Monday, January 20, 2020


The decision by the New York Times editorial board to endorse two candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination -- Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren -- is a cop-out, but it's also a double rebuke. Endorse Klobuchar and you're snubbing Joe Biden; endorse Warren and you're rejecting Bernie Sanders.

Or maybe it's not a snub so much as an opportunity for the ed board to demonstrate discriminating taste by choosing slightly more rarefied versions of what the hoi polloi are choosing.

This isn't quite right:

No -- it's actually an endorsement of RC Cola and Boylan Cane Cola, neither one a risky or obscure choice, but both different enough from the national-consensus Top Two to suggest connoisseurship and mild iconoclasm.

This endorsement feels like one of those "Who'll win the Oscars and who should win" columns. It implies that the Academy (i.e., the electorate) is about to make wrong picks, and here's the right one. Or more than one right one -- in the Times, such columns are usually written by a pair of film critics, their distinct alternate choices running in parallel down two columns of newsprint. There's no right answer. And that's the message of this endorsement: The voters are wrong, but sorry, there isn't a clear correct choice. That's not really helpful.

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