The FBI’s decision to reopen an investigation of emails from Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state did not stop the Democratic presidential nominee from collecting yet another endorsement from a conservative newspaper editorial board. The State announced its endorsement of Clinton on Saturday night, the paper’s first for a Democrat in 40 years.
“The Republican nominee for president could have been an intriguing option,” The State’s editorial board wrote. “Donald Trump’s résumé describes a successful businessman with no ties to the political ‘establishment.’ ”
But like so many other editorial boards, The State’s determined that Trump’s volatile temperament is impossible to ignore.
“Whatever intrigue his business resume generates is overshadowed by his character and personality,” the paper concluded. “He is simply unfit for the presidency, or any public office. That means we must rely on Hillary Clinton for any meaningful change in Washington politics.”
The State joins a growing list of newspapers with right-leaning editorial boards that are breaking with tradition and rejecting Trump. Earlier this month, the San Diego Union-Tribune bestowed on Clinton its first endorsement of a Democrat since 1868. The Arizona Republic, formerly the Arizona Republican, had never (as the name would suggest) endorsed a Democrat for president in its 126-year history. Then Donald Trump came along. The newspaper’s conservative editorial board last month threw its support behind Clinton, calling her “the only choice to move America ahead.”
“The 2016 Republican candidate is not conservative, and he is not qualified,” the Phoenix paper wrote. “That’s why, for the first time in our history, the Arizona Republic will support a Democrat for president.”
The Cincinnati Enquirer, noting it “has supported Republicans for president for almost a century,” also endorsed Clinton also in September. The Dallas Morning News backed Clinton earlier in the month, even though it “has not recommended a Democrat for the nation’s highest office since before World War II.” And the Houston Chronicle endorsed Clinton in July, marking just the second time in 13 elections that it has supported a Democrat.
Trump picked up his first general-election endorsement from a major newspaper last week – the Las Vegas Review-Journal, purchased in December by Republican mega donor and Trump supporter Sheldon Adelson. Several other right-leaning papers, including the Chicago Tribune, the Detroit News, the Union Leader of Manchester, N.H., the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal and the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch have backed Libertarian Gary Johnson.
Trump often revels in negative media coverage, suggesting it validates his outsider status and proves that he is the change-maker the “establishment” fears. Indeed, many Trump voters seem drawn to the real estate magnate because of the bad press he receives, not in spite of it.
Still, while repudiation by The New York Times editorial board is a badge of honor for a Republican nominee, virtually any GOP standard-bearer ought to be able to win over The State or the Arizona Republic or the Union-Tribune.
But these papers just can’t go there with Trump.