Once upon a time it was a good and prestigious thing when a candidate received the endorsement of a sitting elected official, a senior statesman, or any generally influential person. It was an indication that people who were thought to know what they’re talking about considered one candidate more qualified than another–a feather in the cap as they say. Yet today, a voter might be inclined to consider an endorsement a negative occurrence if they listened to the cynical bloggers and columnists.
New Haven mayoral candidate and State Sen. Toni Harp was honored to get the endorsement of such heavyweights as Gov. Dannel Malloy and U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (I am consulting on the Harp campaign). Add them to the list that includes labor unions, police and firefighters groups, the majority of the New Haven Board Alderman, former candidates and state lawmakers and you have one very impressive group that thinks Harp would do the best job of those running, right? Not so fast.
Editorials from the Journal Inquirer and The Day of New London suggest that people in elected office should somehow bite their tongue on telling the electorate who they think is best qualified for the job. So it’s OK for a newspaper to make an endorsement but not someone who might actually carry some weight with voters? Please.