John Farmer, Sr., the legendary but aging Star-Ledger editorial page editor, told the National Journal that GOP gubernatorial candidate Christopher Christie was the front-runner for their newspaper endorsement before independent Christopher Daggett came into their editorial board and blew them away. . "He was so good we brought him back a second time," Farmer told On Call, a National Journal publication.
Farmer said that Christie has played it safe – a reference to criticism that he has not been specific enough on his plans for taxes and budgets. Christie's "arithmetic…didn't add up," Farmer told them, "and I think that hurt his credibility." Calling him a "chaplain on a pirate ship," Farmer made it clear that Gov. Jon Corzine was never really in the running for an endorsement by the state's largest newspaper.
The Star-Ledger announced this week that they expect to cut another fifty full-time jobs amidst scary economic forecasts. (There is, of course, a temptation to suggest that they ask Mark Matzen to help them become a bit more creative.) The newspaper's political team appears to be safe: the Star-Ledger has just invested in some billboards to expand the name ID of their "A Team" – Pulitzer Prize winner Josh Margolin, young rising star Claire Heininger, and Tom Moran, who rejoined the newspaper after a short stint at PSE&G. The word is that Moran is Farmer's heir apparent.