoot a video of me talking about our endorsement.

That, and the endorsement itself, will be available Saturday afternoon. The endorsement will go up on at 3 p.m. Saturday. (Actually, I’m just guessing that’s when the video goes up; I haven’t asked.)

The endorsement will be in the newspaper Sunday. Between now and then, though, I have a lot to do. I’ll be back as soon as I can.

15 thoughts on “Watch for endorsement, 3 p.m. Saturday

  1. bud

    The tension is so thick you can cut it with a knife. Who will the State’s editorial page endorse? If Brad has his way it’s pretty obvious and probably was decided 6 months ago.

  2. Doug Ross

    I’m more interested in what The State’s endorsement of McCain leaves out… and whether it will be printed in red, white, and blue.

  3. JoseyJ

    The State ignores John Edwards completely!
    which is another way of ignoring the majority of their readers – the working poor and middle class who would benefit from Edwards plans and solutions to move our country forward.
    Why does The State hate the majority of their readers??
    Corporations control our media/press and the media/press promotes NAFTA and corporate candidates.
    Our entire family is voting for Edwards – even the Republicans.

  4. Doug Ross

    The State ignores John Edwards to pay him back for being late for an event once and not being nice to a receptionist one time.
    That makes him ineligible for the Presidency.

  5. bud

    Doug, let’s not forget that Senator Edwards was caught reflecting on his thoughts right before a campaign appearance. OH the Humanity!

  6. bud

    Here’s the absolute gold standard for a reporter abusing their position. This is from Brad’s article about John Edwards being a phony:
    “His face was impassive, slack, bored: Another crowd, another show. Nothing wrong with that, thought I -– just a professional at work.
    But then, I saw the thing that stuck with me: In the last seconds as his introduction reached its climax, he straightened, and turned on a thousand-watt smile as easily and artificially as flipping a switch. He assumed the look of a man who had just, quite unexpectedly, run into a long-lost best friend. Then he stepped into view of the crowd at large, and worked his way, Bill Clinton-like, from the back of the crowd toward the stage -– a man of the people, coming out from among the people -– shaking hands with the humble, grateful enthusiasm of a poor soul who had just won the Irish Sweepstakes.”
    Nothing and I do mean absolutely, positively NOTHING of substance whatsoever is evident in this ridiculous observation. And this is the man we are supposed to have respect for when we read the endorsement column on Sunday? No wonder print journalism is in decline with trash like this.

  7. Doug Ross

    Ooops… Mr. Straight Talk McCain may have a little ethical scandal brewing.
    When his campaign was running out of money last year, they borrowed money using their fundraising list as collateral. His privacy policy says he won’t sell donor information… but I guess borrowing against that valuable asset is okay?

  8. Brad Warthen

    I guess I’ll have my comeuppance when the “majority” out there gives Mr. Edwards a big win on primary day. Because, you know, I’m the only one who’s not planning to vote for him.
    How people do go on.

  9. Brad Warthen

    One more thing, at the end of a long day:
    bud and Doug, we’ve conversed a lot here. We’ve disagreed about a lot, and agreed other times (kudos again to bud for coming up with a well-thought-out health plan, which helped further our conversations).
    But what I’d like to know is, what have I done to you guys? In what way have I personally insulted you? All kidding aside. Where does the hostility come from?
    You can call me ugly, or foolish, or say my mother dresses me funny. But I only spend time on this blog for two purposes — first, to tell you right out exactly what I think and why I think it, and to let you do the same.
    You know I like John McCain because I’ve told you so, so many times. I’ve also told you that until this morning, I didn’t know how our editorial board conversation would go. I lost the debate in 2000, and I’ve been very up-front with you about how that happened, why it happened, how it felt, yadda yadda on and on, with a detail and candor that you have NEVER, EVER seen or heard from anyone responsible for a newspaper’s editorial page.
    I’ve also gone into the Lieberman endorsement in 2004, which essentially happened because I just wore everybody else down in a three-hour talking marathon. I still feel good about supporting Joe, but some of my colleagues felt sort of put-upon on that one.
    Up until today, I really didn’t know what sort of meeting this would be. Now I do.
    But you guys have the unmitigated gall to suggest that I did, TOO know, and that I have spent all this time unnecessarily telling you otherwise, because… hell, I can’t even begin to imagine why you think I would bother to do that.
    I don’t mind the razzing about Edwards, as off-base as it is. I still hear from people (another top SC Democrat volunteered it to me a couple of days ago, sort of out of the blue) who tell me the column was dead-on, and said what they thought but didn’t believe they could get away with saying, or they just couldn’t put their finger on WHAT it was they didn’t like about him, so they appreciate the way I did it.
    And I still hear from folks like JoseyJ — or like bud, who found it all totally unconvincing. Fine. Different strokes. Two people look at the same thing, and see it as two opposite things. Happens all the time.
    But what I can’t imagine is a couple of guys who should know better suggesting that all the stuff I spend so many hours saying to y’all is a lie.
    I don’t understand how you reach that conclusion, or why you would feel motivated to say it. I have done nothing to you except be honest. At least you could give me that.

