(The Times Endorses)

This is the season, it seems, of the lukewarm endorsement. The Daily News devotes a classic of the form to Betsy Gotbaum today, but it will be hard to match the Times’s treatment of Freddy Ferrer.

(The Politicker’s prediction of “Anthony or Nobody” was wrong, but our parody Freddy endorsement was about right: “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.”)

Anyway, the endorsement remains hugely important, in part because it denies a potential boost to his rivals. It may well be enough to put Freddy above the 40% bar.

And here’s a (slightly) edited version:

[I]nanimate objects have been as dynamic as Mr. Ferrer, who made a few gaffes early on and then retreated into a cocoon of sound bites…, mechanically repeat[ing] the same meaningless catchphrases.

We disagree with his proposal for a temporary tax on stock trades to finance education…

Other officials deserve much of the credit for the Bronx’s comeback, [though] Mr. Ferrer can count his work there as a considerable achievement. [But] Mr. Ferrer has made his way in politics in a borough that has always been troubled by bossism, and issues of corruption and the waves of dubious political activity have sometimes washed close. The Times recently reported that a friend of Mr. Ferrer’s, someone who was jailed for soliciting payoffs on behalf of a powerful state senator, had been overheard in wiretaps promising that contributions to Mr. Ferrer would be rewarded with government contracts. (A spokesman for the candidate said Mr. Ferrer had no knowledge of the calls, which occurred when he was borough president.)

If Mr. Ferrer is going to be a decent candidate in the fall, he’s going to have to start talking like the intelligent public servant he used to be…. [But] if we’re going to make a leap of faith, we prefer to do it with Mr. Ferrer. He gets our endorsement in the Democratic primary.

(The Times Endorses)