They disagree with him on every issue - from stop and frisk and policing to charter schools and school closure policies - and they lay down markers for what he MUST do on these issues that is different from how he has campaigned as mayor.
In short, they say de Blasio must change his policy positions to Lhota's.
A commenter at the News puts the editorial in perspective:
This endorsement is the most bizarre I've ever read. Issue-by-issue, the News agrees with Lhota and disagrees with de Blasio - school choice, stop-and-frisk, keeping the city safe, and basic economic policy. It further notes that Lhota has the managerial skill and experience to continue the good work of his predecessors, whereas Blasio is a great big unknown on these points who it "hopes" will re-educate himself into being someone he is not. In the end, other than his "big personality", the News cannot give a single reason why it is endorsing de Blasio but gives many reasons for one to vote for Lhota. Simply bizarre. Were you simply looking to get on the bandwagon of the candidate almost certain to win, lest you find yourself without any clout in the new administration?
It's true - they should have endorsed Lhota.
That's the candidate they most agree with.
But the DN editors know Lhota cannot win, so they jump on the de Blasio bandwagon.
But already they work to push him rightward with prodding from their tabloid pulpit.
Expect a lot more of that during the next four years.