One of two things must be happening at The Boston Globe:
- It must really be gnawing at the editorial writers at The Globe that the GOP has controlled the governor's mansion in Massachusetts, nearly the bluest of all blue states, for over a decade, and they just couldn't take it any more.
- The Editorial Board has raised the standards of conduct for presidential aspirants to dizzying heights.
How else to explain The Globe's December 15 editorial (HT to James Taranto of Best of the Web) demanding that current Governor Mitt Romney, who recently announced that he will not run for reelection in 2006, resign immediately?:
OUR NEW YEAR'S wish: a governor who wouldn't rather be elsewhere.
By thumbing his nose at Massachusetts after less than three-quarters of one term as its chief executive, Mitt Romney, yesterday surrendered his clout and squandered his legitimacy. If, as it appears, his heart and mind are no longer in Massachusetts, he should resign.
Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey is inexperienced. But the state would be far better off in the hands of someone focused on state problems, rather than someone touring the country ridiculing the people he was elected to serve.
Keep in mind that Mr. Romney has not declared that he will run for president, has not even formed an exploratory committee, and that it is 2 years before the Iowa caucuses and the early primaries. The Globe's 2005 standards for continuing in the Governor's Mansion now include a total lack of presidential ambitions.
This has to a new standard at The Globe, as they failed to demand the resignations of at least these past governors:
- Democrat Michael Dukakis, who stayed on as Massachusetts governor during and after his unsuccessful 1984 presidential campaign.
- Democrat Bill Clinton, who stayed on as Arkansas Governor during his successful 1992 presidential run.
- Then-Texas GOP Governor George W. Bush, who stayed in office until he won in 2000.
But why stop at governor? By the new Globe standard, surely a United States Senator or Congressperson can't focus on his or her job if presidential ambition has reared its ugly head.
To be consistent, The Globe in the past would have demanded the resignations of at least the following during the past two presidential election cycles:
- 2004 Presidential candidate John Kerry.
- 2004 Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards.
- 2004 Democrat aspirants Bob Graham, Joe Lieberman, Dennis Kucinich, and Richard Gephardt.
- 2000 GOP candidate John McCain.
Readers can certainly provide many more examples from previous campaigns.
And of course, if we go back far enough, Massachusetts favorite son and then-Senator John F. Kennedy would have been required by 2005 Globe standards to resign before he ran and won in 1960.
Now that The Globe has raised the bar, I am looking forward to its future editorial demands on 2008 presidential aspirants:
- The Globe will of course demand that Hillary Clinton not run for reelection as senator from New York unless she renounces any presidential ambitions. Failing that, they will surely demand that she resign as soon as she forms an exploratory committee.
- The Globe will require the resignation of Senator John McCain, and any other senator or congressperson from either side of the aisle, once they indicate that they are setting their sights on, or even a furtive glance at, The White House.
I'll be watching The Globe to ensure that they continue to insist on their new standard.
Wait. It couldn't be that The Editorial Board is merely taking gratuitous shots at Mitt Romney, could it?
(Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com)