New York Nick demands to see your Oregon card

Garrett Epps, a retired law professor and active opinion essayist, tried to get an interview with Nick Kristof, who's running for Oregon governor. New York Nick turned him down, on the ground that Epps is not Oregon media, and Kristof is talking only to Oregon media right now.

Not surprisingly, Epps has written something anyway, a piece on a site called the Washington Monthly outlining the questions he would have asked the candidate had he been allowed to. They make for interesting reading indeed, here.

Epps is fairly kind to Kristof – nicer than I would have been. For example, he doesn't mention the inconvenient fact that Kristof voted in New York last November, which despite his lawyers' 15 pages of hot air, does seem to disqualify him under the Oregon Constitution. The closest Epps gets to it is this gentle poke:

I will pass delicately over the irony, but note that the boundary between those who write for in-state media and those who write for national media may be more porous than it might seem. I taught at the University of Oregon for 16 years. I was away from Oregon for 12 years and moved back in 2020; I voted in Oregon last year. I’ve been involved in Oregon politics at every level from 1994 on and have written about the subject for local media, including the state’s flagship paper, The Oregonian. I am neither an out of stater nor (alas) a bigfoot, media-wise.

For Kristof to tell the guy that he's not Oregon enough is beyond rich.

In the end, Epps's main point (and he's not the first to make it) is that NYN is studiously saying nothing specific about what he would actually do as governor, other than be a savior, which is what he has always seen when looking in the mirror. It's a legitimate criticism.

His campaign website recounts the story of the Number 6 bus, but offers few policy specifics. There is no “Nick on the Issues” page. The “Media” page offers no “Contact” link; the “News” link offers only brief essays by Kristof. There seems to be no list of upcoming appearances and no place to sign up for press releases and issue statements.

Normally, I'd say any friend of Diane von F├╝rstenberg is a friend of mine, but in this case, I might have to make an exception.  


  1. I'm a Kristof fan and long-time reader of his column. I think he potentially could be a fine governor, and I believe his heart is in the right place. However, the rules are the rules - and the rules say he isn't eligible to be governor. I suggest he hold his horses, spend the next 4 years living full-time (and voting) in Oregon, getting deeply involved in politics throughout the state, developing his platform and creating set of plans to improve governance in the state, and then, in 2026, if he is still interested in running, by all means go ahead and run.

    1. He should drop out now. He should go back to NYC and stay there. This is not a case of someone with a carrer(s) that are Oregon-based, with travelling around and staying elsewhere for awhile. This is a case of the White Savior Complex, a really big ugly one. I don't care if NYN's whole damn family from the beginning of time has been in Oregon, he hasn't. I'm not even sure if he moved back here and got involved in Actual Issues facing our state that he'd be a decent Gov. I will not vote for him and I will very strongly encourage everyone else not to waste their votes on him either.


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