New York Times endorses Kasich in GOP primary

The headline on this endorsement from the New York Times editorial board sounds more plaintive than aspirational: A Chance to Reset the Republican Race. Sure, it is … if one ignores practically everything that has driven the primary race to this point and hearken back to a time when tenure in the party establishment was considered a boon rather than a handicap. Plus, one has to dismiss practically everyone else in the field with substance-free one-liners.

Mission accomplished, I guess:

More than a half-dozen other candidates are battling for survival. Jeb Bush has failed to ignite much support, but at least he has criticized the bigotry of Mr. Trump and the warmongering of Mr. Cruz. Senator Marco Rubio, currently embracing the alarmist views of the front-runners, seems to have forgotten his more positive “New American Century” campaign, based on helping the middle-class. The terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino exposed Ben Carson’s inability to grasp the world. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey has said he would shoot down Russian planes, engage with the dead king of Jordan and bar refugees, including orphaned Syrian toddlers.

Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, though a distinct underdog, is the only plausible choice for Republicans tired of the extremism and inexperience on display in this race. And Mr. Kasich is no moderate. As governor, he’s gone after public-sector unions, fought to limit abortion rights and opposed same-sex marriage.

Still, as a veteran of partisan fights and bipartisan deals during nearly two decades in the House, he has been capable of compromise and believes in the ability of government to improve lives. He favors a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and he speaks of government’s duty to protect the poor, the mentally ill and others “in the shadows.” While Republicans in Congress tried more than 60 times to kill Obamacare, Mr. Kasich did an end-run around Ohio’s Republican Legislature to secure a $13 billion Medicaid expansion to cover more people in his state.

Oh, and on that slap at Christie:

Well, sure, the Gray Lady loves Kasich now. Let’s just say, for argument’s sake, that Kasich somehow comes out of nowhere to win the GOP nomination. How much of the third paragraph will the Times’ editorial board remember during the general election? And how many times will the editors dismiss Kasich with one-liners from the second paragraph? Count the thumbs on your right hand for the first question, and the days between the convention and Election Day for the second.

Anyone who doubts this should recall the Times’ endorsement of John McCain in 2008. The Times followed closely after their endorsement with a false claim about him having an inappropriate relationship with a female lobbyist, and demands to see his medical records on the suggestion he might be unfit for the office. Their public editor at the time took the editors to the public woodshed for running the first story at all, but their quasi-extortion on McCain over medical records continued into the late springNice campaign ya got there, governor … shame if anything happened to it … heh heh…

Besides, which Republican primary voters will be swayed by the New York Times’ endorsement … and in which direction? By the time McCain got their seal of approval, he’d all but wrapped it up. Kasich isn’t within shouting distance of the front rank. This is practically voter repellent. We’ll see if Kasich’s campaign realizes it, or whether they start trumpeting it.

Oh, the Times also made another endorsement:

Hillary Clinton would be the first woman nominated by a major party. She served as a senator from a major state (New York) and as secretary of state — not to mention her experience on the national stage as first lady with her brilliant and flawed husband, President Bill Clinton. The Times editorial board has endorsed her three times for federal office — twice for Senate and once in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary — and is doing so again with confidence and enthusiasm.

Mrs. Clinton’s main opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-described Democratic Socialist, has proved to be more formidable than most people, including Mrs. Clinton, anticipated. He has brought income inequality and the lingering pain of the middle class to center stage and pushed Mrs. Clinton a bit more to the left than she might have gone on economic issues. Mr. Sanders has also surfaced important foreign policy questions, including the need for greater restraint in the use of military force.

In the end, though, Mr. Sanders does not have the breadth of experience or policy ideas that Mrs. Clinton offers. His boldest proposals — to break up the banks and to start all over on health care reform with a Medicare-for-all system — have earned him support among alienated middle-class voters and young people. But his plans for achieving them aren’t realistic, while Mrs. Clinton has very good, and achievable, proposals in both areas.

Maybe the check cleared:

The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund, a charity run by members of the Times Company’s board of directors and senior executives, received more than $29 million in charitable contributions over the last five years from mostly anonymous donors, tax records obtained by the On Media blog show. …

The Times’ policy meant that the company did not disclose a $100,000 donation in 2008 from Bill and Hillary’s Clinton Family Foundation, recently reported by the Washington Free Beacon. The Times has said that the CFF originally sent a $100,000 check to the fund in 2007, months before the paper endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, then sent a replacement check in 2008 after the original went missing. Murphy has said that “this donation and our editorial board’s endorsement of a candidate in the 2008 Democratic primary have absolutely no connection to one another.”

Sure it doesn’t. Interestingly, the Times’ editorial board never mentions the Clinton Foundation in its endorsement — or Libya, or Benghazi, or Hillary’s use of a private e-mail system to thwart legitimate oversight of the State Department, or the massive spillage of intelligence through that system, for that matter. They never get around to explaining how the Clintons managed to earn more than $57 million in the four years she served as Secretary of State, thanks in no small part to millions earned by her husband giving speeches funded by entities with business at the State Department. But the donations to the Times’ editorial board charity have nothing to do with this memory loss, of course.

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