  10. Doug Ross

    I don’t think I’ve ever suggested you are a liar. At worst, I think your personal admiration of Senator McCain gives you a tunnel vision that doesn’t dare allow any facts to alter that perception in any way.
    You started a thread talking about one of your pet peeves – partisan politics. But you seem to refuse to even consider for a second that Senator McCain is guilty of those same tactics time and again. You may be the only person in America who characterized McCain’s reaction to the “beat the bitch” comment as momentarily losing his composure and then assuming a statesman-like demeanor to respond to the question. The video simply doesn’t support your take on the episode. He laughed. He smiled. He said “Good question” and then he flipped on the switch — never admonishing the questioner for its poor taste.
    And then the same night you created that same post about hating the partisanship, what does McCain do in the debate? Slam Democrats more than any other candidate on the stage.
    Pointing out those items is not calling you a liar (at least in my case). It’s pointing out inconsistencies in your views.
    And recognizing that the opinion editor who has been waiting eight years to prove he was right about McCain the last time around might just put the same effort into convincing his colleagues to join his consensus as he did to endorse Lieberman can hardly be considered calling you a liar.
    You are passionate about your support for McCain. You are in a prime position to steer the endorsement in your direction.
    There’s no other candidate out there who has the Bush legacy as happened in 2000… so
    why pretend that there is going to be much suspense in the endorsement?
    I have no animosity toward you. I’m learning more every day that my perception of the newspaper business (as opposed to TV and radio talking heads) is not as unbiased and “just the facts” as I had once believed.
    You wear the same blinders for McCain as I do for Paul. Personally, I think it’s useful to have inconsistencies in my opinions pointed out…
    So, for the record (and not that my opinion of you should matter), I think you are a speaking from the heart and not dishonestly.
    I strongly disagree that John McCain is the best choice for President in 2008, but my vote only counts once.

  11. bud

    It was JoseyJ that brought up the Edwards thing. I simply addressed his question. Edwards is my third choice for president and I have some concerns that he may be a bit overzealous in his populist overtures. But it really smacks of complete arrogance to attack a man for simply gathering his thoughts before a big campaign rally. Unless you’re a psychic, how could you possibly know what was going through his mind just before he steps onto the stage?
    As for McCain, Brad has gone so far as to say he can’t properly question the man because he considers him a hero. McCain is clearly, and I do mean crystal clearly, a partisan Republican who has demonstrated time and time again how he puts party above his own policy views. Take the torture issue. Why did McCain fail to condemn the president’s signing statement when he signed the bill into law? That failure is partisanship at it’s very worst. He owed those of us who supported him on this issue to go the distance and condemn that monstrous abuse of power.
    As for the bitch comment. Doug is correct, that was not a good moment for the senator from Arizona. Nothing but rose-colored glasses could twist that around to put McCain in a good light. It was a partisan moment of the highest order.
    Brad, you are correct, we do agree on many issues (health care, smoking in public) but you irritate the heck out of me with this constant whining about partisanship. It’s a part of our way of governing and always has been. Whenever one of the major parties goes too far the other party has an obligation to vigourously reel them in.
    The media is primarily responsible for the two-party system so why don’t you, as a major player in the media, start by looking closesly at third-party and fringe candidates (like Ron Paul) rather than simply ignoring them. As long as we have this two-party system partisanship is not only ok it’s an absolute necessity to keep the country on an even-keel. That is one reason why social security was saved a couple of years ago. Thank goodness for the partisans.

