NJ Politics Digest: Area Newspaper Sort of Endorses Murphy

Phil Murphy. Kevin B. Sanders for Observer

Phil Murphy mostly swept the endorsements from the New Jersey area’s editorial writers, although the state’s two largest newspapers were not exactly thrilled to choose the Democrat in the governor’s race.

A schizophrenic editorial from the Star-Ledger purported to endorse Murphy — right before kicking him in the shins for being closer to the New Jersey Education Association than South Jersey Democrats. (It all makes sense if you’ve read a ton of Star-Ledger editorials.)

The newspaper called Republican Kim Guadagno “the worst nominee of either major party to come along in decades.” For those keeping score, not even Chris Christie, whom the Ledger endorsed and then retroactively unendorsed after his re-election and Bridgegate, was as bad as his female lieutenant governor.

The Bergen Record had a more coherent but still slightly critical view, backing Murphy because he offered a “more progressive, inclusive agenda” than Guadagno, but wishing for “more dynamic choices, more specifics and, frankly, more vision.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer was unabashed, endorsing Murphy because he “has the right sensitivities, background, and priorities to govern.” The New York Times did not wade too deeply into the issues but said picking Murphy was “not even a close call” because he guaranteed an end to the Christie era, arguing that Guadagno would be Christie’s mirror image.

The Asbury Park Press was the lone major newspaper to endorse Guadagno, calling her “best equipped” to address New Jersey’s highest-in-the-nation property taxes. Their editorial board said Murphy built a campaign on “snake-oil promises,” but their analysis of those promises inflated the cost of what Murphy actually has proposed.

Quote of the Day: “I’m not going to run a transition like Jon Corzine ran. Jon Corzine and I had two conversations from election night to inauguration day, and quite frankly I think I was lesser for it, and the state was lesser for it.” — Gov. Chris Christie on communicating with the winner of the governor’s race.

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NJ Politics Digest: Area Newspaper Sort of Endorses Murphy