Rather Have the Swine Flu - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Rather Have the Swine Flu

In an interview making the rounds on the Internet, Conservative South Florida Congressman Allan West, locked in a competitive race with Democrat Patrick Murphy, tells a Palm Beach Post reporter that he doesn’t want that paper’s endorsement.

“I want you to continue to endorse the other guy,” West said, “because they’re the ones who always lose.”

This exchange reminds me of an incident in my early reporting days when I worked for a NYT-owned daily in conservative Central Florida, a paper that took liberal editorial stands. It was (and is) out of step with the community it serves. I continually had to explains to the people I dealt with on my beat, which included the citrus town of Haines City, that I didn’t write editorials and had nothing to do with the dopey stands the paper took on its editorial page. One day I jokingly said to a smart, down-to-earth city councilman named Herb Key, who was up for re-election, that there was “still time to make an appointment with the editorial board and perhaps get the Ledger‘s endorsement.” Herb laughed and replied, “Larry, I’d rather have the swine flu.” 

Herb won. I can’t remember, but a good guess is most of the Ledger‘s picks that cycle did not. I don’t know what the Palm Beach Post‘s batting average is in picking candidates. But I’m sure Allan West does.

Larry Thornberry
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Larry Thornberry is a writer in Tampa.
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