To be honest with you, I've always thought that when you're running for office, getting the endorsement of a publication -- your hometown newspaper -- was important, but not critical.
On down-ballot races, I suspect there are plenty of folks who, if they like their newspaper, just check the endorsements and vote that way. There are probably a few, who, if they dislike their hometown fishwrapper, go the other way at the ballot box.
Same thing is kind of true for celebrity endorsements. If you like Matt Damon, and don't follow politics even a little bit, then maybe you'll vote for Obama because he will. Or, if you really, really disliked the Bourne series, then maybe you'll go McCain.
Actually, I think things change a little bit at the presidential level.
Esquire magazine -- a fashionable men's magazine, or a men's fashionable magazine; anyway, it's glossy and nice and the stuff in there is way too cool for me, so that should tell you something -- has come out with a strong endorsement for Barack Obama.
Why am I telling you this? Because they make a great point:
So much is at stake in this election -- and the Supreme Court ought to be right at the top of your list. The next president is likely to make at least two appointments to the Supreme Court, and maybe more. A McCain presidency will guarantee you a far-right conservative court for a generation.
The Esquire piece is actually very well written, quite eloquent. I encourage you to read it.
But if getting your political advice from a magazine that kind of smells like very expensive men's cologne is not your thing, then try this on for size: Colin Powell has endorsed Senator Obama. His endorsement is equally -- perhaps more -- eloquent than Esquire's.
Now, whether you have made your mind up about Obama or not, it is important that you watch the clip of Secretary Powell on Meet The Press.
Of course, I think Secretary Powell is talking about more than just an endorsement of one candidate over another (although he does clearly endorse Obama). He's talking about the direction the country has gone with regards to "us versus them" politics.
And he talks about a soldier who gave his life in Iraq. Twenty years old.
It's important that you hear this story. I just hope other politicians will listen to it as well.