Buyer’s Remorse

Buyer’s Remorse

Buyer’s Remorse

A campaign blog.
April 23 2008 11:40 AM

Buyer’s Remorse

The New York Times editorial page posted its post-Pennsylvania reaction last night, the gist of which suggests they may be regretting their previous endorsement of Hillary Clinton. They don’t quite urge her to drop out, but they do chide her for the campaign’s "negativity, for which she is mostly responsible."

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The timing on this feels odd. The consensus of late seems to be that both camps have been equally responsible for the campaign’s negative tone. The Times makes sure to note that "Mr. Obama is not blameless when it comes to the negative and vapid nature of this campaign," but it pins the majority of the blame on Clinton. For them, the final straw (or maybe just the most recent) was Clinton’s last-minute ad invoking 9/11 and Osama Bin Laden coupled with her promise to "obliterate" Iran should they attack Israel.

There’s obviously no way to quantify negativity of ads or statements. And it gets even messier when they start attacking each other for attacking each other. Eventually the umbrage and counter-attacks and recriminations build to such a frenzy that you forget who threw the first punch. Given this, it’s easy to fall back on a "pox on both your houses" blanket condemnation. The fact that the Times didn’t do this—rather, they went out of their way to single out Clinton—suggests they’re trying to walk back their original endorsement.

Makes you wonder if they’re implicitly suggesting that Clinton’s superdelegates do the same.

Update 1:34 p.m.: I neglected to mention that the Times almost endorsed Obama .