Editorial: Clinton is right choice for president

Sunday, October 16, 2016

It will come as a surprise to no one that this newspaper strongly endorses Hillary Clinton for president. Her opponent, Donald Trump, is completely unfit to serve and unfit to be a role model for anyone, let alone children. And that’s enough about him.

No one, no matter how they feel about Clinton personally, could argue that she isn’t qualified to be president. Few presidential candidates in history have had her range and depth of experience, grasp of government, knowledge of issues foreign and domestic, and history of public service.

Though some in her party count it as a fault, Clinton is by nature willing to compromise. Throughout a political career that started during the Nixon era as a legal researcher up to her service as secretary of state, results have come first. If compromise can save or improve lives, reduce a threat to national security, or move this nation or another in a better direction, she’s been willing to listen and to act.

We’ve spent hours with Clinton over the years, and she is warm, personable and down to earth. But when attacked, which has been almost a constant in her political life, she is guarded to the point of secrecy, tough and impossible to rattle.

Like all women of her generation, Clinton came of age politically and professionally at a time when women were seen as either helpmates or usurpers. The Ivy League, including Dartmouth, was all male. She was turned down by NASA because it didn’t accept women. When she applied to be a law student at Yale, she was upbraided for potentially taking a spot away from a man.

Her life experience meant that she was inclined to be private, unlike her famously gregarious husband, President Bill Clinton. That trait, far more than her many alleged transgressions, are responsible for voter uncertainty about her trustworthiness and honesty.

Yet none of the many investigations and witch hunts targeting her, from Whitewater to Benghazi, have found her guilty of anything more than occasional poor judgment.

We believe that as president she will always do what she thinks is in the best interest of the nation.

Unlike her opponent, Clinton has policy proposals on tax reform, education, infrastructure rebuilding, immigration reform and more. Her nature is to work toward progress slowly and relentlessly, no matter the obstacles. Throughout her career she has focused on improving the lives of women and children, and she has succeeded. As her opponent noted, Clinton never gives up.

America is disgusted with politics as usual and many – from supporters of Bernie Sanders to those voting for Trump – want to see radical change. But that rarely happens and often isn’t good when it does, particularly when the nation is so bitterly divided.

Clinton offers the best hope, no matter what the outcome in Congress, that the nation will make progress on immigration reform, climate change, reducing health care and education costs, improving infrastructure and shrinking the vast income disparity that threatens democracy itself.

Clinton has made mistakes, chief among them her initial support for the Iraq War, and with her and her husband’s unseemly pursuit of wealth. But no one works harder in whatever job he or she holds. And no one knows the requirements and responsibilities of the job better. She is extraordinarily well-informed and a clear-eyed realist who will ably serve as the nation’s first female president.

Clinton will do a superior job in the White House. Any other choice promises four white-knuckle years for Americans and, in Trump’s case, for the world.