You have to give the State Journal credit. At least they're earnest. Their endorsements of candidates are so superficial, so dependent on regurgitated clichés from campaign advertisements and so lacking in evidence that the reader is left to conclude that the century-old newspaper's editors are no better-educated on issues than the average swing voter. But at least I get the sense that they believe what they write.
For instance, you can probably trace their Sunday endorsement of Scott Walker for governor to Walker's many vague claims about cutting wasteful spending and creating jobs. Never mind that Walker has only offered one example of a way to cut state spending, and that the only specific measure he has proposed to stimulate economic growth -- repeal of small income tax hikes on the wealthiest family incomes -- amounts to a drop in the bucket for the state economy. It's all about the message, as well as that awesome brown bag of his.
They didn't quite go so far as mentioning that he eats a ham sandwich for lunch everyday -- but they got awful close when they lauded his salary givebacks. Career politicians don't think in terms of money guys -- money is simply a political investment, especially if you've been running for governor for the best part of a decade.
I would argue the State Journal endorsement is a bad omen for the Barrett campaign, however. Their drinking of the Walker Kool-aid is emblematic of many middle-of-the-road voters during a year that already is leaning Republican.
When I read a Cap Times endorsement, I sense very different motives. The Cap Times editors are highly political progressives who understand the game of politics and use it to advocate for their candidates. In addition to the facts they use to support Russ Feingold's candidacy, they also delve into all kinds of dubious rhetorical appeals, such as bashing Paul Ryan for being cozy with "East Coast elitists," and Reince Priebus for "not respecting the Tea Party." In the past, they have praised Dave Westlake for being a "true conservative." If Westlake ever had any chance of winning, they would have not allowed him such kind descriptions.
Who am I supposed to trust? The dumb but honest State Journal or the smarter but sly Cap Times?