Friday, October 24, 2008

148 years of Times endorsements

At a time when many newspapers are debating whether they should make election endorsements, the New York Times not only presents its strong case for Barack Obama today, but also puts up a nifty online feature with every presidential endorsement going back to Lincoln's first, in 1860.

The page, "New York Times Endorsements Through the Ages," offers a timeline of those 38 elections, with color-coded squares indicating which party got the nod (and which was elected), a photo of the endorsed nominee, an excerpt from the endorsement and -- here's the real treat -- a link to the original editorial, usually in the .pdf format.

It's fun to look back and see where the Times was in sync with the electorate and where it wasn't -- no fan of Teddy Roosevelt, these guys.

Scanning through big batches of them you can see when the editors really believed in their pick (on Lincoln, "we shall have honesty and manliness instead of meanness and corruption in the Executive Branch"), and when, as with John Kerry in 2004, they were clearly holding their noses and making the best of a bad choice.

(The above photo, lifted from Wikipedia, is of John M. Palmer, the National Democratic Party nominee in 1896 whose candidacy wasn't helped by the Times endorsement. He lost to Republican William McKinley ... and Democrat William Jennings Bryan.)

1 comment:

freda said...

Thanks for the links, very interesting.