In the increasingly heated presidential election battle between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump, key areas of support could help determine the final result. In some cases, the level of endorsements one candidate receives offers a window into their overall trustworthiness to handle the office of the President.
Most of the endorsements offered are simply partisan nods that are no surprise to anyone. However, when it comes to this controversial vote, Clinton has been able to acquire a pair of endorsements that would have been unthinkable in any previous election cycle.
The most shocking came from the Arizona Republic newspaper, which began operations in 1890. In the 31 subsequent presidential elections, the paper had always endorsed the Republican candidate, given the state’s strong conservative roots. That changed when they officially offered their endorsement of Clinton.
The paper’s editorial board cited what they believe are Trump’s lack of conservative credentials and their feeling that he simply isn’t qualified for the job. They focused on Trump’s unwillingness to release his past tax returns, which they believe would allow potential voters to gauge the candidate’s skills in business.
The Republic’s board was also critical of Trump’s demeanor, which has previously been severely criticized by many media outlets. Having shown a penchant for remarks that were either inaccurate or offensive, the paper criticized Trump’s thin skin when it came to criticism.
Yet another factor in the board’s decision focused on the issue of immigration. With Arizona being one of the focal points of this continuing issue, the Republic felt that Clinton’s approach was better than Trump’s past comments. Trump has promised to build a massive wall to keep out illegal immigrants and deport those currently in the United States.
Clinton’s other endorsement came from retired Virginia Senator John Warner, a Republican who left office in 2009 after five terms in office. When he departed, one newspaper poll gave him a 72 percent favorable rating, a ringing endorsement that’s rare for a politician.
The 89-year-old Warner focused on Clinton’s experience when it comes to national security, having served with her in the Senate for eight years, followed by her four years as Secretary of State. During his career, he was chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee after previously having served in the Navy during World War II and later serving for two years as Secretary of the Navy.
One of the many criticisms directed at Trump during this campaign has focused on his statements about the foreign policy of the United States. Those critics have charged that he lacks the knowledge about the world at large and that his aforementioned thin skin could potentially lead to a dangerous military conflict.
Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, currently serves in the Senate for Virginia, though he didn’t succeed Warner. The value of this particular endorsement is that the state is one of a handful that could determine which candidate wins the election. Warner’s popularity could help make it easier for Clinton to obtain the state’s 13 electoral votes.
The dual announcements had different ramifications, with Warner not having to worry about offending voters. In contrast, the Republic’s endorsement drew vitriolic responses that included subscription cancellations and even death threats. The Republic made a point to note that had either Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio been the nominee, they more than likely would have endorsed them. Their complaint with Trump noted his past pronouncements of verbally attacking journalists and his ridicule of disabled individuals.