On Saturday, the New York Times Editorial Board endorsed Hillary Clinton for president of the United States and in the process sought to convince those who are undecided, reluctant, or looking to third parties.
It started by saying that in this election, unlike any other, it cannot do a comparison of the two major party candidates simply because there is no comparison. Mrs. Clinton has a long track record and unmatched experience, and Mr. Trump “discloses nothing concrete about himself or his plans while promising the moon and offering the stars on layaway.”
The Times did not merely seek to affirm Hillary Clinton supporters, but instead “to persuade those of you who are hesitating to vote for Mrs. Clinton — because you are reluctant to vote for a Democrat, or for another Clinton, or for a candidate who might appear, on the surface, not to offer change from an establishment that seems indifferent and a political system that seems broken.”
The paper specifically sought to avoid making an endorsing Clinton simply because she is not Donald Trump. “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.”
There are three major takeaways from the Times’ endorsement.
First, the Editorial Board touts Clinton’s substantial and longstanding record of public service, and effective work in government. It notes that while the campaign has struggled with showing a full pattern of her record, the struggle is perplexing, as the pattern is clear. “It shows 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.”
Second, in acknowledging her mistakes, the paper notes that those mistakes and her response to them and to the avalanche of criticism and investigations that have resulted show that Clinton “is one of the most tenacious politicians of her generation, whose willingness to study and correct course is rare in an age of unyielding partisanship.”
“As first lady, she rebounded from professional setbacks and personal trials with astounding resilience. Over eight years in the Senate and four as secretary of state, she built a reputation for grit and bipartisan collaboration. She displayed a command of policy and diplomatic nuance and an ability to listen to constituents and colleagues that are all too exceptional in Washington.”
The Editorial Board praised her ability to laser focus on goals rather than partisan fights.
The Times also acknowledged her dedication to children, women, and families “which has spanned her adult life, going through some of her accomplishments which again demonstrate her tenaciousness.
It also noted that:
“When Mrs. Clinton was sworn in as a senator from New York in 2001, Republican leaders warned their caucus not to do anything that might make her look good. Yet as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, she earned the respect of Republicans like Senator John McCain with her determination to master intricate military matters.”
Clearly, the Times believes that Mrs. Clinton can meet the most stringent opposition, and still attain the goal, while making friends, not enemies of her opponents.
Third, the Editorial Board touts her exceptional foreign policy experience and record, and the fact that she has been at the highest levels of government both during the more “gentle” times of the immediate post Cold War era and the much more controversial post 9/11 era.
“She bears a share of the responsibility for the Obama administration’s foreign-policy failings, notably in Libya. But her achievements are substantial.”
The Times lists Clinton’s achievements and how she met the primary goal with which she was charged.
The Editorial Board concludes:
“Through war and recession, Americans born since 9/11 have had to grow up fast, and they deserve a grown-up president. A lifetime’s commitment to solving problems in the real world qualifies Hillary Clinton for this job, and the country should put her to work.”