It's not surprising that the New York Times would endorse Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. What is surprising, however, is the quality of their endorsement.
It is, as I wrote at Shareblue, the endorsement of her career—and the endorsement she deserves.
This is the Clinton her supporters know, a woman who has taken risks where she assessed they could be taken and who has followed the path of pragmatism when required. A person and a politician who dares to be bold and refuses to be anything less than indomitable.There is more at the link.
The Times focuses solidly on Clinton's accomplishments, while not concealing that she has made mistakes. But crucially, they make note of how she has addressed and learned from these mistakes. It is not practical to expect a politician with a 40-year career to have been flawless, and the wholly unreasonable standards of perfection to which Clinton is frequently held are, refreshingly, not present here.
To acknowledge the complexity of her career, and her ability to come back from both error and defeat, does Clinton the great service of subverting the dehumanization facilitated by imposed perfectionism—and underscoring that she possesses one of the key qualities progressives do and should expect of their leaders: The capacity to progress.
What is most remarkable about the Times' endorsement is that it captures, in a way few major media endorsements have, who Clinton really is. From the spaces in between every word and line emerges a picture of the Hillary Clinton her millions of supporters know and admire.
...Finally, this is not an endorsement of Clinton despite, but an endorsement of Clinton because.
The NYT editors followed that up a day later with their anti-endorsement of Donald Trump: "Why Donald Trump Should Not Be President." There's a lot of information there, and still not a smidgen of the vast argument that can be made, and it ends bluntly: "Voters attracted by the force of the Trump personality should pause and take note of the precise qualities he exudes as an audaciously different politician: bluster, savage mockery of those who challenge him, degrading comments about women, mendacity, crude generalizations about nations and religions. Our presidents are role models for generations of our children. Is this the example we want for them?"
The truth is, that is precisely the role model many people want for their children. We must fervently hope they are fewer in number than those who prefer instead a history-making candidate who is also the most qualified person ever to run for the office.