COMMENTARY | New Hampshire's most prominent right-leaning newspaper, the Union Leader, gave its endorsement Sunday to Newt Gingrich as the candidate to back in the January Republican presidential primary. As a newspaper of record in New Hampshire, where the first-in-the-nation primary is held, you'd think publisher Joseph W. McQuaid could have been a little more specific in his endorsement.
The editorial lacked clear reasons to support Gingrich, citing tired buzzwords rather than offering much by way of substantive fact.
"We are in critical need of the innovative, forward-looking strategy and positive leadership that Gingrich has shown he is capable of providing," gushes the editorial. That's about as specific and useful as endorsing the Muppet Swedish Chef because he can provide lots of bork-bork-bork.
The editorial then offers Gingrich's "Contract with America" -- an old, failed policy from the past -- as an example of forward-looking strategy. It calls yesterday's plans "forward-looking." The editorial might as well have called the Dead Sea Scrolls "a road map of the future." Perhaps the piece was written in the passenger seat of a time-traveling DeLorean and next week's editorial will be entitled "Save the Clock Tower."
The piece continues by suggesting our nation is in peril. From what, one wonders? There's no enemy army marching on Washington at the moment and that hunk of space debris actually failed to strike the U.S. a few weeks ago. McQuaid doesn't offer much as an example of a credible threat.
He seems to downplay the utterly ridiculous activities on the part of the right-wing candidates, though, calling them the "candidates' minor miscues." Miscues, lest we forget, that include such minor infractions as possibly sexually harassing several women, supporting torture via waterboarding and offering what amounts to an amnesty program for the children of illegal aliens.
The editorial then praises Gingrich as being "grounded in their core beliefs about this nation and its people." It's telling that it omits any mention of what those core beliefs might be. Evaluations of Gingrich's plans reveal them to be detrimental to most of the nation's citizens. If my recommended candidate's core beliefs appeared to be "help the rich most of all" I'd probably leave them out of my writing, too.
The piece calls Gingrich "the best candidate who is actually running." If he's the best the Republicans have to offer maybe the Union Leader should endorse President Barack Obama.