The Charlotte Observer changes its mind

At a time when my newspaper is getting justifiable criticism for not taking a stand on the hottest issue before voters in the May 8 N.C. primary, the Charlotte Observer editorial board shows another way things can be done.

It changed its mind and its endorsement this morning about a congressional candidate.

What a run for Republican Jim Pendergraph. After winning the Observer’s endorsement in his bid for Congress, he has done nothing but embarrass us and himself.

By buddying up to one of America’s more hateful egomaniacs and then joining with fringe “birthers” to question President Obama’s citizenship, Pendergraph has contradicted much of what he told the Observer’s editorial board in his endorsement interview last month. As a result, we have lost faith in him, and urge voters to consider Edwin Peacock or Ric Killian in the 9th Congressional District race.

Editorial boards don’t change their minds often. It suggests inconsistency — even though it’s not — and that they may have been wrong in the first place. Not surprisingly, the paper is taking it on the chin in the comments. But the critics are wrong. The Observer did the right thing. What it did was what any thinking person would do when he realizes he no longer likes or trusts a candidate — it explained itself and endorsed someone else in time to let voters know.