Citing Her ‘Intellect, Experience And Courage,’ The New York Times Endorses Hillary Clinton

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With just over six weeks to go before the general election in November, the New York Times editorial board has officially endorsed Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. That the generally liberal paper of record in America’s largest city would lend its name to the Democratic nominee should come as no surprise to anyone, lease of all Clinton’s Republican rival Donald Trump. However, the belated timing of the endorsement has left scratching their heads, especially since conservative-leaning papers like the Dallas Morning News and the Cincinnati Enquirer beat them to the punch.

In early September the Dallas paper lent its support to Clinton in a move significant for its timing, as it hadn’t endorsed a non-Republican presidential candidate in 76 years. Attempts to dub the Morning News a “liberal paper” notwithstanding, this was a big deal. So too was the Cincinnati Enquirer‘s decision to do the same this week, which as The Hill pointed out, hadn’t occurred “in roughly a century.” (The Ohio paper hadn’t endorsed a Democrat since Woodrow Wilson’s reelection campaign in 1916.) So why did the Times wait so long to back the “obvious” choice?

Simply put, they waited because the Times felt it necessary to “persuade those of you who are hesitating to vote for Mrs. Clinton” instead of merely “[affirming] the choice of Clinton supporters”:

The next president will take office with bigoted, tribalist movements and their leaders on the march. In the Middle East and across Asia, in Russia and Eastern Europe, even in Britain and the United States, war, terrorism and the pressures of globalization are eroding democratic values, fraying alliances and challenging the ideals of tolerance and charity.

The 2016 campaign has brought to the surface the despair and rage of poor and middle-class Americans who say their government has done little to ease the burdens that recession, technological change, foreign competition and war have heaped on their families.

Over 40 years in public life, Hillary Clinton has studied these forces and weighed responses to these problems. Our endorsement is rooted in respect for her intellect, experience, toughness and courage over a career of almost continuous public service, often as the first or only woman in the arena.

What follows is a detailed rundown of Clinton’s long political career, which the Times argues is best “defined more by incremental successes than by moments of transformational change.” A record that despite several pertinent missteps, ultimately and consistently reveals “a determined leader intent on creating opportunity for struggling Americans at a time of economic upheaval and on ensuring that the United States remains a force for good in an often brutal world.”

Interestingly, the Times editorial board insists its endorsement of Clinton simply won’t “[run] down the other guy” in order to bolster the Democratic nominee’s profile. Yet, as indicated in a brief aside in the first paragraph, “a subsequent editorial [about] why we believe Mr. Trump to be the worst nominee put forward by a major party in modern American history” is forthcoming.

(Via New York Times, Cincinnati Enquirer and The Hill)

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