The New York Times editorial board said late Jan. 19 it was endorsing two candidates for president, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
The pair are the only women left in the race with the exception of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).
The double endorsement was “a break with convention,” the paper said. The board spent hours with nine of the leading candidates, and said “nearly any of them would be the most progressive president in decades on issues like health care, the economy, and government’s allocations of resources.”
“Where they differ most significantly is not the what but the how, in whether they believe the country’s institutions and norms are up to the challenge of the moment,” the board added.
“The history of the editorial board would suggest that we would side squarely with the candidate with a more traditional approach to pushing the nation forward, within the realities of a constitutional framework and a multiparty country. But the events of the past few years have shaken the confidence of even the most committed institutionalists. We are not veering away from the values we espouse, but we are rattled by the weakness of the institutions that we trusted to undergird those values.”
Warren, the board said, is the most effective advocate for a radical model of government. Klobuchar is the most effective advocate for a “realist” model of government.
Warren, 70, “is a gifted storyteller” who “‘speaks elegantly of how the economic system is rigged against all but the wealthiest Americans, and of ‘our chance to rewrite the rules of power in our country,’ as she put it in a speech last month,” the board wrote.
Warren has seriously approached policymaking, releasing plans relating to a gamut of areas, like universal childcare, increasing government investment in research into alternative sources of energy, and free public college, the board said. Warren, among the candidates who have said they will issue executive orders to implement policy if blocked by Congress, can wield “the presidency’s wide-ranging powers to shape American society through the creation and enforcement of regulations,” it said.
Warren shared the endorsement on social media, writing, “So, I guess @AmyKlobuchar and I are now both undefeated in elections and undefeated in New York Times endorsements!”
The statement was a reference to Warren pointing out that the men on the debate stage last week had lost a number of elections, declaring, “The only people on this stage who have won every single election that they have been in are the women.”
The 59-year-old Klobuchar, meanwhile, “has emerged as a standard-bearer for the Democratic center,” the board said.
“Her vision goes beyond the incremental. Given the polarization in Washington and beyond, the best chance to enact many progressive plans could be under a Klobuchar administration.”
“The senator from Minnesota is the very definition of Midwestern charisma, grit and sticktoitiveness. Her lengthy tenure in the Senate and bipartisan credentials would make her a deal maker (a real one) and uniter for the wings of the party—and perhaps the nation,” it added.
Klobuchar wrote on social media that the endorsement was “An honor!”
The board said it didn’t endorse former Vice President Joe Biden, 77, because he “merely” wants to restore the status quo. Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, 38, hasn’t worked his way up through politics yet, the board said; entrepreneur Andrew Yang, 45, “has virtually no experience in government;” and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, 77, has “blemishes” on his record, including stop-and-frisk.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), 78, has health concerns and isn’t open to compromise, the board said. “Three years into the Trump administration, we see little advantage to exchanging one over-promising, divisive figure in Washington for another,” it stated.
The board said it spoke with Biden, Sanders, billionaire Tom Steyer, Warren, Klobuchar, Yang, Biden, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who dropped out of the race earlier this month. Gabbard, Bloomberg, and Julian Castro, who also dropped out of the race, declined to be interviewed.