New Jersey's largest newspaper backed Republican Gov. Chris Christie in his re-election bid on Sunday, but the editorial was hardly a glowing endorsement.
The New Jersey Star-Ledger argued that the incumbent governor has many flaws but that he would still run the state better than the Democratic nominee, state Sen. Barbara Buono.
Recent polls show Christie with a solid lead that hovers between 24 and 29 percentage points, with the November 5 election a little more than two weeks away.
The paper spelled out Christie's accomplishments, which the editorial labeled "only modest," during his first term but argued that he's been able to work with the Democratic-controlled legislature by essentially manipulating its members.
"Balance that against his measurable failures, and you have to conclude he is much better at politics than he is at governing," the editorial stated.
Hitting on a number of what it describes as his flaws, the paper concluded that Christie is "overrated" and that his "spin is way ahead of his substance."
But the paper, which endorsed independent candidate Chris Daggett during the 2009 election, said Christie's opponent is even more disappointing as a candidate.
The editorial board cited Buono's close ties to the teachers union as a "threat to the progress Christie is making" in education in big cities.
"Another big concern: Buono lacks the strategic savvy to be a successful governor," the editorial continued. "She commands little respect among fellow Democrats, who have abandoned her in droves, with nearly 50 elected officials endorsing Christie."
But the paper didn't squarely blame Buono for what it considers her failed candidacy; it argued that her party failed to put forth the most viable person.
"The Democratic Party punted on this race," the editorial board wrote.
However, the party showed its support on Sunday, with Senator-elect Cory Booker turning out for Buono at a campaign event.
With Christie as a potential 2016 presidential contender, the board said it fears he could become even more conservative to attract Republican voters in the presidential primaries.
"The endorsement of Christie comes with the hope that Democrats hold control of the Legislature to contain his conservative instincts," the paper wrote.
As for Buono, the editorial board offered a consolation.
"She had an impressive run in the Legislature, and deserves praise for being the only Democrat with the moxie to step in front of this train."