NYT endorses both Klobuchar and Warren for President

Today’s New York Times broke with precedent, endorsing two candidates for President as the Iowa caucus approaches.  Those candidates are Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren. (Read the editorial for why they don’t endorse the others: Biden and Sanders, for instance, are deemed too old, and should make room for younger folk).

It’s curious that the paper would endorse two candidates when the editorial’s purpose in endorsements is to name the candidate the paper most favors. Further, they endorsed both a centrist and a “progressive.”

Why did they do this? My cynical view is that their real favorite, given the paper’s increasing wokeness, is Warren, but they knew that if they endorsed only her, they would a.) lose readers and b.) perhaps actually hurt Warren because the GOP would tar her as a “New-York-Times-endorsed liberal.” So they tempered their endorsement by adding someone more towards the center, but still on the Left.

Klobuchar of course has no chance to get the nomination—FiveThirtyEight puts her polling numbers at 2.9%—so the Times is merely hedging its bets, throwing in an unelectable but centrist candidate to complement whom they really endorse.

But of course I may be wrong. Weigh in below, preferably after reading the endorsement.

43 Comments

  1. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 20, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Wishy-washy BS.

    The NYT sets up the issues with its customary competency and balance. But, Jeez, folks, have the nads to make a pick.

  2. Historian
    Posted January 20, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    What the editorial seems to be saying is who NOT to vote for as much as to who to vote for. To the progressives it advises that Sanders is too old and too rigid. To the moderates it points out that Biden is too old and too much a creature of the past. Except for Warren and Klobuchar, the other candidates have severe weaknesses, such as Bloomberg, who has a very mixed history and is trying to buy the election. I think the paper is correct that Warren and Klobuchar represent the better of the two wings of the Democratic Party. Although her chances to gain the nomination are slim, I support Klobuchar as the person with the best policies and the best chance of winning the general election.

    I agree that it is odd that the editorial board could not decide on one candidate. It is as if it was treating the Democratic Party as two separate parties. One thing is for sure: if Trump is to be defeated, the two wings must unite on Election Day no matter who the candidate is. I hope that all people who call themselves Democrats acknowledge this very obvious point.

  3. GBJames
    Posted January 20, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Covering their bases.

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 20, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    I don’t spend much “time” attempting to figure out the Times. Since they talked about all candidates maybe they are saying it is time for a woman. Did I say time enough?

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 20, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    The senator from Minnesota [Klobuchar] is the very definition of Midwestern charisma, grit and sticktoitiveness.

    Chrissake, why don’t they just put a sticker of that famous Saul Steinberg New Yorker cover “View of the World from 9th Avenue” on her forehead? 🙂

    • Posted January 20, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Precisely – I have long given up listening to much of what the NYT or NY have to say.

    • dd
      Posted January 20, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      I wonder why people rarely use the word “tenacity” instead of sticktoinvess or whatever….

      • Posted January 21, 2020 at 4:22 am | Permalink

        “sticktoitiveness” is an appalling neologism – what kind of newspaper is the NYT (not rhetorical; I have no idea as I don’t get it here in the far east of Fife).

        • GBJames
          Posted January 21, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

          “Sticktoitiveness” hasn’t been a neologism since 1871.

  6. DrBrydon
    Posted January 20, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Our elections are getting less free and fair, Congress and the courts are increasingly partisan, foreign nations are flooding society with misinformation, a deluge of money flows through our politics. And the economic mobility that made the American dream possible is vanishing.

    Honestly, this seems short-sighted to me; none of these things are new in American politics. To suggest that our “system” is not working and can’t self-correct is to suggest that we abandon democracy. NYT and Warren want to control outcomes, which means the dice always rolling the way they want. I think they through Klobuchar in there to seem double-woke.

    • Posted January 21, 2020 at 4:25 am | Permalink

      These things may not be new, but they are a serious problem. Add gerrymandering and voter restriction, and you have a broken democracy. That doesn’t mean abandoning it, but it does need fixing urgently.

  7. Posted January 20, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    I think you have it right. Women for wokeness, one radical leftist and one centrist for maximum breadth. It’s just silliness and embarrassing for such a great paper, historically anyway.

    • Posted January 20, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      What do you consider “radical” in Warren’s politics? (no trick question, I am not American and would like to understand what Americans consider “radical”, thanks).

      • Posted January 20, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        I only meant that she was at the other end of the leftist spectrum from Klobuchar. I’m probably not the best person to define “radical” in this context. I’d certainly vote for Warren if she ends up the Dem candidate so she’s not too radical.

