The editorial board of The New York Times, the newspaper the wingers love to hate, has decided to endorse Hillary Clinton as its choice for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination…
This generally is the stage of a campaign when Democrats have to work hard to get excited about whichever candidate seems most likely to outlast an uninspiring pack. That is not remotely the case this year.
The early primaries produced two powerful main contenders: Hillary Clinton, the brilliant if at times harsh-sounding senator from New York; and Barack Obama, the incandescent if still undefined senator from Illinois. The remaining long shot, John Edwards, has enlivened the race with his own brand of raw populism.
As Democrats look ahead to the primaries in the biggest states on Feb. 5, The Timesâ€™s editorial board strongly recommends that they select Hillary Clinton as their nominee for the 2008 presidential election.
We have enjoyed hearing Mr. Edwardsâ€™s fiery oratory, but we cannot support his candidacy. The former senator from North Carolina has repudiated so many of his earlier positions, so many of his Senate votes, that weâ€™re not sure where he stands. We certainly donâ€™t buy the notion that he can hold back the tide of globalization.
By choosing Mrs. Clinton, we are not denying Mr. Obamaâ€™s appeal or his gifts. The idea of the first African-American nominee of a major party also is exhilarating, and so is the prospect of the first woman nominee. â€œFirstnessâ€ is not a reason to choose. The times that false choice has been raised, more often by Mrs. Clinton, have tarnished the campaign.
Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton would both help restore Americaâ€™s global image, to which President Bush has done so much grievous harm. They are committed to changing Americaâ€™s role in the world, not just its image. On the major issues, there is no real gulf separating the two. They promise an end to the war in Iraq, more equitable taxation, more effective government spending, more concern for social issues, a restoration of civil liberties and an end to the politics of division of George W. Bush and Karl Rove.[..]
When we endorsed Mrs. Clinton in 2006, we were certain she would continue to be a great senator, but since her higher ambitions were evident, we wondered if she could present herself as a leader to the nation.
Her ideas, her comeback in New Hampshire and strong showing in Nevada, her new openness to explaining herself and not just her programs, and her abiding, powerful intellect show she is fully capable of doing just that. She is the best choice for the Democratic Party as it tries to regain the White House.
On the Republican side, since they had to go with somebody, the editors selected John McCain…
We have strong disagreements with all the Republicans running for president. The leading candidates have no plan for getting American troops out of Iraq. They are too wedded to discredited economic theories and unwilling even now to break with the legacy of President Bush. We disagree with them strongly on what makes a good Supreme Court justice.
Still, there is a choice to be made, and it is an easy one. Senator John McCain of Arizona is the only Republican who promises to end the George Bush style of governing from and on behalf of a small, angry fringe. With a record of working across the aisle to develop sound bipartisan legislation, he would offer a choice to a broader range of Americans than the rest of the Republican field.
We have shuddered at Mr. McCainâ€™s occasional, tactical pander to the right because he has demonstrated that he has the character to stand on principle. He was an early advocate for battling global warming and risked his presidential bid to uphold fundamental American values in the immigration debate. A genuine war hero among Republicans who proclaim their zeal to be commander in chief, Mr. McCain argues passionately that a countryâ€™s treatment of prisoners in the worst of times says a great deal about its character.[..]
Mr. McCain was one of the first prominent Republicans to point out how badly the war in Iraq was being managed. We wish he could now see as clearly past the temporary victories produced by Mr. Bushâ€™s unsustainable escalation, which have not led to any change in Iraqâ€™s murderous political calculus. At the least, he owes Americans a real idea of how he would win this war, which he says he can do. We disagree on issues like reproductive rights and gay marriage.
In 2006, however, Mr. McCain stood up for the humane treatment of prisoners and for a ban on torture. We said then that he was being conned by Mr. Bush, who had no intention of following the rules. But Mr. McCain took a stand, just as he did in recognizing the threat of global warming early. He has been a staunch advocate of campaign finance reform, working with Senator Russ Feingold, among the most liberal of Democrats, on groundbreaking legislation, just as he worked with Senator Edward Kennedy on immigration reform.
That doesnâ€™t make him a moderate, but it makes him the best choice for the partyâ€™s presidential nomination.
How appropriate that the newspaper the wingers love to hate would choose to endorse two candidates the wingers love to hate.
I’m loving it.