The New York Times on Saturday endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination and said it favored the long-shot candidacy of Ohio Governor John Kasich as the Republican nominee.
The newspaper's editorial board — its opinion editors, who are separate from the newspaper's journalists who report stories — called Clinton "one of the most broadly and deeply qualified presidential candidates in modern history." If she were to win the Democratic nomination and the presidency in the November, she would become the first female U.S. president, replacing President Barack Obama when he leaves office a year from now.
The Times said, "Mrs. Clinton has honed a steeliness that will serve her well in negotiating with a difficult Congress on critically important issues like climate change. It will also help her weather what are certain to be more attacks from Republicans and, should she win the White House, the possibility of the same ideological opposition and personal animus that President Obama has endured."
The editorial concluded, "Hillary Clinton is the right choice for the Democrats to present a vision for America that is radically different from the one that leading Republican candidates offer — a vision in which middle-class Americans have a real shot at prosperity, women’s rights are enhanced, undocumented immigrants are given a chance at legitimacy, international alliances are nurtured and the country is kept safe."
The Republican presidential race in recent weeks has been dominated by billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump and a conservative firebrand, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, which the newspaper in a separate editorial called "equally objectionable for different reasons."
National political surveys show Trump, a longtime New York developer, casino magnate and former reality television show personality, with a commanding lead in the large field of Republican candidates. But the newspaper said he "has neither experience in nor interest in learning about national security, defense or global trade" and "invents his positions as he goes along."
The paper said that the campaign of Cruz, a first-term senator, "isn't about constitutional principles; it's about ambition. In his three years in the Senate, he has helped engineer a shutdown of the government and has alienated virtually the entire chamber."
The editorial on the Republican race said that Kasich, "though a distinct underdog, is the only plausible choice for Republicans tired of extremism and inexperience on display in this race." It said that Kasich, during two decades as a member of the House of Representatives before winning the governorship in the electorally important state of Ohio, showed that "he has been capable of compromise and believes in the ability of government to improve lives."
Newspaper editorial endorsements are a long-standing tradition in the American political process, and on occasion in elections past have helped sway voters who might be undecided about their candidate choices. But U.S. voters now are bombarded with information from so many sources that any one editorial endorsement is likely of less importance.
Surveys have shown that U.S. voters often pay closest attention to television news shows that most closely align with the political beliefs they already hold.