Campaign Endorsements - A Strange Game

Submitted by getoutandvote on Sun, 10/25/2009 - 20:32.

Campaign endorsements can be a funny game.  In ward 14, the race for endorsements seems to be the race within the race.  While candidates are quick to state that most voters do not pay attention to endorsements, they usually only state that when questioned on why they did not obtain a particular endorsement.  And what of the endorsers - what makes an individual or groups opinion worthy of consideration?  Who to listen to?  Is anyone listening?

In the primary, it was interesting to see the mayor come out to publicly support and endorse Santiago - whom most had agreed brought embarassment to his ward.  Why the endorsement, he was asked - the response:  loyalty.  Santiago had supported all of the mayor's initiatives, and so the mayor was supporting him.  Should loyalty be placed above all else - decency, competency, experience and qualifcations?  Does the mayor's reputation now diminish because his candidate lost?  It doesn't seem to, as everyone expects his re-election.  Did the mayor's endorsement help Santiago?  Not enough to advance him past the primary.  Did anyone benefit - did anyone care?

The Plain Dealer in their endorsement of Council President Sweeney stated that he does not deserve to retain his council presidency because of a sexual harassment charge and other leadership foibles, but went on to say he's done good for the ward and should keep his council seat.  So an endorsement can be a show of support and an admonishment at the same time?  No one else in the race could have conceivably done a good job for the ward?

Four years ago, after not advancing past the primary, Nagin was one of numerous opposition candidates that then endorsed Cummins over the incumbent for the Ward 15 council race.  It would have been interesting if Cummins and Cintron had advanced from the primaries.  Would Nagin have supported Cummins as he did four years ago, or the councilman he had worked for.  Another strange twist, Cintron has come out to support Cummins.  If the race was between Cintron and Nagin, where would Cummins' loyalty have fallen?  Does any of it matter?  If it does, maybe it shouldn't.

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