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Will The Washington Times Endorse A Democrat?

Posted by John Pegway | Posted in 2008 campaign, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Presidential Election | Posted on 31-01-2008

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Washington Times editorial page editor Deborah Simmons’ appearance this morning on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” raising a fascinating prospect — will the conservative Times editorial page make an endorsement in the Democratic presidential primary?

Here’s Simmons talking with host Susan Swain:

SWAIN: So, the question of newspaper endorsements.  Do they matter this year?
SIMMONS: Yes, they matter.  They always should matter because people who serve on editorial boards and write editorials for newspaper also live out in the very communities of American voters who are selecting, whether they’re local, state or federal, elected officials.  One of our dilemmas this year is that we usually don’t endorse in the primary.  Sometimes newspapers, majors and smaller newspapers will look at candidates on either side of the spectrum of Republican and independent or Democrat and endorse in the primary and endorse in the general election.  Well we’re weighing now whether we should stick with our tradition, which is just to endorse in the general election or whether we should endorse in the primaries, as well.
SWAIN: We’ve got what’s being called the Chesapeake primary, which is the D.C., Maryland and
virginia, which is now getting a lot more attention with the race not being settled.  That’s your home state region.
SIMMONS: Direct them not only on that day, but come September after the conventions and the
nominees are chosen, as well as –
SWAIN: Does the fact that this primary is increasing important, is that why you’re weighing
whether or not you want to do a primary endorsement?
SIMMONS: We didn’t have this dynamic four years ago, 12 years ago, there is a different dynamic here.  Why we didn’t weigh in whether the primary should be early or not, we think it’s important particularly since Super Tuesday is Tsunami Tuesday with so many other states weighing in.  So, we’re — that’s our discourse going on right now.  We do think it is really important, absolutely.

We’re dying to see the outcome of this deliberation — and we’ll publicly predict that if the Times does endorse in the Democratic primary, in a delicious irony they’ll pick Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama, based on her stronger position on the Iraq war.  For that same reason, we’ll predict that the Washington Post — with equal irony –  endorses John McCain prior to the Feb. 12 pundit primary.


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