The New York Times reveals its unsurprising choice for president

On Saturday morning the New York Times editorial page, without waiting for the first debate to make up its mind, endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. Here is the opening of the editorial:

“In any normal election year, we’d compare the two presidential candidates side by side on the issues. But this is not a normal election year. A comparison like that would be an empty exercise in a race where one candidate — our choice, Hillary Clinton — has a record of service and a raft of pragmatic ideas, and the other, Donald Trump, discloses nothing concrete about himself or his plans while promising the moon and offering the stars on layaway. (We will explain in a subsequent editorial why we believe Mr. Trump to be the worst nominee put forward by a major party in modern American history.)

But this endorsement would also be an empty exercise if it merely affirmed the choice of Clinton supporters. We’re aiming 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.

Running down the other guy won’t suffice to make that argument. The best case for Hillary Clinton cannot be, and is not, that she isn’t Donald Trump. The best case is, instead, about the challenges this country faces, and Mrs. Clinton’s capacity to rise to them.”

The full editorial is here.

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Jim Million on 09/25/2016 - 12:08 pm.

    “Bang the Drum” Blatantly?

    Why would NYT bother to formally publish its well-known position? or:
    When does an editorial endorsement become a campaign advertisement? or, given the obvious:
    What difference does this make?

  2. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 09/26/2016 - 11:59 am.

    The difference it makes (have you actually read the editorial?) is that it is a long, detailed, sober, and thoughtful statement of the awfulness of the possibility that a Donald Trump might be president of this country. It does not attack irrelevancies, but sticks to facts about the man and what he has said in the past 15 months that show to him to lack almost every single feature one could think of as necessary in our presidents.

    This is not new: the NY Times and the Washington Post have been, with Politifact, checking and cross-checking Trump, and delving deep into his tax and and business and public subsidy and foundation activities. They have lifted up the rock and looked as the squirmy Trump stuff living under it. He is a serial liar, who seems unable to control himself and stick to one subject, much less stick to facts.

    Most voters don’t know that stuff, or seem to have a personal and emotional–not rational–excuse to vote for him. So they excuse him. They see how he doesn’t measure up and is actually pretty vicious, but they keep making excuses for him. The Times is simply begging people not to react to “he’s not a politician and he’ll rock the boat” tendency, but to pay more attention to a real danger Trump brings to America if he gets elected.

  3. Submitted by Kyle Lysford on 09/26/2016 - 12:20 pm.

    Standard practice

    It’s pretty standard practice for the editorial board of a newspaper to publish an endorsement for president. The NYT has been making editorial board endorsements for well over a century, going back to Abe Lincoln’s first term. Every newspaper that I read regularly (or at least semi-regularly) makes presidential endorsements, but to be fair that’s only about 4 major newspapers. I’ve always assumed it’s standard practice for any major newspaper but it’s not something I’ve gone out of my way to research.

    “When does an editorial endorsement become a campaign advertisement?”–I guess when campaigns start paying for them? I think asking this question misses a great deal as far as the role that newspapers have played in our political discourse when they were the main medium for what we call ‘news’. Dissemination of information/’news’ has been greatly ‘democratized’ in the last 5-10 years, along with how people perceive the value and credibility of the old institutions of the news. People clamor for ‘unbiased’ reporting as though it is actually achievable, and any taint of ‘bias’ is used as an immediate dis-qualification for the institution’s opinion (never-mind that it’s basically a subjective standard to a great degree anyway).

    In my view, an editorial board opinion is simply a collection of well-informed people taking time to voice an opinion. Voting for President is (symbolically) one of the most fundamental parts of being a US citizen, and the press is so much a part of political life that the idea of a free press as the ‘4th branch’ of government is one that is widely subscribed to. Indeed, it’s the reason people get mad when they feel that they are being lied to or mis-informed. So, why bother with an endorsement? Well, to ‘not bother’ would be to abandon the ideals that the institutions are in many ways the champions and examples for.

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