Monday, October 30, 2006

Will the Herald Endorse Kerry Healey?

Most other bloggers, lefty readers and a horde of others have probably just assumed a Herald endorsement of Kerry Healey. However, on more than one occasion I've felt like going against the grain and warning people to not be stunned if the Herald makes an endorsement of a different color. Even before the Herald endorsed Senator Kennedy and Martha Coakley, both Democrats, I had my doubts.

Why? The Herald certainly is hackish, but the editors aren't quite beyond the realm of reason - they've yet to reach the shilldom of their own Howie Carr, for example. And for those of you who would argue, "but they hired Carr!!" I'd counter with "well, the Globe hired Jeff Jacoby" - and he's a plagiarist.

What we, as readers, must first remember is that the Herald is a tabloid newspaper. While it's a rightward-leaning tabloid, it certainly isn't afraid to unleash the bad on Kerry Healey - as it's done on more than one occasion during this election season. As long as it sells, it probably goes. So, we can't automatically expect them to endorse Kerry Healey just because they are either viewed as being the crazy right wing paper or because they think Deval Patrick's sister's marriage is newsworthy.

Furthermore, there are a confluence of events that have led me to believe that Kerry has - at best - about a 50-50 shot of getting the nomination. For one, the Herald has nominated two Democrats for state-wide office this year - including Senator Kennedy, who they admirably praised ("no single individual in political life today has done more for this state and its people than Ted Kennedy"). Martha Coakley's endorsement could be stronger!

Beyond the Herald's other recent endorsements, there are a number of other things to look at. The Worcester Telegram endorsed Kerry Healey, much to the surprise of readers. The Telegram, as some may know, isn't exactly a liberal bastion. Most importantly, the writing seems to be on the wall. No one likes to back the losing horse - and Kerry Healey seems about as lame as Seabiscuit stuffed with cotton. It would be one thing to write a clearly contrived editorial (as the Herald did with Tom Reilly during the primary) if they thought their candidate had a chance - but when there is no such hope? We all know newspaper editorials aren't as important as some would think, but newspapers certainly aren't going to be ecstatic to illustrate just how useless their editorial space can be during the middle of an election.

So who will the Herald endorse? Perhaps, if they just don't like Deval Patrick, they'll pick Christy Mihos. While he has an even smaller chance of winning than Kerry Healey, at least one could write a great editorial about 'bucking' the mainstream choices and going with a real independent. Maybe the Herald will go for Deval, just less enthusiastic than the Boston Globe's ringing editorial.

Maybe the Herald will still pull the lever for Kerry Healey? However, if that's the case, I highly doubt it will be an enthusiastic voice of support. I could be completely wrong and be overestimating the Herald here, but with the fact that Kerry Healey has been such a horrible candidate - and the fact that she's looking worse and worse (in the polls, especially) - I'd be fairly stunned if Herald would put itself in that sort of a position.

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