Lexington Herald-Leader endorses Obama, publisher favors Romney

Rufus Friday: Favors Romney

The Lexington Herald-Leader on Sunday endorsed President Obama, saying that he “can be trusted to look out for all Americans.”

The paper’s publisher doesn’t agree. Rufus Friday tells readers that “Romney is better suited to address the shortage in jobs and related problems that plague the country and the world.”

Editorial page editor Vanessa Gallman tells Romenesko readers that there are five people on the McClatchy paper’s editorial board and that Friday “was the only supporter of Romney and did try to sway others.”

She writes in an email:

He did not threaten to veto the edit and did not demand rewrites.

Vanessa Gallman

The publisher, who came up through circulation, was not comfortable writing a dissenting column (which the last publisher once did on a local-government matter) yet he wanted his view reflected inside the endorsement. That seemed much too disconcerting for readers, so we agreed on the separate statement.

This has generated a lot less community reaction than I expected. A few readers have criticized the publisher for what they see as hubris, a few were thankful to know he is conservative, a few said the rest of the edit board should have followed his lead.

The Obama endorsement, she says, “was no surprise to our readers. Lexington, along with Louisville and a few mountain counties, were the only specks of blue in this red state in 2008.”

* Re-elect President Obama (kentucky.com)
* Minority view: Choose Romney (kentucky.com)