Weiner or Nobody?

It’s about time to venture onto the treacherous, irresponsible, and totally speculative ground of trying to predict the Times’s endorsement in the Democratic Primary for Mayor, probably the main factor in determining who, if anyone, winds up in a run-off with Freddy Ferrer.

One possibility for Collins & Co. is endorsing Freddy “in the interest of a spirited race” or something along those lines. “We hope that, over the next month, Mr. Ferrer can prove that he is not the uninspired machine hack we’ve always taken him for.”

(In 2001, the Times complained that “Mr. Ferrer is the product of the Bronx Democratic machine and his career has hewed closely to the party organization’s political rulebook.”)

But that seems a long shot.

Meanwhile, Gifford’s various process-related transgressions seem to have ended the page’s romance with him, though he still uses clips from the good old days in his television spot. And Virginia‘s Citizens Union backing gives her an outside shot.

But as one person with as good a guess as any, and no interest in Anthony‘s campaign, put it this morning, it’s probably “Anthony or nobody.” If you buy into Weiner’s vision thing, and overlook his attempts to tack right, perhaps an endorsement involving the words “promising young man” can be produced.

The Times, however, seems almost bound to back the man it has largely embraced since endorsing against him in 2001, Mike Bloomberg. (Back then, he was “ill matched to the job he covets.”) Despite blowing up the campaign finance system and pouring his energy into the West Side Stadium, Bloomberg has basically governed from the Times’s portion of the political spectrum — pragmatic Manhattan liberalism. And given that probable endorsement in November, they could wind up scolding the Democratic field with a “pox on all your houses” editorial, a backhanded gift to the Ferrer campaign. Weiner or Nobody?