03/28/2008 02:46 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

NYT Tells Columnists: Say Whatever You Want, Just Don't Endorse!

It was a little over a month ago that The New York Times' editorial board urged voters to cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.

On one level, the editorial was blunt.

"As Democrats look ahead to the primaries in the biggest states on Feb. 5, The Times' editorial board strongly recommends that they select Hillary Clinton as their nominee for the 2008 presidential election," the item, appearing a little less than two weeks before Super Tuesday, declared.

But to some, there were grace notes that suggested the editorial board would not be mortified to have to endorse Barack Obama in the general election come November.

The rather dainty endorsement was as politic as a college valedictorian's graduation address, and as tightly wound.

In the rest of the editorial section, the rules are exactly the opposite.

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