Local Commentary

Editorial: We Endorse Clinton & Kaine

It should come as no surprise to readers of the News-Press that we’re formally and enthusiastically endorsing the ticket of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine for president and vice-president of the United States. Unlike the staunchest of Republican institutions and leaders who are endorsing the Democratic slate for the first time ever – like the Arizona Republic newspaper and retired Virginia U.S. Senator John Warner – we’ve endorsed Democrats before, in fact a lot of them.

We are pleased that the successful election of Democrats we’ve endorsed in statewide elections like Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, Jim Webb, Don Beyer and Barack Obama, have moved Virginia and the nation forward, and we are eager to see how the Clinton-Kaine team will continue the process of moving equality, justice and compassion forward as the cornerstones of our national interest and identity.

Clinton brings levels of experience, level-headed intellectual capacity and power of articulation that have been tested and tempered by her political enemies over many years. She has faced the brunt of personal, as well as political, attacks that so often are hurled against women, on that account alone, and coming through all that, she is even more uniquely qualified to handle the pressures of the presidency.

As for Kaine, this is an extraordinary man. It has been our distinct honor to have come to know him as well as we have, and in our view, the choice of him by Clinton to be her running mate spoke volumes about her, as well as him. It said that yes, there is virtue in politics, and not the kind of selfish self interest that so many cynical commentators seem to insist these days.

On this score, it is heartening to see Clinton former Democratic rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, come out as strongly as he has for the Clinton-Kaine ticket as well. Just yesterday in New Hampshire, Sanders gave his rabble-rousing stump speech that was the signature of his grassroots challenge to Clinton in the primaries.

But this time, he had a smiling Clinton sitting beside him as he railed against the counterproductive nature of wasting a “third party” vote in this election, and asserted how Clinton would work with him to win some of the most important cornerstones of his candidacy. Foremost among them, and reiterated by Clinton yesterday, are free college tuition for anyone coming from a home with less than a $125,000 annual income, and relief for everyone burdened with usurious high interest rate college loan debts. That proposal includes debt forgiveness for those who enter into certain kinds of public service after college.

Kaine has shared one useful thought to go by when judging the character of a candidate: Look to what they were doing before they entered public life. Does their public life reflect that? Clinton and Kaine both were dedicated to helping the poor and disadvantaged, including children, before they were ever elected to anything.