The Washington Post Thursday announced its endorsement of Hillary Clinton for the presidency "without hesitation," saying the former first lady, senator and secretary of state is a "well-qualified, well-prepared candidate."
And, editors pointed out, their endorsement did not come because Clinton's rival, GOP nominee Donald Trump, "is dreadful," although they admitted they believe he is "uniquely unqualified as a presidential candidate."
"If we believed that Ms. Clinton were the lesser of two evils, we might well urge you to vote for her anyway — that is how strongly we feel about Mr. Trump," the editors wrote.
"But we would also tell you that was our judgment. Fortunately, it is not."
Meanwhile, the newspaper's editors said Trump has shown himself as being "bigoted, ignorant, deceitful, narcissistic, vengeful, petty, misogynistic, fiscally reckless, intellectually lazy, contemptuous of democracy and enamored of America's enemies," and said if he's elected president, "he would pose a grave danger to the nation and the world."
Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program Thursday that the editorial board did provide caveats with the endorsement, particularly in her popularity and her judgment, but there were other factors that outweighed those concerns.
"Looking at her service in public office is that she's a much better person in government than she is a politician," Hiatt said. "If you look at what she did in the Senate and how she behaved in the Senate, as you were saying a few minutes ago and same at the State Department. You talk to professionals at the State Department and you talk to her counterparts in other countries and she was serious.
"She did not circle the wagon . . . She was willing to reach across the aisle and those are the traits it seemed to us especially in this climate where somebody could actually get something done as president."
In the endorsement, The Post's editorial board said it recognizes many Americans neither like or trust Clinton, and their feelings reflect in the "dishonest attacks" she has faced for decades and in the growing "bitter partisanship" of national politics.
Further, the editors said they recognize her weaknesses. Clinton, they said, is inclined to withhold information, dating back to her closed meetings on healthcare in 1993 to the emails she destroyed, and also to the pneumonia she did not disclose.
Also, the editors criticized the Democratic nominee and her husband, former President Bill Clinton for cashing in on the nation's speech circuit on an "unprecedented and unseemly scale."
She also does not have the eloquence and charm of President Barack Obama, former President George W. Bush, or of her own husband, the editors wrote.
Clinton's failures, including her work to to remake the nation's healthcare system, also lead to successes, such as her reform work expanding healthcare to children.
Clinton's "reset" with Russia also was similar, the editors said. She launched the policy with then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, not current President Vladimir Putin, and progress was made in nuclear arms control and resupplying U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Clinton also marked successes with her election to the Senate, and colleagues found her to be businesslike and knowledgeable, and she received similar testimonials from professionals in the State Department, the editors wrote.
The Post also lauded Clinton's foreign policy experience, saying she was a "voice for engagement on behalf of democracy, human rights, and stability," and the editors said they believe the world is a "far more dangerous place" because Obama did not listen to her advice on topics such as intervention in Syria.
"Allies would find her more reliable than the incumbent and far more dependable than her opponent," said the editors. "The world would be more secure as a result."
The editors said the biggest worry about Clinton is that she does not seem to have learned her lessons in openness and accountability, but called her use of a private email server a "mistake, not a high crime."
Also, the newspaper called Clinton "disturbingly cavalier" for allowing aide Huma Abedin to be on the payroll of the Clinton Foundation while she was still secretary of state, and for not maintaining separation between the foundation and her position.
The newspaper also applauded Clinton for choosing Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate, calling him a person of "sound judgment, with executive and legislative experience and unquestionable capacity to serve as president if necessary."
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