Nick Kristof Learns Why You Never Quit Your Day Job

Nick Kristof Learns Why You Never Quit Your Day Job

Nick Kristof Learns Why You Never Quit Your Day Job

Former New York Times columnist Nick Kristof apparently had a dream. It involved going back to his roots in Oregon and becoming governor.

And while dreams are great, Nick Kristof sounds like he was a little too inspired by the “I’ve Got A Dream” song from the movie Tangled.

He apparently thought that if he just expressed it out loud, the path would magically open up for his dreams to come true. Now, Kristof knew that his dream of running for governor was not going to be a shoo-in, especially given the field of Democrats who were going to be running in an open primary in a blue state. But HE HAD A DREAM. So he quit his job of decades at the New York Times, in order to run for governor of Oregon, last October.

“I’ve never run for political office in my life, but I have spent a lifetime shining a light in the darkest corners of the globe, and it broke my heart when I returned from crises abroad only to find crises here at home, and that’s why I’m running for governor,” Kristof, a Pulitzer Prize winner, said in a video posted on social media and his campaign website.”

Kristof, who grew up outside Yamhill, Oregon, previously worked as an opinion columnist at The New York Times and was among the newspaper’s most prominent journalists. He traveled across the world reporting on international and humanitarian crises and had been on leave at the Times since July as he explored whether to run for the office. He announced his resignation from the news organization earlier this month.”

The former journalist enters a crowded Democratic primary to succeed current Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, who is term limited. Oregon state House Speaker Tina Kotek and state Treasurer Tobias Read have also announced gubernatorial campaigns.”

Now, running for office, especially an office like governor, requires time and effort. And it also requires – with a “wink-wink nudge-nudge say no more” acknowledgement – that journalists can’t run for office and be a part of the media at the same time, despite the revolving door between the two professions. So Nick Kristof quit his day job writing in order to run for office.

This dream hit a major snag yesterday when the Oregon Secretary of State informed Nick Kristof that he didn’t qualify for residency in Oregon in order to run for office.


On Thursday, Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, a Democrat, said that “Mr. Kristof does not currently meet the Constitutional requirements to run or serve as Oregon Governor.”

The reason? To run for governor in Oregon, you must be a resident of the state for the last three years. According to the Secretary of State’s office, Kristof only formally registered to vote in the state in December 2020.”

That, plus a review of Kristof’s driver’s license information, home ownership, employment history and income taxes informed the decision that he was not eligible to run for governor.”

“In the end, it wasn’t even a close call,” Fagan said in a press conference following her decision.”

(Sidebar: Kristof has been aware of his potential residency issue for a while now; “I probably should have changed my registration,” he admitted when he announced his candidacy. “I wasn’t focused on paperwork. I was focused on voting to remove President Trump and vote for Joe Biden.”)”

See how Kristof is already trying to explain why he didn’t meet the residency requirements, by couching it in good, noble, and near-holy terms. He was just trying to vote Donald Trump out, everyone! He had to help get rid of the Bad Orange Man! Except… both New York and Oregon are deep blue states, so it’s not like by keeping his voting registration in New York, Kristof helped secure the state for Joe Biden. This seems like a basic rookie mistake – and one a journalist, someone who is supposed to deal in facts and information, should not have committed.

At this point you would think, well, better luck next election cycle, right? Move back to Oregon, establish residency, get to know the state well after so many years away, and try again next time?

Nope. Nick Kristof HAS A DREAM, EVERYONE. And he will take his dream to court!

Is this feeling just a smidge cringey to anyone else? It’s one thing to make a mistake. It’s one thing to make a mistake and try to fix it. It’s something else entirely to insist that this was someone else’s mistake and “politically motivated” by… other Democrats who are just so scared of you because you are SO special and different.

“The status quo is defending itself. In defiance of case law and common sense, and in conflict with three former secretaries of state and a former Oregon Supreme Court Justice, the Secretary of State has attempted to remove me from the ballot in this year’s governor’s race. This is a decision grounded in politics, not precedent. The law is clearly on our side. My campaign will challenge the decision in court, and we will win,” he said. “We have great faith in the courts. We’re going to continue campaigning for governor, and we’re going to win that, too.”

The liberal columnist-turned-candidate called the decision to rule him ineligible “troubling,” and said he’s an outsider so the “political establishment” sees him as a threat.”

“So instead of working to end homelessness, they’re working to end my candidacy,” Kristof said.”

“To join this race, I left a job that I loved because our state cannot survive another generation of leaders turning away from people they pledged to serve,” he continued. “I owe my entire existence to Oregon. While my willingness to challenge the status quo is the reason state officials are trying to toss me from the ballot, that’s also the reason I’m going to win this race and become Oregon’s next governor.”

Is there no one in the life of Nick Kristof who is willing to say “dude, take the L and try again later”? Because that’s what his statement sounds like to me. Or is he so caught up in his own headcanon that HE’S GOT A DREAM that anyone trying to talk sense into him is being ignored? (I’m betting on the latter.)

A little free advice to Nick Kristof, then. Media name recognition and a job at the New York Times for decades doesn’t make you something super special in Oregon. Speaking as a lifelong Pacific Northwesterner, it smacks of East Coast snobbery, really. You shouldn’t have quit your day job without having all your ducks in a row. But now that you have, maybe you should actually spend some time in Oregon and figure out if you really know what the heck you’re talking about. Have fun!

Featured image: Nick Kristof, media image via his campaign website

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  • Scott says:

    “maybe you should actually spend some time in Oregon and figure out if you really know what the heck you’re talking about”
    Well, considering Kate Brown’s performance while in officer, I’m not really sure that the above is a job requirement…

  • 370H55V says:

    His arrogance is astounding but not surprising.

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