We won’t keep you in suspense any longer; The Herald Editorial Board endorses Hillary Clinton for president.
We could easily fill this page with reasons why Donald Trump should not be our next president. But briefly, not in the nation’s history has there been a presidential candidate for a major party more ill-prepared and devoid of the necessary qualities of character that the Oval Office demands than Trump.
His command of current affairs, knowledge of the world’s leaders and its challenges, lack of financial transparency in refusing to release his tax returns and his shockingly low regard and abusive behavior toward women and minorities should disqualify him from any level of public office.
In all instances, when pressed to detail his solutions, Trump can only offer the vaguest of promises: I alone can fix it; believe me. That’s the pledge of someone interested only in winning an election, not in actually serving the public and working with Congress and others to address the nation’s challenges.
Instead of urging only for a vote against Trump, we’ll make the case as to why Hillary Clinton deserves your vote and your support for the next four years.
Chief among those reasons is that even Clinton’s considerable ego would not allow her to believe or boast that only she is capable of fixing what’s wrong with America.
Her career for 30 years, from first lady, to U.S. senator to Secretary of State, has been on full display, successes and failures. All of it shows her as someone highly skilled in working with Democrats and Republicans, pragmatically seeking those agreements that can be secured and preparing a path for future accords when they can’t.
While some have sought to downplay her role, Clinton was instrumental in winning passage and implementing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program in 1997. The legislation came out of the unsuccessful health care reform initiative Clinton led as first lady. Authored by Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the legislation provides matching funds to states for health insurance for families with children. Kennedy said Clinton’s lobbying in the White House was “of invaluable help,” and later Clinton took a lead role in the late ’90s to push states to increase enrollment to 6 million children.
As a senator, Clinton was responsible for legislation that provide assistance for the families of veterans caring for those suffering from traumatic brain injury; she worked to increase military survivor benefits, to expand health care for National Guard members and reservists; and she pushed for passage of the DREAM Act and for comprehensive immigration reform.
As Secretary of State, Clinton was key to securing the cooperation of Russia, China and the European Union in establishing sanctions against Iran that helped persuade the Middle Eastern nation to negotiate significant limitations and monitoring of its nuclear program. Clinton also is recognized for having advanced the cause of women’s rights worldwide and for winning United Nations passage of the organization’s first resolution recognizing the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons; further she regularly denounced those countries that have criminalized homosexuality.
In her four years as Secretary of State, Clinton visited 112 countries and met 1,700 times with world leaders.
Trump went to Mexico.
Clinton’s record is not perfect. She has demonstrated a tendency toward opacity, much of that a knee-jerk reaction to decades of attacks and allegations of scandal — from Whitewater to Benghazi — that after full and repeated vettings have not resulted in actual charges and only managed to frustrate her detractors.
Her use of a private email server — one not capable of securing classified documents — while she was Secretary of State is a different matter.
Following the FBI’s investigation into those issues, its director, James Comey, concluded that while the circumstances did not support bringing criminal charges against Clinton for the presence of classified emails on the server, he called her handling of the emails “extremely careless.”
Clinton — although the admission could have come more quickly — conceded her mistakes.
Comey’s recent letter to Congress that additional emails may have been found and are now being reviewed comes at an unfortunate time for Clinton and for voters. But as it is not clear whether the new emails are duplicates of earlier examined emails or even relevant to the case, they have to be disregarded, just as a judge would advise a jury to ignore testimony struck from the record.
The lesson for Clinton: Her desire to conceal potential controversy only fed that beast.
We are far more confident that Clinton will heed that lesson and strive for greater transparency of her actions and decisions than we are that Trump could admit to the slightest character flaw, much less open himself to the greater scrutiny expected of leaders.
The conventional take is that voters are left with picking the lesser of two evils. An honest examination of Clinton shows her flaws but also great accomplishment and abilities that will serve the nation well with her as president.
She, in concert with her Cabinet and the Congress, is more than prepared to address the range of issues Americans are desperate to see addressed and resolved, including confronting terrorism and other international conflicts, reforming immigration, strengthening Social Security and Medicare, creating and supporting jobs and increasing wages and improving the Affordable Care Act.
The choice is clear and can be made with little reservation: Clinton.