Here’s what a Coble endorsement looks like

Some readers seemed confused earlier as to what an “endorsement” of a candidate looked like. It looks like this, in The State today:

COLUMBIA City Council District 3 runoff opponents Moe Baddourah and Daniel Coble are solid candidates who share common priorities, from focusing on district needs to improving public safety and providing long-term funding for the public bus system.

They also share a common drawback: We fear their strong focus on constituent and district needs could lead them to put those interests ahead of more important citywide issues.

While the two men are pretty even in many ways, Mr. Coble does distinguish himself as the better candidate. His knowledge and understanding of city issues and how government works stood out among all candidates in the just-concluded council races….

Now I can’t say it’s a ringing, unequivocal endorsement. Daniel is The State‘s second choice for the seat. My old colleagues initially endorsed Jenny Isgett, who did not make it into the runoff.

Now if I did endorse someone, it would be Daniel. It so happens that the candidate ADCO is doing work for is the one I would choose were I endorsing. But wait, you say! Isn’t my saying that an endorsement?

Not to me. I’ve spent many years of my life doing endorsements, and I have a very clear idea of what one is. To me, an endorsement involves setting forth a series of arguments as to why someone is the better candidate. As I’ve said thousands of times over the years, the value in an endorsement is the reasons why, not the mere who.

That goes to the core of why newspapers do endorsements (and should do endorsements). It doesn’t matter whether a reader ultimately agrees with the endorsement or not. It is valuable to have considered the arguments, whether you accept them in the end or not. For having spent that time reading a carefully constructed case for a candidate, your own ultimate decision will have been better-considered.

The endorsement in The State today is pretty good. It’s not exactly what I would have written, and were I still the editor I’d have made some changes in the piece, but I generally agree with the points made.

4 thoughts on “Here’s what a Coble endorsement looks like

  1. Tavis Micklash

    “Some readers seemed confused earlier as to what an “endorsement” of a candidate looked like.”

    I said, “In the past you went out of your way not to endorse any of the district 3 candidates.

    Just to be clear is this meant as a disclosure item or are you endorsing Coble now?”

    I think its important to get people to state on the record what they stand for. I didn’t want to put words in your mouth.

    Your answer was just that. Very straight forward. Then again I still don’t think your answer was addressed to me.

  2. tired old man

    Most people are more interested in the “who” than the “why.”

    Get that demon behind you, and the rest is just a discussion of how many angels are dancing on the top of the pin.

    (For what it is worth, is it not amazing how an abrupt a change is involved in the careless transposition of angels from angles?)

  3. Brad

    Speaking of endorsements, here’s one from Rep. James Smith:

    I am pleased to endorse a dynamic and promising candidate for City Council, District 3, to succeed Belinda Gergel who is retiring after four extraordinary years of community service.

    Too often, public life attracts the least capable and most aggressive among us. Many people are driven to run for office for self promotion and often at the expense of truth. I think people are rightly turned off by negative politics and understand that we are losing proper civil discourse in public life.

    Thankfully, city elections in Columbia are nonpartisan and some of the polarization we see in the State House and in Washington is less divisive. That’s why we need to elect people of all persuasions who are rational, courteous and committed to problem-solving not unproductive dialog.

    Daniel Coble is a splendid young man, full of energy and high hopes for Columbia. Like Daniel, I was just out of law school when I ran my first race for public office. He loves public service and has all the characteristics of honesty, integrity, persistence and temperament that this position requires.

    I admire Daniel’s passion for the green economy and green environment, law enforcement, neighborhood character and the arts – all the ingredients for a dynamic city – but most of all for his positive values and principled commitment to public service. I’m proud to support him and urge the voters of District 3 to vote for Daniel Coble next Tuesday, April 17.

  4. Brad

    I had to smile at James’ characterization of Daniel as “a splendid young man.” Back when James first entered the House (and by the way, we didn’t endorse him at The State, opting for his Republican cousin Robert Adams instead), Cindi and I used to refer to him as “Young James Smith.”

    I don’t know how that got started, beyond the fact that he just seemed like such a kid at the time. I would say that it’s because we knew his Daddy, Jim Smith, but I don’t think I knew Jim until later (we’re in Rotary together).


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