Sun Endorsement

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Big shocker, of course, but it’s pretty damn good in any event.

We are at a loss as to what more we could say that would persuade anyone who is still undecided in this election. So we won’t try. Instead, we offer up an endorsement in the words of others — newspapers and government, military and business leaders — who have consistent track records of backing Republicans but who feel compelled to support Ms. Clinton this year.

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The Dallas Morning News, which last supported a Democrat for president in 1940 (The Sun, incidentally, picked Wendell Willkie over President Roosevelt that year), acknowledged that it had been critical of Ms. Clinton at times. But it nonetheless endorsed her, recognizing that “unlike Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton has experience in actual governance, a record of service and a willingness to delve into real policy.”

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Hillary Clinton “does not casually say things that embolden our adversaries and frighten our allies. Her approach to governance is mature, confident and rational,” the Arizona Republic wrote in endorsing a Democratic presidential candidate over a Republican for the first time ever, ending a 126-year streak. “Clinton retains her composure under pressure. She’s tough. She doesn’t back down. … Clinton has argued America’s case before friendly and unfriendly foreign leaders with tenacity, diplomacy and skill. She earned respect by knowing the issues, the history and the facts.”

The Cincinnati Enquirer (last Democratic endorsement: Woodrow Wilson, 1916) called Ms. Clinton “a known commodity with a proven track record of governing.” It praised her efforts to help get adequate health care for 9/11 first responders and military families, and for her role in developing the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which now covers 8 million low-income children. The Enquirer and others noted that despite the low regard many Republicans hold for her, she has, in a polarized era, found success in working with the other party. “Though conservatives like to paint her as nakedly partisan, on Capitol Hill she gained respect from Republicans for working across the aisle: Two-thirds of her bills had GOP co-sponsors and included common ground with some of Congress’ most conservative lawmakers,” the Dallas Morning News wrote.

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“When Trump assures us he’ll do for the United States what he’s done for his businesses, that’s not a promise — it’s a threat,” Henry M. Paulson Jr., the treasury secretary under George W. Bush, wrote in the Washington Post. “The tactics he has used in running his business wouldn’t work in running a truly successful company, let alone the most powerful nation on Earth.”

As the Houston Chronicle notes, Ms. Clinton has well-developed plans for addressing income inequality and wage gaps through policies like a higher minimum wage and expanded tax credits for low-income families. But Mr. Trump’s plan is simply to be Mr. Trump, and a close look at his record suggests that’s not a good deal for America. “It’s true that he has created jobs,” the Cincinnati Enquirer’s editorial board wrote. “But he also has sent many overseas and left a trail of unpaid contractors in his wake. His refusal to release his tax returns draws into question both Trump’s true income and whether he is paying his fair share of taxes. Even if you consider Trump a successful businessman, running a government is not the same as being the CEO of a company. The United States cannot file bankruptcy to avoid paying its debts” — an idea Mr. Trump appeared to suggest during the primary election.
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 “Ripping up our trade agreements, as … Donald Trump suggests, and raising a tariff wall around the U.S. economy … would decimate millions of high-wage American jobs and slam families trying to make ends meet,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue wrote in the Washington Post. “Increasing tariffs on Chinese and Mexican goods — another one of Trump’s proposals — could cost American families $250 billion per year.”

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No less a conservative than Paul Wolfowitz, one of the Bush administration’s chief proponents of the Iraq war, observed of Mr. Trump, “He says he admires [Vladimir] Putin, that Saddam Hussein was killing terrorists, that the Chinese were impressive because they were tough on Tiananmen Square. That is pretty disturbing.” He added: “The only way you can be comfortable about Trump’s foreign policy is to think he doesn’t really mean anything he says.”

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[Clinton] understands the potential to defuse conflicts through diplomacy — as when she “helped broker a cease fire between Israel and Hamas, assembled a global coalition to impose sanctions on Iran, and played a crucial role in persuading Iran to accept limits on its nuclear program,” Brent Scowcroft, the former national security adviser under presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, wrote in endorsing her. She is, in the Houston Chronicle’s words, “knowledgeable, dependable and trusted worldwide.”

Robert Gates, a Republican who served as defense secretary under George W. Bush and President Obama, criticized Ms. Clinton in a Wall Street Journal op-ed for failing to provide specifics on how she would handle actual or potential adversaries like Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, and for what he sees as her failures in cases like our military intervention in Libya. But her faults are correctable, he wrote, whereas “Mr. Trump is beyond repair. He is stubbornly uninformed about the world and how to lead our country and government, and temperamentally unsuited to lead our men and women in uniform. He is unqualified and unfit to be commander-in-chief.”

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This is not an ordinary election offering voters a choice between a more liberal and a more conservative candidate for president. This time, one candidate stands in the broad tradition of American leadership that has made this the greatest, most powerful and most prosperous nation in history. The other would have us trade that legacy for a cult of personality. The choice is clear. Hillary Clinton has the skills, experience and values to navigate these challenging times. Donald Trump, meanwhile, is utterly unsuited and unprepared for the presidency. But don’t just take our word for it. This year, you don’t have to.

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