Breaking with tradition, the New York Times editorial board endorsed two Democratic presidential candidates on Sunday — Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts).
The Times has endorsed a presidential candidate for all but two elections. Since 1960, they have only endorsed Democratic candidates. However, this is the first election where the board has chosen to endorse two candidates.
The editorial attacked President Donald Trump for sponsoring “white nativism” and acknowledged a growing divide within the Democratic party between moderates and Democratic socialists.
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“The incumbent president, Donald Trump, is clear about where he is guiding the Republican Party — white nativism at home and America First unilateralism abroad, brazen corruption, escalating culture wars, a judiciary stacked with ideologues and the veneration of a mythological past where the hierarchy in American society was defined and unchallenged,” wrote the editorial board.
They then noted the “essential debate” within the Democratic party, and chose to endorse two candidates who seemingly fall between the two extremes (that being former Vice President Joe Biden as the most moderate and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) as the most progressive).
“Both the radical and the realist models warrant serious consideration. If there were ever a time to be open to new ideas, it is now. If there were ever a time to seek stability, now is it,” reads the editorial. “That’s why we’re endorsing the most effective advocates for each approach. They are Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.”
Warren tweeted the editorial Monday saying, “So, I guess [Amy Klobuchar] and I are now both undefeated in elections and undefeated in New York Times endorsements!”
Klobuchar tweeted Sunday night that the endorsement was “an honor.”
The Times noted that its history would indicate it would support the most traditional Democratic candidate but said, “the events of the past few years have shaken the confidence of even the most committed institutionalists.”
The board wrote that their decision was in a large part determined by the many hours the paper spent interviewing each candidate, which offered them unique insight into their platforms and personalities.
They pushed back against certain progressive ideas, like nationalizing health care and decriminalizing the border.
Despite Warren’s ambitious national health care plan, the board lauded her for her affordable housing plan, anti-corruption work and plan to invest in clean energy. They criticized her for blaming corporations for several problems and added that some of her ideas were polarizing to the public.
“American capitalism is responsible for its share of sins. But Ms. Warren often casts the net far too wide, placing the blame for a host of maladies from climate change to gun violence at the feet of the business community when the onus is on society as a whole,” the board wrote. “The country needs a more unifying path.”
While Warren is the editorial board’s pick for the best candidate on the left, Amy Klobuchar represents the center of the Democratic field, according to the board.
“Amy Klobuchar has emerged as a standard-bearer for the Democratic center,” the editorial reads. “Her vision goes beyond the incremental. Given the polarization in Washington and beyond, the best chance to enact many progressive plans could be under a Klobuchar administration.”
They continued, “The senator from Minnesota is the very definition of Midwestern charisma, grit and sticktoitiveness. Her lengthy tenure in the Senate and bipartisan credentials would make her a deal maker (a real one) and uniter for the wings of the party — and perhaps the nation.”
The board continued to laud her ability to work with politicians from both parties, her foreign policy plan of “leading by example,” fighting against climate change and gun safety legislation.
The editorial concluded by encouraging Americans to vote against Trump and acknowledging the Democratic candidates have a large task ahead of them in trying to unite the Democratic party.
“Any hope of restoring unity in the country will require modesty, a willingness to compromise and the support of the many demographics that make up the Democratic coalition — young and old, in red states and blue, black and brown and white,” the editorial board wrote in conclusion. “For Senator Klobuchar, that’s acknowledging the depth of the nation’s dysfunction. For Senator Warren, it’s understanding that the country is more diverse than her base.”