In what may be the meekest newspaper endorsement of the season, The Philadelphia Enquirer might as well have told New Jersey voters to sit this one out.
“Reluctantly, we endorse Sen. Bob Menendez for N.J. Senate.”
Even the picture they use of him in their “endorsement” makes him look like an oaf. And even the comma just hangs there in the air like a giant thud.
What they write after is as weak sauce as the headline.
“It’s a dismal election with bad choices,” writes members of the editorial board.
So the choice is a grim contest of two Bobs: a Republican, Bob Hugin, who has no government experience. Or, Bob Menendez, whose corruption trial “detailed how he accepted lavish gifts and did government favors for a major donor whom he described as a ‘friend.'”
It gets worse.
“Menendez may not be guilty of a crime. But he is guilty of betraying the public trust — and his own legacy.”
“Depressing, isn’t it?” they ask rhetorically. “Yet, voters are still going to have to make a choice.”
Much of the editorial commands the Democratic senator to act like an honorable human being — and not the sleaze they think he is.
“If New Jersey gives him a second chance and elects him to a third term, he has an unwavering obligation to act with integrity at all times. He told the Inquirer Editorial Board that he would be more careful when advocating for issues his friends raise … How he missed it the first time is hard to imagine.”