Catch Up on Weekend Endorsements

The Boston Globe and The Des Moines Register weigh in.

If your concerns this weekend were focused on the snow rather than tracking papers and their candidate endorsements, here’s what you might have missed:

The Des Moines Register editorial board on Saturday endorsed Hillary Clinton as its choice for the Democratic nomination and Marco Rubio for the Republican nomination.

This is the second time the Iowan daily has gone with Clinton as its pick, choosing her over Barack Obama in the 2008 primary.

“Over the course of two meetings,” wrote the board, “Clinton spent more than three hours with the editorial board, answering questions in a direct and forthright manner. She exhibited an impressive command of the issues, though we’d have liked to hear more from her on the debt and the future of Social Security. She was somewhat prickly and defensive when discussing her emails, but overall she was gracious, engaging and personable.”

The board had some kind words to say about Sanders, but ultimately found him an impractical choice to lead the country:

In the final analysis, Iowa Democrats will have to choose between the lofty idealism of Bernie Sanders and the down-to-earth pragmatism of Hillary Clinton. For some, this will be a choice of whether to vote with their hearts or their heads.

Clinton has demonstrated that she is a thoughtful, hardworking public servant who has earned the respect of leaders at home and abroad. She stands ready to take on the most demanding job in the world.

In its choice of Rubio as the Republican nominee, the board described a dichotomous GOP in which Rubio “represents his party’s best hope.”

The board did worry about whether Rubio could stay the hopeful course in a GOP primary that has so far rewarded intolerance and bullying:

At his best, Rubio offers an uplifting message of a “new American century.” He shares his compelling story and calls for a referendum on the nation’s identity.

“The fundamental question we’re being asked is: Do we want America to remain special, or do we want it to become like anybody else? For America to remain special, people have to do for their families what my parents were able to do for mine,” he told the editorial board in April.

Yet more recently, he has pandered to rising pessimism in his party. He talks gloomily about “a nation in decline,” saying President Barack Obama “has deliberately weakened America.” He wants to fight the battles of the past, such as the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling.

We hope Marco Rubio and his party take a different path, one that can lead to the opportunity and optimism he so eloquently articulates.

On Sunday evening, The Boston Globe endorsed Hillary Clinton, “enthusiastically” so, for the New Hampshire primary. The Globe portrayed Clinton as a candidate best positioned to “keep what Obama got right, while also fixing his failures, especially on gun control and immigration reform.”

Unlike some portrayals of Clinton as having a bad time of it this cycle, The Globe’s editorial board thought she was doing just fine, even as the scent of controversies, some decades long, continue to linger:

Clinton has drawn a very good hand this year. Her main Democratic opponent has failed to expand his coalition, and her GOP opponents are undercutting themselves every time they attack her over e-mails, Benghazi, or her husband’s sex life. Even after 25 years in the limelight, her opponents still don’t seem to understand how much stronger those attacks make her.

But the best reason to support Clinton isn’t the weaknesses of her opponents; it’s her demonstrated strengths and experience. Even her most dyed-in-the-wool opponents ought to take a second look at her. While Sanders has made an important contribution to the Democratic primary campaign, it’s Clinton who would make a better president.

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