The editorial page of the Daily News of Los Angeles [but really the Valley] has endorsed Rep. Howard Berman over his fellow Democrat, Rep. Brad Sherman. From the editorial in tomorrow's paper, which says both veterans of the House are popular, but that Berman is "more moderate."
The differences between the two men are few, but they're significant.
One difference is about style. Sherman presents himself as a man of the people, a constant presence at events in his San Fernando Valley district, a fixture at town-hall meetings; he emphasizes his connection to his constituents on a campaign website headlined, "Talk to me. I'm listening."
Berman's reputation depends on his connection to power, his role as the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and his influence behind the scenes; he emphasizes endorsements from an impressive array of California's state leaders and members of Congress.
This week, Berman made some headline-grabbing additions to his list of endorsements when Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina announced their support, praising Berman's willingness to talk policy with Republicans such as them.
That confirms what our editorial board already saw as Berman's most important quality: At a time when voters say they want their representatives in Washington to show more cooperation and less partisanship, Berman does this better than Sherman.
In the primary, the Daily News had endorsed both Berman and a Republican in the race, Susan Shelley. As for the influence of the endorsements, well, Berman finished second to Sherman in the primary, and Shelley finished out of the money. But it doesn't hurt in this Valley district.