Local Commentary

Editorial: Hillary Clinton for President

This year’s critical presidential primary elections are being held in Virginia on March 1, less than two weeks from now. Given that voters in Virginia do not have to declare for a party prior to voting, it is appropriate for us to endorse one candidate, the one we hope to see elected the next president of the U.S. in November. That candidate is Hillary Clinton.

This is a surprisingly easy decision to us. The entire Republican field has shamed and disqualified itself, in our view, with positions and behaviors far more extreme than we’ve ever seen before. On the Democratic side between Sen. Bernie Sanders and Former Secretary of State Clinton, Sanders has failed to demonstrate why voters should cast their votes for him and thereby risk losing the general election to the GOP in November.

Hillary Clinton has a remarkably proven record of achievement over the past two dozen years, as an activist first lady for eight years in the White House, as a U.S. Senator from New York, and as President Obama’s chosen Secretary of State. It surely cannot be lost on anyone the incredible significance of a woman of such achievement and stature becoming the first woman president in the history of the U.S.

When it comes down to it, the differences between Sanders and Clinton, in Sanders’ view, is a vote in 2002 to authorize President Bush to invade Iraq and campaign contributions to Clinton coming from Wall Street moguls.

In both cases, we side with Sanders’ concerns. Our editor was a zealous opponent of that 2002 vote, which was a cynical miscalculation by key Democrats prior to the 2002 midterm elections. By not tackling Bush’s enormous post-911 popularity, they sadly thought it would be way to gain Congressional seats. It didn’t, but that was then.

On the Wall Street contributions, surely there is concern that the money is not coming free of strings attached, but isn’t that only in the minds of the donors?

These concerns were both addressed by the decision of President Obama to name Clinton to the most important position in his cabinet at a very sensitive time in U.S. foreign relations. He trusted her, and with good reason, as her achievements in that position bore out. She is an exceptionally-qualified candidate for the next president and commander in chief of the armed forces of the Untied States. She is not just good, or a lesser of evils, she is amazingly equipped with the knowledge and experience to perform the job at the highest level.

On policy differences between Sanders and Clinton, electing Sanders would not bring the nation closer to a better health care system than has been achieved by President Obama, for example. There is no reason to think it would be any easier to achieve a better result in today’s Washington than it took so much effort and leadership by Obama to accomplish. Similarly on other issues.

We enthusiastically endorse Hillary Clinton.