"When the endorsement ran, I could not get a cup of coffee in the People’s Republic of Montclair without my liberal friends taunting me." --Tom Moran, Star-Ledger

The editorial page editor of the Star-Ledger blogged Sunday that the newspaper's endorsement of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for re-election last November was "a mistake" that drew taunts from his "liberal friends."

Kena Betancur Collection: Getty Images News
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks to the media after casting his ballot in the 2013 election at the Mendham Fire Department (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

Writing "we blew this one," Tom Moran offers an explanation for the Star-Ledger editorial board's "split decision" to endorse Republican Christie over Democrat Barbara Buono:

". . . we didn’t know his crew was crazy enough to put people’s lives at risk in Fort Lee as a means to pressure the mayor. We didn’t know he would use Hurricane Sandy aid as a political slush fund. And we certainly didn’t know that Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer was sitting on a credible charge of extortion by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno."

Describing what he calls an "excruciating" process, Moran writes he and the board had to weigh Christie's support for educational quality and pension reform against Buono's left-of-Obama blank check support of teacher unions and opposition to charter schools. Also in the balance, he adds, was Buono's "more likeable" persona vs. the Star-Ledger's experience with him as "a bully."

On that last point, Moran elaborates:

"Christie has boycotted the editorial board for years, an attempt to bully us into more loving coverage. So we’ve had a front-row view of what a creep he can be."

Not that the honeymoon is permanently over. Moran writes that if the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 comes down to Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Christie, "I'd pick Christie, even now."

Well, okay then.

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