In a break with tradition, the New York Times’ editorial board has endorsed two Democrats vying for the party’s nomination for president: Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren, who represent the best centrist and leftist choices, respectively, the Times said.
The board noted they endorsed the Minnesota and Massachusetts senators because they represent the best of realistic and radical approaches for governing the country and “repairing the Republic," with Warren constituting the radical model and Klobuchar, the realistic.
Warren has emerged as a “standard-bearer for the Democratic left,” the board wrote. The members highlighted her commitment to anti-corruption legislation, pledges to increase federal funds for clean energy research and climate initiatives, and proposed tax on the ultra-wealthy. They described the numerous policy plans she has put forward as a “serious approach to policymaking that some of the other candidates lack."
While Warren is the best choice for the left-wing of the party, the board said, its members described Klobuchar as the optimal pick for more center-leaning Democrats. The board touted her as a potential uniter of the liberal and centrist wings of the party, exemplified in her lengthy tenure in the Senate and bipartisan credentials, and cited her pledges to invest in green infrastructure, lift the middle class, and tackle issues such as fair housing, childhood poverty, and gun policy.
The Times also explained why they did not endorse two front-runners, former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Among the concerns the board had with Sanders’ candidacy are the question of his health, after the Senator suffered a heart attack in October, and what the Times described as his inability to compromise on big issues.
“Only his prescriptions can be the right ones, even though most are overly rigid, untested, and divisive,” the board wrote.
The Times acknowledged Biden’s experience and command over foreign policy, but also highlighted his occasional gaffes and age.
“Mr. Biden is 77. It’s time for him to pass the torch to a new generation of political leaders," the Times said.
The decision aired Sunday night on an episode of the newspaper’s FX docuseries, “The Weekly,” which showed portions of the board’s interviews with nine candidates: Warren, Klobuchar, Biden, Sanders, Andrew Yang, Pete Buttigieg, Deval Patrick, Tom Steyer, and Cory Booker. Booker has since dropped out of the race.
The Times endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2008 over Barack Obama, and again in 2016. In 2004, the Times endorsed John Kerry and chose Al Gore in 2000. The Times has endorsed the party’s eventual nominee each election cycle except for 2008.
“May the best woman win,” the board concluded.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.