Exactly a month ago, after the Seattle Times editorial board transparently feigned bipartisanship by endorsing Barack Obama, I wrote:
As expected, the Seattle Times editorial board has endorsed Barack Obama for President of the United States, paving the way for endorsements of Republicans Dino Rossi, Rob McKenna, Sam Reed, Allan Martin, Dave Reichert and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, all the while leaving their vaunted bipartisan principles intact. At least, in their own minds.
In fact, with the possible exception of the race for Commissioner of Public Lands, I can’t imagine a single additional closely contested statewide or federal race in WA state in which the Times endorses a Democrat.
I’d be happy to be proven wrong. But I wouldn’t bet on it.
So, how did my predictions turn out? As of today, the Seattle Times has endorsed Republicans Dino Rossi, Rob McKenna, Sam Reed, Allan Martin, Dave Reichert and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, while Democratic challenger Peter Goldmark did indeed get the ed board’s nod for Commissioner of Public Lands. I ran the table.
Of course, the Times will publish meaningless endorsements of Democratic incumbents in the virtually uncontested races for Lt. Governor, Auditor and Insurance Commissioner (nominally Democratic in the case of Owen and Sonntag), but with the exception of Obama and Goldmark, the editors of the self-proclaimed paper of record for one of the bluest cities in America are once again backing a full slate of Republicans for every high profile contested statewide or federal race.
As is their right, I suppose.
But how thoughtful and meaningful are editorial endorsements when they can be so easily predicted a month in advance?
I’d say, not very.
I want to be clear that I did not attempt to predict the Seattle P-I’s endorsements, because I couldn’t. No doubt the P-I’s ed board tends to lean significantly more liberal than the Times, but they are still media establishment types who overwhelmingly favor incumbents. And, as naive a notion as it is, the P-I seems to genuinely embrace nonpartisanship as a lofty ideal, whereas the Times merely manipulatively embraces it as useful rhetoric.