The New York Times has endorsed not one but two candidates for the Democratic nomination for president, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar from the party’s moderate wing and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren from the progressive wing.
The paper said Sunday it had chosen the two most effective candidates from the moderate and progressive sides of the party — without stating a preference for either approach. It praised Warren as “a gifted story teller” and Klobuchar as “the very definition” of Midwestern charisma and grit.
When mentioning another front-runner, former Vice President Joe Biden, the Times acknowledged his years of experience, but also noted his age, 77, desire, and occasional gaffes. “It is time for him to pass the torch to a new generation of political leaders,” the paper said, borrowing from President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address.
The paper mentioned Sen. Bernie Sanders’ age, 78, “serious concerns” about his health and noted his unwillingness to compromise. The paper praised another of the front-runners, 38-year-old Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, as likely to have “a bright political future.”
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The newspaper changed its approach to presidential endorsements this year, airing footage of candidate interviews and details about the endorsement process on a special edition of “The Weekly,” the FX network series about the Times.
In previous election years, the Times has often chosen a candidate popular with the party establishment. The Times endorsed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary in 2016 and over a charismatic but unproven newcomer Barack Obama in 2008.
In 2004, the Times endorsed John Kerry and in 2000 chose Al Gore. Each time they chose a candidate who was popular with the Democratic establishment and, except for 2008, the eventual nominee.