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Opening Arguments

Board stiff

Awww, the fragile flowers; did their feelings get hurted?

Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst skipped out on a scheduled meeting with The Des Moines Register on Thursday, prompting criticism from one of the paper's leading political columnists.

"Is Joni Ernst afraid of newspaper editorial boards?" Rekha Basu, a Register columnist, wrote on Facebook. "After much negotiating, she was scheduled to meet this morning with writers and editors at The Des Moines Register, but last night her people called to unilaterally cancel."

Basu noted that Ernst, an Iowa state senator, had also "begged off meetings with The Cedar Rapids Gazette and The Dubuque Telegraph-Herald."

Ernst's decision to skip out on the Register meeting, which a campaign spokesperson confirmed Thursday, may pertain to an onslaught of critical columns.

In the past week, the Register has published several editorials faulting Ernst's policies. Last Friday, it criticized her for remarks she had made about poverty; on Monday, Basu wrote a wide-ranging critique titled, "This isn't the Iowa woman we should elect"; and on Tuesday, the paper slammed Ernst for supporting a measure that would add a "personhood" amendment to the Iowa Constitution.

Grow up, guys. It's a tought world out there, and not everybody cares about your stupid editorial board. Why should a candidate waste her time with people who obviously aren't going to endorse her?

Every election, I'm stood up by at least one candidate, and usually without that phone call "unilaterally cancelling" the meeting. They just don't show up. This year there were two, although one stopped by to apolgize later. (We ended up endorsing him, which goes to show that the face-to-face interview isn't everything.)

Frankly, I'm surprised so many of the candidates do show up. We're a conservative editorial page and make no secret of the fact that, all other things being equal, we'll generally endorse the more conservative canddiates. And yet the not-so-conservative (i.e. liberal) candidates offer themselves up to our questioning year after year.

Must be my winning personality.


Larry Morris
Fri, 10/24/2014 - 9:25am

Yeah, you keep thinking that, Leo ...