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.