Longtime New York Times reporter and columnist Nicholas Kristof officially announced he’s running for Governor of Oregon -- as a Democrat, of course. Kristof stepped down from his columnist duties earlier this month after 37 years at the liberal newspaper.
After joining the Times in 1984, initially covering economics, he served as a Times correspondent in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Tokyo. He rose to be the associate managing editor, responsible for Sunday editions. He's been a columnist for most of this century.
In an interview with Portland’s KGW-TV, he said "It was a wonderful perch, but when your friends and people you deeply care about are suffering, and you’re attending funeral after funeral, then that perch and writing columns that are read in the White House doesn’t mean as much as knowing that you’re going to be going to another funeral," Kristof said. His most recent book is Tightrope, where he reported more than one-quarter of the kids on his school bus have passed away. He uses that as his campaign pitch, and makes his journalism career as nobler than career politicians.
“I have never run for political office in my life. But I have spent a lifetime shining a light into the darkest corners of the globe."
Kristof told KGW his top three priorities are "homelessness and affordable housing," "improving the state's education system" and "creating good jobs," particularly in climate technology to make a new Silicon Valley for the planet.
He's going to have a carpet-bagger problem. Primary opponents will probably note their state constitution states that any candidate for governor must have been an Oregon resident for three years prior to the election.
Ten Democratic candidates total have either filed or announced their candidates for governor, including Kristof. Gov. Kate Brown has reached her term limit and can’t run again.
Joseph Wulfsohn at Fox News recalled that in one column, Kristof tried to downplay the radical element in Portland's violent protests.
"I’ve been on the front lines of the protests here, searching for the "radical-left anarchists" who President Trump says are on Portland streets each evening," Kristof began the piece. "I thought I’d found one: a man who for weeks leapt into the fray and has been shot four times with impact munitions yet keeps coming back. I figured he must be a crazed anarchist. But no, he turned out to be Dr. Bryan Wolf, a radiologist who wears his white doctor’s jacket and carries a sign with a red cross and the words ‘humanitarian aid.’ He pleads with federal forces not to shoot or gas protesters."
"OK, I’ll fess up: Sure there are anarchists and antifa activists in the Portland protests, just as there are radiologists and electricians, lawyers and mechanics. Report on the ground here and any single narrative feels too simplistic. The protesters aren’t all peaceful, nor are they primarily violent. They’re a complicated weave, differing by time of day," Kristof later wrote....
"If you want to call one side ‘rioters’ or ‘anarchists’ working to create tumult in Portland, it’s the uninvited feds who qualify," Kristof added.
Kristof has powerful friends. His Harvard classmate Jeffrey Toobin proclaimed "I'm not surprised to see him emerge as the moral conscience of our generation of journalists. I am surprised to see him as the Indiana Jones of our generation of journalists."