Friday, October 24, 2008

NYT Presidential Endorsements

The New York Times has put up a cool web-page that show's who they've endorsed in every presidential election since they endorsed Abraham Lincoln in 1860.

It's lots of fun to play with. In the past 38 presidential elections the NYT has supported Democrats 26 times (well, make that 25, because in 1896 they supported John Palmer of the National Democratic Party). Back in the 19th century they endorsed illustrious Republicans such as Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant; in the 20th century they also went for a famous (lite) Republican General-War-Hero-turned-politician, Dwight Eisenhower. Since Eisenhower, however, they've never found a Republican they could like. Moreover, the last two times they did endorse Republicans, their choices were a bit odd: Wendell Willkie, in 1940? Huh? Thomas Dewey in 1948: heh heh. And they were against Theodore Roosevelt, back in 1904.

So looking back, how good has the NYT been at choosing fine presidents? Mediocre, I'd say. In spite of them being The Grey Lady.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


There's a good reason a day-old newspaper is good for fish wrap, bird cage liners. And, to drop on the floor for the puppy; until he is better trained to go outside.

In 1940 Wendell Wilkie, who lost to FDR, was actually a "decent choice." FDR thought Wilkie was a decent man.

By the way, FDR thought General Douglas MacArthur was on par with Huey Long. Very dictatorial. Yet, in 1948 there was a good chance MacArthur (who attacked American veterans, on American soil, when Hoover was president ... And, Hoover wanted the veterans, who had come to DC for "pension money" ... to be disbanded.) MacArthur, in charge, rode ahead of the tanks. And, yes. Some veterans were killed.

While FDR was president he made his comment about MacArthur; as being one of two men whom Americans should fear. Because they were dictators at heart. Huey, from Louisiana, who'd be assassinated. And, MacArthur.

In 1948 the "powers that be" that select GOP presidential candidates, chose Dewey over MacArthur. Dewey, who had lost to FDR in 1944; did so, again, against Truman.

By that point the GOP was desperate! FDR had locked the GOP out of government since 1932. When 1952 rolled around, Eisenhower (who was asked to run by both parties!) Chose to run as a republican. Because he said he'd be "less fettered." Interestingly, enough ... like Reagan, ahead. Eisenhower did not care that "to heal the party's rifts," Nixon was chosen as his veep.

Later? Reagan took George Herbert Walker Bush as his veep. "Again, to heal internal riffs." Whatever.

Eisenhower actually led the country as a "democrat." He paired himself with LBJ. He ignored Nixon. And, every Friday when Congress was in session; LBJ would come over to the White House for Lunch with Ike. And, the two of them would sit and discuss "what could be passed; and what didn't have the votes." So Eisenhower was able to have a very successful two terms. In cinque with the democratic majority in Congress. (Where LBJ knew how to count the votes!)

It almost seems like the veep slot isn't all that big a deal. Till you look at both Nixon and Poppy Bush. And, then? You can see the way government works. The press is on the outside. But the insiders have power. They place their favorites; or to those they own political debts, into key government slots within the Executive Branch. (Which covers the world. Since it includes the diplomats at State. And, the "scret elements" at the CIA.)

What's really changed about that editorial board endorsement is how it used to work. And, how it works, today. Back in the day when Adlai Stevenson went to them ... NOT choosing their own, from "the brain trust" ... but choosing Ike? Which is hard to believe ... Must have meant that Ike was going to be better for the democrats, than the democrat.

Ike grew the American Federal Government! He added HUD and Education to the Cabinet table. (Think about it. Before Ike all schools were STATE affairs.) So, it's important to know the difference!

OH, back in the 1950's, the New York Times was considered a "rich man's paper." (And, a good place to advertise apartments for rent.)

Money, hand over fist, used to be made by newspapers; because? How else could you advertise your garage sale? OR the sale of your used car? And, space to print this was costly on a retail level. People paid a lot of money for something ... to the paper ... that was very cheap. INK.

What's turned the tables on newsprint: eBay. The Internet. That's why the money making end for newspapers has practically dropped dead.

As to endorsements? Do you really think it matters? By the time these endorsements come out ... lots of people have already chosen to vote early: Absentee. And, also "electronically." Because in some states you can! You don't have to wait.

Meanwhile, for 11/4, keep your eyes on the Electoral count. That's how presidents are picked in America. Each state has a "weighted sum." And, depending on who wins the state ... the winner "takes all" in that state's allocation. (Except in New Hampshire, and one other state, I think. Where the Electoral College votes are apportioned.) Leave it to New Hampshire to be "different."

And, if McCain loses? His biggest mistake occurred when he cancelled his first debate. To go to Bush's meeting. And, then for some reason, after listening to Obama speak for 40 minutes; he just got up and left.

McCain just walked out on the President! The meeting collapsed.

But McCain still voted for the bailout. Which was about the worst decision he could make.

Why did McCain walk out? Ya know what? Maybe, he didn't like Obama. He doesn't like Black men. And, it stuck in his craw.

He never did make a lot of sense.

And, now he's nasty.

In America, temperament counts.

FDR had a first class temperament. He enjoyed the press. He dealt with them with humor. Obama, too, seems to have this one characteristic. He's nice.

If the nice man wins; it will tell you a lot about how people react to negativity. Of course. Remains to be seen. Ten days? Twelve days?