      • GBJames
        Posted January 20, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        In our day (now) radicalism is almost all on the right side. We had a lot of left wing radicals when I was a young man but our political spectrum has shifted so far to the right that I have a hard time finding left wing radicals these days. There is foolishness aplenty, in the form of wokeness, though.

      • dd
        Posted January 20, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        In economics, this well-known libertarian site gives some clues..

        https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2020/01/the-economic-policy-of-elizabeth-warren.html

      • Posted January 20, 2020 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        Far as I can tell, “radical” or “extreme” is what your political opponent is. At least that is how the ads read.

        I think, at least to me, radical is when someone is so far out of the mainstream as to make it impossible to see the river. For gun control, radical is favoring ownership of bazookas with armor piercing rounds or going house-to-house to search for and confiscate weapons. Neither side will likely say they favor that (except Beto maybe 😛 ) but each side will run ads saying that the other position is what their opponent will do if elected.

  8. KD33
    Posted January 20, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    I was not surprised to see this, if only because I have landed in the same place. I like both of them for different reasons, and am hesitant about both for different reasons.

    The extended interviews of all the candidates in the NYT are very much worth a read.

  9. Bill Shipley
    Posted January 20, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Americans, and Democrats in particular, are free to elect whomever they choose. Since I am not an American I won’t tell you for whom you should vote. However, it is curious that you (and many Americans) describe Warren and Sanders as far-left candidates who are especially “woke”. In any other western democracy these people would be considered quite middle-of-the-road liberals. Universal healthcare! Higher taxes on the super-rich to pay for these things! If Americans look beyond their borders they will see that these ideas are already the norm in most other western democracies and actually work rather well.

    • Adam M.
      Posted January 20, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      “Wokeness” generally refers to identity politics, and in the democratic primary specifically to those who want to decriminalize illegal immigration, abolish or neuter ICE (our immigration law enforcement agency), give more taxpayer-funded benefits to illegal immigrants, support sanctuary policies that protect illegal immigrants from deportation even if they commit serious crimes, give explicit financial reparations to blacks for slavery, and enact “criminal justice reform” – some of which may be good – but almost all of which is predicated on the idea, not supported by facts, that our entire judicial system is racist and designed to oppress innocent black people.

      Sanders and Warren do seem to be on the more extreme side of that, but from what I can see, almost all of the top Democrats have similarly “woke” policies in that regard. The real question, I suppose, is who is sincerely woke and who is just afraid to stick their neck out and say “I actually don’t support taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal immigrants”. Some of them probably just pretend to support woke policies to get votes, but I don’t think Sanders and Warren (and some others) are pretending.

  10. Paul Turpin
    Posted January 20, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Interesting that when I took the Posts candidate quiz the other day, I matched better with Biden, Bloomberg, and Steyer, when my heart says Warren and Sanders. I’m just as conflicted as KD33 above, the NYT, and the Democratic Party. I would also prefer a younger person, and a woman. Is it too hopeful that a President/Vice President team could unite the party and defeat Trump?

  11. rickflick
    Posted January 20, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Maybe the publicity form the endorsement will start a wave for K-char. Warren makes me nervous because of electability issues. K-char is moderate and young. I could see her going all the way, if she can build momentum. I haven’t read the interviews, but I’ll save the link.

  12. Posted January 20, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I would pick Amy over Warren. I think Warren is also too old. And have other problems with her.

    Noticed Mayor Pete was not mentioned. He and Amy would be my top choices.

    Don’t see anything wrong with them stating their top
    picks instead of just their top pick. Unusual but a valid position to take.

    • Posted January 20, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      they mentioned Mayor Pete as being in the same category as Yang, Bloomberg and Biden.

    • Posted January 20, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Although Warren is 70, she looks like a 50 y.o., and is full of vitality and good health. So she’s not too old. Her ideas are not old either.

  13. Posted January 20, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I think that the NYT is admitting that the Democrats are not a united party; we are really a bit like a coalition between the UK Lib Dems and Labour; they break it down to the radicals and the realists.

    They pick Klobuchar as the best realist (and I support Klobuchar and would pick her over Biden, Bloomberg, Yang and Buttigieg) and Warren as the best radical (and I agree that Warren > Sanders)

  14. Posted January 20, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    This hapless Canadian did the some-what silly exercise to see where he’d end up. Top 5 (1st to 5th):

    sanders
    warren
    yang
    steyer
    gabbard

    • Posted January 20, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      I got
      Yang Warren Sanders and I can’t remember the rest.