  12. Brad Warthen

    Doug, there’s no question that John McCain is a Republican. He’s running for the Republican nomination. He’s sort of depending on other Republicans to see him as a Republican, as you do. Otherwise, he has no chance of being elected.
    One of the things I like about McCain is the very quality that causes some other Republicans not to see him as one of them: He doesn’t surrender his mind and will to the party. And when he perceives a course of action as right, he doesn’t care whether it’s seen as the Republican thing or not, and he’s just as likely to work with Democrats or Independents. If Republicans want to come along, fine, but he will always work toward a goal in a coalition of the willing, depending upon the ISSUE, not idiotic party loyalty. What I despise in parties is that mentality that would condemn McCain for being so independent, that would insist he put party for party’s sake before conscience. Why you and bud have so much trouble understanding my meaning remains a puzzle to me. You say “Look! He’s a Republican!” and “Look! He criticized a Democrat!” So?
    I have friends who are Republicans, and I don’t hold it against them. I have just as many friends who are Democrats, and I don’t condemn them for it. The nice thing about being an UnPartisan is that in MY party, we’re allowed to be friends with all sorts of people.
    Sometimes party association leads my Republican and Democratic friends into habits of thought that disappoint me, that seem beneath them. But I disappoint myself far more often.
    bud, I know JoseyJ brought up Edwards and you just joined in. That’s why I worded it the way I did. And, once again, I didn’t attack Edwards. I had said something in passing months before on this blog about Edwards, as follows:
    I post a juxtaposition of AP photos that struck me as amusing (given my belief that John Edwards is one of the phoniest faux populists ever to get his name in the papers), conveniently brushing over the ramped-up-by-24-hour-TV culture clash of the hour, and the very first commenter pounces all over it.
    When my interlocutors demanded to know what I meant by that, I responded thus in comments:
    And yes, RTH — Edwards is a phony, and McCain is not. He is what he is. I’ll write more about that later. I have to write a Sunday column right now. For now, I’ll just say this: I’ve been following politics, with direct access to state and national candidates, for close to 30 years now. It’s a cliche to say politicians are phony. More often than not, that label is completely unfair. But it fits Edwards, possibly better than it fits anyone else than I can think of at this moment. That’s a carefully considered perspective, not just a casual epithet.
    I have three anecdotes to support that assessment. I’ll share them when I have time. If I forget, remind me. For that matter, it would probably make a decent column.
    See you later.
    When folks wouldn’t let it go, I later had to offer THIS as a comment:
    Oh, by the way — I just deleted messages from RTH, Ed, bud, Mark, John/Mary and Phillip. That last one hurt, but I feel fine about the others. As I said in a comment on the following post, I have very specific reasons for what I say about John Edwards, and it has nothing to do with anyone’s partisan fantasies — which is why I deleted all the above pointless comments. That will be the subject of an upcoming column. For now, I have to go back to writing one on an entirely different subject that was due a couple of hours ago.
    That AP moved that picture of Edwards’ house amuses me, so I shared it. It’s not the reason I say he’s a phony. That will be the subject of my column.
    Lighten up, folks.
    That was a column that required little research, as it was based on experiences I’d already had and clearly remembered. But I always had other things to write that were more important or urgent at a given time. And besides, I didn’t really want to write a column about why I perceived that this or that person was phony. Then, when I was on vacation, I promised to supply my colleagues with an extra column to run on the day I came back. Since I hadn’t been working that week, I had no fresh material. I had the Edwards column in my head, ready to write and I was mindful that I had promised readers to write it. And it was a weekday column, rather than my usual Sunday, so I felt if I was ever going to get the thing out of the way, this was a good chance to do so. So I did.
    And people went nuts.
    The column was a description of how one person forms an impression of another person. I thought it worked and plenty of other people did, too. Some didn’t. You’re one of those who didn’t. But if I’d known the sort of impact it would have had — I had truly thought when I wrote it that it was one that would be quickly forgotten, and upon arriving back at work I would move on immediately to more important things — I would have just written in on the blog, in answer to y’all’s questions. But I was wrong about that. I quickly understood WHY I was wrong, once it was pointed out to me — editorial page editor of largest paper in Edwards’ home state says he’s a phony — but I hadn’t thought that out ahead of time. I just wrote what had happened, and how it struck me, and that was that.

  13. zac

    I can’t believe McCain was endorsed by the state neswpaper. Immigration is one of the most important topics in South Carolina and McCain is liberal on it. Sure McCain said he would secure the border first but who is to say he wouldn’t provide another bill giving amnesty to illegal immigrants as president. Yes McCain is willing to put the country before his party but who is to say he won’t put special interest before the country. Also McCain in the last debate, the SC debate said “We need to accept that some of those jobs aren’t coming back”, they were talking about manufactoring job losses in SC and Michagen. That may be true but I was suprised. This is a defeatist statement from the man who puts so much effort in victory in Iraq. That statement may be true but I want a president who is at least willing to make a effort in getting those jobs back. The manufactoring base of our economy is vital not only to the economy but to our national security.
    We need some who has shown executive experience, someone who has been a governor. In American politics we have had only 6 people whose highest office before president was senator or congressmen and of those 6 most of them were lousy presidents.
    In this race only about 3 of the republicans have been governors. Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul and I think the choice is fairly obvious. Mitt Romney has not only executive expierence but business expierence and he knows best how to fix the economy.


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