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The New York Times’s Endorsement Charade

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20.01.2020

The New York Times has created a spectacle around one of the stodgiest features of presidential primary season: The newspaper endorsement. In years past, the Times had simply splashed the name of the chosen one across its editorial page a week or so before the Iowa Caucuses, with a few bromides about “experience” and “temperament.” In the last two competitive Democratic primaries, the Times endorsed the establishment favorite Hillary Clinton, revealing both the Times’s own establishment leanings and the depths of its influence on actual voters.

This cycle, the Times has turned the selection into a weeklong affair, a mix between Donald Trump’s The Apprentice and LeBron James’s “The Decision.” The editorial board sat down for lengthy interviews with the candidates: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang, Tom Steyer, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker (who dropped out of the race the day the interview was published), and even Deval Patrick (but not Michael Bloomberg, who skipped the interview rather than be asked about the racist policing policies he oversaw as mayor of New York City).

On Sunday, the editorial page undermined the whole charade—and, really, the whole point of an endorsement—by choosing two, diametrically opposed candidates: Warren and Klobuchar. While nearly everyone else in the world of Democratic politics seems to have made up their mind, the board needs more time to choose between a more radical approach to fixing American’s many ills (represented by Warren) and a more conventional one (Klobuchar). The Times editorial page........

© New Republic