Both newspapers’ respective editorial boards lean heavily to the ideological left; both dailies endorsed Governor Christie’s rival Jon Corzine in 2009. Consequently, both endorsements were actually “qualified.”
“Our own view is that Christie is overrated,” opined the Ledger‘s editorial board led by long-time Christie antagonist Tom Moran. “His spin is way ahead of his substance.” Yeah, pretty harsh stuff! In fact, the entire thing reads more like a chastisement than an endorsement.
The board left little doubt that it’s endorsement was really a rejection of Buono:
“Buono lacks the strategic savvy to be a successful governor. She commands little respect among fellow Democrats, who have abandoned her in droves, with nearly 50 elected officials endorsing Christie. She is a loner in the Senate who derides political bargains as ‘back-room deals.’”
The Inky endorsement took the same approach.
My theory? Newspapers are businesses albeit badly mismanaged businesses. They see the writing on the wall; it would take a scandal of historic proportions to derail the Christie reelection juggernaut with only two weeks to go before voters head to the polls.
Recognizing his inevitability, I suspect the liberal editorial boards gambled they could do more good by getting everyone’s attention with surprise Christie endorsements that nevertheless read like indictments of, as the Ledger put it, his “conservative instincts.”
I’m sure the Governor couldn’t care less why they decided to back him. His team appreciates any new opportunity to confirm that overwhelming sense of inevitability which they hope keeps Democrat base voters at home on Nov. 5th.