DMR Endorses Clinton, McCain

| Sun Dec. 16, 2007 12:38 AM EST

I goofed earlier when I blogged on the significance of the Des Moines Register's endorsement, which was released just a few moments ago. Specifically, I failed to mention that the Register releases two endorsements, one in each race.

Isn't endorsing a candidate in each party a pretty incredible show of arrogance? If the Register were to endorse one candidate, it would be essentially saying, "Look, we're going to lay our biases on the table. Here's who we support. Take it or leave it." But by endorsing a candidate in each race, the folks there aren't making their decisions based on their values. They're making their decisions based on the belief that they are smarter and better informed than other Iowans and therefore have the authority to tell both Republicans and Democrats how to vote. I know this is common practice, but jeez, I tell you, there is something about Iowa.

Anyway, the Register endorsed Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Its rationals after the jump. Updated below: The Boston Globe's picks.

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On Clinton:

...the candidates have outlined ambitious policy proposals on health care, education and rural policy. Yet these proposals do little to help separate the field. Their plans are similar, reflecting a growing consensus in the party about how to approach priority issues.

The choice, then, comes down to preparedness: Who is best prepared to confront the enormous challenges the nation faces — from ending the Iraq war to shoring up America's middle class to confronting global climate change?

The job requires a president who not only understands the changes needed to move the country forward but also possesses the discipline and skill to navigate the reality of the resistant Washington power structure to get things done.

That candidate is New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

On McCain:

...for all [the Republican candidates'] accomplishments on smaller stages, none can offer the tested leadership, in matters foreign and domestic, of Sen. John McCain of Arizona. McCain is most ready to lead America in a complex and dangerous world and to rebuild trust at home and abroad by inspiring confidence in his leadership.

Time will tell if the Register's endorsement will provide Clinton and McCain with boosts. Clinton is currently running second in Iowa, whereas McCain is a more distant fifth, so it is definitely she who is in a better position to use the endorsement. Then again, the Register has endorsed losers before.

Update: The Boston Globe tried to steal some of the Register's thunder today, also releasing its endorsements. It went with McCain and Obama. The Globe is distributed pretty widely in New Hampshire, and the endorsements should have at least some impact there.

Today's biggest impact may be felt by John Edwards, whose inability to garner either of the two Democratic endorsements will further marginalize him.

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