Chattanooga Times announces its endorsement for president

Chattanooga Times announces its endorsement for president

February 28th, 2016 by Pam Sohn in Opinion Times

Hillary Clinton, shown here in Nevada, is the best ballot choice on Super Tuesday. (Isaac Brekken/The New York Times)

Hillary Clinton, shown here in Nevada, is the...

Photo by ISAAC BREKKEN

The best reason to vote for Hillary Clinton on Super Tuesday is not the weakness of her opponents — especially those on the Republican ballot. Rather, it's her demonstrated strengths, her experience and her heart.

What's more, she represents Middle America in far more ways than just being a champion of middle class values with proposals for raising the minimum wage, reining in Wall Street, furthering affordable health care, guiding us back to sensible gun rules, improving education and keeping us safe in an ever-more-complex world.

But there's more. In today's America, where the Republican Party has lost its soul to a wing-nut base that seems star-struck by a reality-show narcissist and Bible-thumping snake-oil salesmen, Clinton is the only choice — not just for moderate and pragmatic Democrats, but also for moderate and pragmatic Republicans who don't understand why the GOP no longer looks or sounds like the party of Ronald Reagan they once knew and loved.

As Clinton rightly and often says, she can get things done. She understands the art of civil conversation, negotiation and compromise. In short, she understands leadership.

"I am not interested in ideas that sound good on paper but will never make it in real life," Clinton recently said in Iowa.

That means, among other things, that she is someone who can keep what Obama got right, and fix what he didn't get right — like gun control and immigration reform.

Her 2016 primary opponents, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (who dropped out on Feb. 1), pushed her to the left — not a bad thing.

Sanders has been right to bring to the forefront concerns of our nation's hawkish war habits and worries about America's gaping income inequality and diminishing middle class. Likewise, O'Malley was right on target in harping about the threats and opportunities of climate change.

But of the three — in fact of all political contenders this year — Clinton is the only candidate with the broad experience and deep-bench qualifications to turn the rhetoric of ideals and needed change to solid policy proposals and achievement.

Clinton served as a senator from the major state of New York and as secretary of state — not to mention her experience on the national stage as first lady with President Bill Clinton.

She's seen the slings, arrows and pain of political life from every aspect. In fact, thanks in part to what The New York Times termed "her brilliant and flawed husband," she has been a target most of her adult life. Yet she has continued to stick her neck out, time and time again, to stand up for children, a living wage, affordable health care access, peace and national security — just for starters.

Emails? She has acknowledged she made a mistake in using her personal account and server. So did Colin Powell, Ash Carter, Condoleezza Rice and other dignitaries who haven't been investigated multiple times — likely because they never professed political aspirations opposing the GOP.

Benghazi? The Republican witch hunts that followed that sad tragedy served only to further injure America's perception of congressional dysfunction and to offer Clinton greater opportunity to appear presidential.

She is both strong and committed to serve.

And she is the right choice to keep the country safe, improve international alliances and give all Americans a better tomorrow.

———-

In Hamilton County Democratic primary races, the Times editorial page endorses:

* For Criminal Court judge: Boyd Patterson (if you vote in the GOP primary race)

* For assessor of property: Mark Siedlecki. (Or Marty Haynes, if you vote in the GOP primary race).

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