"For the past painful year," the Times editorial board writes, "the Republican presidential contenders have been bombarding Americans with empty propaganda slogans and competing, bizarrely, to present themselves as the least experienced person for the most important elected job in the world."
Can't argue with that. The Republican party has gotten itself into a mess. Republicans have been unable to govern themselves -- much less, during their domination first in the House and now also the Senate -- to govern the country.
Democratic primary voters, on the other hand, after a substantive debate over real issues, have the chance to nominate one of the most broadly and deeply qualified presidential candidates in modern history.
Hillary Clinton would be the first woman nominated by a major party. She served as a senator from a major state (New York) and as secretary of state — not to mention her experience on the national stage as first lady with her brilliant and flawed husband, President Bill Clinton. The Times editorial board has endorsed her three times for federal office — twice for Senate and once in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary — and is doing so again with confidence and enthusiasm. ...NYT
Don't get me wrong -- I think it's about time we cleansed ourselves of mean and silly qualifiers like race and gender for government offices (or just about anything else for that matter ). But character and experience are most important. In that respect I have a problem with Hil. The Times editors dismiss her connection with big money. But I can't. And even the Times comes down on her for that her cavalier decision to do some of the country's business from a private, penetrable email account. On the other hand, online snoops tend to get what they want -- thanks in part to the government's antediluvian relationship with technology that other grandmothers (other than Hillary, I mean) have mastered.
Probably the main reason so many of us are enthusiastic about Sanders is that he is unburdened by the sense of "I'm special" that emanates from all three Clintons in slightly different forms. The "steeliness" the Times attributes to Hillary Clinton is just what troubles me most. True -- it may be just what we want. After all, Obama was capable of steeliness in dealing with the opposition right through nearly two terms in office. In the end, his presidency has marked real progress in most areas.
So why has the Times made this declaration of support when the campaign is still in its early days? One commenter reflects the reaction I think many progressives are having to this early endorsement:
This endorsement reads like a joke. And an insult to progressives. Saying that Sanders supporters are the young and alienated middle class voters is, well, pathetic. Her experience on the national stage as first lady? Her brilliant and flawed husband? What kind of language is that? This is not 1993, it is 2016. A secretary of state who was unable to keep classified information safe is suddenly the best option to keep the country safe? A person who served on the board of Walmart for years, undermining unions and female workers is the choice candidate of the Democratic party? Someone who used her position in government to rake in millions in paid speeches for her husband? Really, who wrote this? It's a travesty of an endorsement.
The Washington Post has this:
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are locked in a statistical tie in the hard-fought and unexpectedly close Iowa Democratic presidential contest, a new Des Moines Register-Bloomberg poll found Saturday.
The respected survey found Clinton commands 45 percent of Democratic support and Sanders 42 percent. The poll of 602 likely Democratic caucus-goers has a margin of error of 4 percentage points, meaning Clinton's lead is within the margin of error. The survey comes three days before the first presidential voting of 2016 and reflects a late surge by Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont who was once considered a long shot here. ...WaPo
I'm willing to bet that the word "independent" is what gives the NYTimes a nasty itch.