Newspaper Endorsements Still Matter

Not as much as they used to, but yes, they still matter. Just ask Newt.

On an otherwise slow news weekend, Gingrich got some attention, and managed to dominate the news thanks to the endorsement of the Manchester Union Leader.

It’s an important endorsement in New Hampshire, even if the paper does not always pick a winner. It’s important because the paper still has a following in conservative circles. It’s important because the recipient is entitled to attention when it comes. It’s important because the newspaper has, historically anyway, been the arbiter on right leaning candidates, willing to separate the pretenders from the real thing. It also made news because it was not expected. And the person who penned the prose took a shot at Romney and correctly identified what gives conservatives pause about Mitt.

With the dawn of the internet age, newspaper editorials don’t matter as much as they used to. But when they come at an unexpected time, or help articulate a line of attack (subsequently repeated in the stories about the endorsement and providing good copy for television, radio and mail advertising) they can be helpful.

The lesson to those who are running for public office? Make sure your schedule includes editorial boards and the chance to make your case. And learn from the mistake of Herman Cain—there are consequences when you blow them off.

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Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.

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