Gail Collins Speaks

Reporters don’t always treat the New York Times Editorial Board as the independent power source it is in New York’s electoral politics, but there’s no ignoring this one: the Times comes out, unequivocally, and at great length, against the West Side Stadium.

This will have some immediate effects on the mayor’s race, because it will provoke fantasies for Freddy, Anthony, and Gifford that they can capture that valuable Times endorsement. The Times has been Bloomberg’s best friend in the city for the last three years — occasionally seemed to be his only friend — and this is the first major breach. (We’re not counting non-partisan elections as major.)

So expect to see the Democrats run right at the Times on a handful of issues, notably campaign finance reform, where you can glimpse some more daylight between Ms. Collins and the Mayor. Today’s editorial may also have the effect of reigning in the killer instincts of certain candidates’ close advisors, at least until after the Times…Inevitably…and with a bit of tut-tutting about the stadium…endorses the Mayor for re-election.