Saturday, June 4, 2016

L.A. Times Endorses Hillary Clinton In Advance Of California Primary

Three days before the California Democratic primary, the L.A. Times has endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

From the L.A. Times editorial board:

Voters should choose the candidate they consider best qualified. This page has endorsed Clinton not because she is more likely to win the nomination but because she is vastly better prepared than Sanders for the presidency.

We say that with full recognition that Sanders has captured the imagination of many Democrats with his articulate attacks on economic inequality and his talk of a political revolution. He can take credit for pressing Clinton to champion the interests of those who have been left behind in this economy.

But Clinton is not only more knowledgeable about domestic and international affairs than Sanders, but also more likely to achieve objectives they have in common. Her speech last week on foreign policy in San Diego -- in which she skillfully skewered Trump for his ignorance and recklessness -- was a reminder of the breadth of her understanding of international affairs. On domestic policy, her positions on issues such as healthcare and financial regulation are less utopian than what Sanders has proposed but also more realistic.

Some compare Sanders to President Obama, and there are similarities: Like Obama, Sanders opposed the war in Iraq while Clinton as a senator voted to authorize it. Sanders speaks in visionary terms and so did Obama in 2008 when he wrested the nomination from then-Sen. Clinton. But Obama’s vision was of bipartisan cooperation, not a political revolution in which, as Sanders has naively suggested, Republicans would simply capitulate to a Democratic president because a million young people would be massed outside the Capitol.

It’s true that Republicans often rebuffed Obama’s offers of cooperation, but it’s hard to imagine a President Sanders engaging any more successfully with them. Clinton, who as a senator and secretary of State was able to work cooperatively with Republicans, strikes us as being better equipped to reach across the partisan divide, something that will be necessary even if the Democrats regain control of Congress. A Clinton presidency would be more prosaic than a Sanders administration, but it also is likely to be more effective.

Clinton has her liabilities as a candidate, including a penchant for secrecy and self-protection that was reflected in her decision to maintain a private email server as secretary of State and her continued refusal to acknowledge that it ran afoul of State Department policy. In a year in which many voters crave novelty, she is a familiar face. But she has formidable assets that would be especially important in a general-election campaign against Trump: steadiness, seriousness and a commanding grasp of issues about which the blowhard businessman is dangerously ignorant.

Voters in California’s Democratic primary owe a debt of gratitude to Bernie Sanders for a campaign that has emphasized issues that otherwise might have been ignored. But they should cast their votes for Hillary Clinton.

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