  15. Posted January 20, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    But I should say – many times my actual position was not represented in the choices, alas.

  16. Posted January 20, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    I think the only sensible candidate at this point is Bernie Sanders. I base this on the observation that there’s a lot of street buzz and grassroots enthusiasm about him, which I don’t see with the other candidates. His more eccentric ideas, whatever they are to any voter, will be shaved off by the political system anyway.

    Joe Biden, crown prince of the prison system, would be a typical but terrible candidate. He’s pretty much the poster boy for the largest incarcerated population in the world. He also says things like this:

    “It’s not like there’s going to be some great epiphany and people are going to wake up and go, ‘Oh my god, I’m now a Democrat.’ And if you hear people on the rope line saying, ‘I’m a Republican,’ I say, ‘Stay a Republican.’ Vote for me but stay a Republican, because we need a Republican Party”

    Do we need a Republican Party? They’re the most dangerous organization on the planet, given two things: the USA is the leading country in the western world, and what they do has a certain significance, and, thanks to the Republicans, actively against measures to counter Climate Change, the largest threat to human wellbeing.

    This election, just like the one before is not about better candidates than Trump, but enthusiasm to come out to vote. I see the enthusiasm with Bernie Sanders, who polls well also in battleground states.

    Further, Bernie Sanders is the only candidate who can credibly repair American Democracy, as he doesn’t rely on Super PACs, lobbies and billionaires who have eroded your systems so that scientists find no correlation between what Americans want and what politicians decide (Gilens & Page 2014).

    In my view, he should do it for one term, and hopefully, by then, someone else can continue in that spirit. Americans, overall, don’t quite seem to appreciate just how rich and influential their country is and how vanishingly little of this “trickles down” to most Americans. Countries far less influential or rich have citizens who don’t go bankrupt (or die) over medical bills, for instance. And Americans who think those at the top deserve their lot are mistaken because most Americans maintain what makes the spoils for the top possible.

    • Rita Prangle
      Posted January 20, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Good points. If Bernie were nominated, most Democrats would vote for him even if they don’t agree with many of his policies. But, if the nomination went to Biden, a lot more young progressives would stay home.

    • Posted January 20, 2020 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      You know who really likes Sanders? Credit card processors. Most transactions feature a flat fee (say 25 cents) and a percentage of the total dollar amount. Now maybe the campaigns have negotiated down a rate but think of the bucks rolling in on each of those $2.70 donations to Sanders (say 25 cents plus 2%; maybe 30 cents a donation).

      And because small donor funding is now the rage because of it, and everybody does it now, every $5 or $10 to Biden, Klobuchar, Warren, etc. generates a massive influx of small fees which become big fees. A bonanza for the credit card processors.

      • Posted January 21, 2020 at 4:14 am | Permalink

        Cunning foxes! Don’t know if this is a serious concern, but if it was, it’s hilarious. Yes, the bank always wins. They collect when you have money, and they collect when you have no money. They collect when huge sums are moved around, and they collect when small sums are moved around.

    • Posted January 21, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Hello Aneris,

      From your comment, it seems like you are not a US citizen (please correct me if I’m wrong).

      Bernie’s big Achille’s Heel is his frank statement that he is a Socialist.

      People from outside the US do not understand how powerfully poisonous this label is in US politics.

      The shift to Trump (e.g. WI, PA, MI, that states that put him over the top in a historic squeaker (4th closest electoral college result since 1940) and in which he lost the popular vote by 2.9 million votes (2.1%)) was mainly among working-class voters.

      In the event Bernie gets nominated (I don’t think he will; but then I didn’t think Drumpf would be elected), this video (edited!) will be playing in every TV market in every battleground state (e.g. WI, MI, PA).

      In my opinion, the Bern will not bring these people back.

      We shall see.

      • GBJames
        Posted January 21, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        I’d modify this “powerfully poisonous” bit to say “especially among older voters”. Younger ones who haven’t been subjected to fear of communism that was a political staple from 1950 until 1990 (and the rhetorical conflation of “socialism” with “communism”) don’t experience the table as poisonous. Heck, some of us older folk recognize the labeling trick for what it is.

        Those of us from Milwaukee who are old enough (or historically educated) associate the label with a long period of good government that lasted from 1910 until 1960. We had three “sewer socialists” during that time.

