Choosing to endorse two candidates is a good decision

Amanda Salazar

In a courageous and smart break from tradition, on Jan. 19 The New York Times editorial board decided to endorse not one, but two Democratic candidates for the presidency. Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — the only two debate-qualified women of the race  and two of the three women running in the Democratic race — are the lucky two who were endorsed.

This past year has been about the contentious and overwhelming race for the Democratic nomination for the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

A total of 28 candidates have aimed to earn the nation’s confidence. 

As of January there are only 12 Democrats competing for the nomination, compared to about five in 2016. 

This was narrowed down to two candidates by the time of the primary, according to an article by The Times in 2016.

There are three Republicans running for the Republican nomination, the most likely to win being current President Donald Trump.

The Times’s editorial board — separate from the paper’s news desk — took a risk by endorsing two candidates, as this has never been done before by their newspaper. 

But, it was an interesting and transparent decision that should be applauded.

Their reasoning is that there are normally two visions for the country being offered during presidential election — Democratic or Republican. 

This time around, The Times made the distinction between the two views within the Democratic party, the central-moderates and the more progressive candidates.

“On the Democratic side, an essential debate is underway between two visions that may define the future of the party and perhaps the nation,” The Time’s opinion article explains “Some in the party view President Trump as an aberration and believe that a return to a more sensible America is possible. Then there are those who believe that President Trump was the product of “political and economic systems so rotten that they must be replaced,” The Times also reported. 

Warren and Vermont Sen.Bernie Sanders are the liberal progressives of the debate stage. The rest of the candidates, led by former Vice President Joseph Biden, are considered to be the more moderate candidates.

The decision to separate the two wings of the party is both interesting and concerning. 

It’s a good thing to note that there are different ideologies at play in a single party right now, and it’s one being felt on social media and at protests as much as it is in the Democratic National Convention.

The moderates versus the liberals situation is real, so it makes sense that The New York Times came to the conclusion that there should be two endorsements so they don’t have to choose tradition over progressivism.

On the other hand, though, Democrats should be concerned, to some extent at least, about the split in their own party, which this time around has gotten so notable that The Times felt it had to break precedent and do a double endorsement, as if moderates and progressives aren’t even the same party anymore.

Moving beyond that, the decision is admirable, because, as the editorial board explains it, they wanted to leave the choice of moderate candidate or liberal candidate up to the readers and not make that call themselves.

“There will be those dissatisfied that this page is not throwing its weight behind a single candidate, favoring centrists or progressives,” the endorsement reads. 

“But it’s a fight the party itself has been itching to have since Mrs. Clinton’s defeat in 2016, and one that should be played out in the public arena and in the privacy of the voting booth. That’s the very purpose of primaries, to test-market strategies and ideas that can galvanize and inspire the country.”

Set aside opinions on Klobuchar and Warren themselves, The Times announced who they believe, after many hours of interviewing all the candidates, are the best choices for the Democratic nomination, one from the liberal side and one from the moderate side.

Their choice to not pick an ideology for their readers is honorable, despite negative feedback from publications including CNN and The Nation.

At the end of the day, there’s no legitimate reason to criticize this call, especially if people read the entire endorsement, which details the board’s process and thinking.

The board also broke from tradition in an effort to be even more transparent, by releasing the videos of their interviews with the candidates and of their discussion after the meetings. This decision should be appreciated as well. 

In addition to this, The Times also launched an interactive quiz for readers to find out the candidate that best suits their political interests. 

As the endorsement said in closing, “May the best woman win.”