Editorial: Why we’re endorsing so early

So why wait?

The political season in recent years has grown so long that it seems interminable. Maybe even unendurable. Whatever qualities recommend the candidates, whatever faults argue against these office-seekers, the cases for or against them are so nakedly out there that you want to hand them a raincoat to preserve their modesty.

Likewise, the statewide ballot initiatives and local measures. The arguments pro and con have reached flood level. They’re all over the air waves, the Internet, the newspapers — and they might just wash away your mailbox.

Today, The Examiner cries “Enough!” We’ve just spared you another five weeks of the political silly season. As you’ve no doubt noticed (unless you habitually turn to this page first), on the front page we publish our recommendations for your vote Nov. 7. If you were waiting for us to do the traditional newspaper thing and publish our ballot recommendations on, say, the weekend before Election Day, then again on Election Day, then say hello to another Examiner first.

Sure, we’ll continue to print the most complete and unbiased coverage of the races right through Election Day, along with reasoned editorials. And we’ll publish comprehensive election guides between now and then. Political junkies and responsible voters alike will find all they need in these pages. And, of course, we’ll remind you of our positions at the eleventh hour — not that you’d forget them.

We do sense that citizens want all the campaigning accelerated and resolved. That’s why in recent elections some 40 percent of voters cast absentee ballots weeks before the polling places opened. It’s as if these voters want to show the politicians how to make up their minds.

We’ve made up our minds, and today you see our judgments. We humbly believe these recommendations — note our bipartisanship — will advance The City, the Bay Area, California and the nation. There are serious matters concerning our schools, our infrastructure, our energy, our taxes. You should know that we’ve weighed each issue carefully and conducted exhaustive interviews across the political playing field.

You didn’t ask, but, yes, we do reserve the right to change our minds. Even so, we don’t expect events to alter the issues. Could a new scandal fatally injure a candidate in the next five weeks? Of course.

But, as longtime journalists, we’re leery of October surprises that emanate from opposition research. You should be, too.

So clip and save today’s Examiner front page. Hand it out to your friends, neighbors and colleagues. Itlooks sporty behind a refrigerator magnet. When you go to your precinct’s polling place, once you’re behind the curtain, spread it out in front of you, smooth out its creases, and refer to it.

Oh, and, between then and now, argue with us. We like that.

Part of The San Francisco Examiner's 2006 election coverage. editorialsOpinion

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