        Certainly, Republicans will try to scare people with the “Socialist” label. That’s what they do.

        • Posted January 21, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

          This is very true, thanks.

        • Posted January 21, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

          Trouble is, turnout among the young is usually very poor. And for the old, it is generally very solid.

          From my (very) limited sampling, the young, working class people have more or less punted on voting (or, many that I know from northern WI are strong Trumpers — at least in 2016 they were; we’ll see).

          We (Dems) outnumber the GOP. If we just show up and vote, we win.

          I hope, fervently hope, that the 2020 election cycle will not be spent (by many) running down the Dem nominee (as happened in 2016) and that everyone pulls together to get out the vote and get the Orange Creature out of office.

          I will joyfully mark the box next to whichever Dem is nominated to oppose Trump.

        • Posted January 21, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

          (And another “again” …)

          2016 was swung by working class people who went Trump. Only 77,000 votes distributed in WI, MI, and PA got the Orange Creature into office. We must (must) not turn those people off.

          • GBJames
            Posted January 21, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

            At the risk of going around in circles…. again…. 😉 … First you have to determine what turned those people off in 2016, and 2) if the number of people who swung to tRump was greater than the number who were turned off and didn’t vote because they were disheartened by Clinton being a classic Democrat centrist. The answers to those questions determine whether one fears being called a socialist more than one fears being see to be yet another politician who is more interested in the wealthy donors than the “little guy”. The answers don’t seem obvious to me but I see little future in trying to appeal to tRump voters of any sort. That small number of them with half a brain have already regretted their decision and are unlikely to repeat it.

  17. Bruce J. Cochrane
    Posted January 20, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Actually, I think the NYT did their readers a service in defining the two broad visions of the candidates – “progressivism” in the cases of Sanders and Warren, and the “moderation” of Biden Buttegeig and Klobouchar – and then endorsing the strongest candidate in each pool. By doing so, it asks the reader to decide for herself or himself which vision they prefer and then to proceed accordingly.

    For me, the three questions we need to be asking are 1) can s/he beat Trump; 2) does s/he have the ability to govern effectively, and only then 3) what is his or her grand vision? Given all the norms that Trump has busted, 1) may be the toughest to answer, but the ability to raise turnout among all potential non-Trump voters is key. In the case of 2), as I think the NYT points out, Warren and Klobouchar are strong. Finally, I personally go back and forth again regarding 3). So I am truly undecided, but I’m hopeful that the early primaries will provide some clarity (as an Ohioan, I don’t get a shot until after Super Tuesday).

  18. Jimbo
    Posted January 21, 2020 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    The right is having a field day with this story, e.g. “the NYT picks both the Chiefs and the 49ers to win the Super Bowl.”

    I must agree. They can’t even properly endorse a candidate and are evidently conflicted by which woman to endorse, so they checked “both.” While I don’t disagree with some of the article’s points, it does seem like the NYT said to hell with electability and polling, let’s go with ageism and say why neither old white dude should win and why EITHER woman should, even if one of them (Klobuchar) has an atrocious polling percentage and no hope of beating Trump. If Warren is the nominee (and I’ll vote for her) but nevertheless loses to Trump as Hillary did, I’ll be pissed and I think the Dems will have to be honest about the electability of a woman for president. Political correctness be damned,

  19. Posted January 21, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    “Klobuchar of course has no chance to get the nomination — FiveThirtyEight puts her polling numbers at 2.9%”

    I disagree with the first clause of this statement.

    No votes have been cast yet. Amy has visited every county in Iowa over the last few weeks, convincing many people.

    She’s my favorite candidate (which has nothing to do with the fact that she is my senator — she could retain that seat for as long as she chooses to do so), so maybe I am biased.

    Let’s see after Iowa (3-Feb-2020) and New Hampshire (11-Feb-2020). These will greatly clarify the picture.

    I think Warren, though I like her, is a bit too woke. And her tussle with the Bern didn’t help either.

    I like Mayor Pete (but feel he has significantly less chance than Amy does)
    I am not a Bern fan
    Biden does not excite me

    All this said, I will be checking the box next to whichever Dem is nominated to get the Orange Moron of Mendacity voted out of office. And then we’ll see if he actually steps down — he’s made many statement calling that into question.

    • Posted January 21, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Iowa has a reputation for rewarding shoe-leather, door-to-door politics. Amy has done more of that in IA than anyone.


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