Monday, January 20, 2020



     Suddenly, it's all for a woman to be Commander-in-Chieftess, and Ms. POTUS. 

     (The Den)--Only one time since the turn of the last century and its endorsement of William McKinley in 1900  has The New York Times endorsed a woman for president, and that was Hillary Clinton in 2016. She lost to President Trump. Some of the more predominant endorsements are listed below. Note also that all of them came in late, just a few weeks prior to the general election with Senator Clinton's being the earliest, in September as opposed to the late October endorsements for the others.
      Clearly exploiting the recent flap between candidates Warren and Sanders over the electability of a woman to the Oval Office, the Times editorial board also came under recent criticism from front runner Joe Biden over his age, as reported by Naomi Lim in The Washington Examiner last week;
     "Joe Biden playfully accused The New York Times of pedaling ageism when its editorial board pressed him on whether there was a need for an upper age limit on the presidency.
     'I think you guys are engaging in ageism here,' Biden, 77, told the outlet. 'Now, look: All kidding aside, I don’t think they’re — the voters — will be able to make a judgment. You’ll make a judgment whether or not you think I have all my cognitive capability, I’m physically capable, and I have the energy to do the job. ' " (Washington Examiner)

     With respect to the Times Board of Directors, of the twelve, only three are women, most if not all are younger than VP Biden. Overlooked in the age-gender flap is timing of the endorsements. Not just for the sake of taking a stand on the gender issue in the race is one of early caucuses and primaries, the Times hoping to influence them sooner, rather than later. The endorsements of Warren and Klobuchar are designed to influence votes even before the conventions that usually come in late summer. The first, the Iowa caucus, is just around the corner where polls show the oddball Bernie Sanders in the lead and a recent announcement by Team Trump that Bernie is the man to beat in Des Moines. Emily Larsen reports for The Washington Examiner as to the decision by the Times editorial board;
     "...the New York Times editorial board announced that it could not decide between two choices for Democratic presidential nominee, one on the left, the other a centrist." (Examiner)

     The Times also makes a grandstand statement about "may the best woman win," if that is the case, why did the newspaper endorse Obama over Hillary Clinton in 2008? (Wikipedia) Two theories could account for this, one is genderism versus ethnicity, the other is expediency, neither offers a quality explanation. In fact, the 2008 race had but just one female contender, Senator Clinton. President Obama went unopposed in the next election. The 2020 campaign is in reality the first major test of the opportunity for a woman to become president, whether Bernie agrees with it or not. One ironic twist to all of this was that Sarah Palin ran on the McCain ticket in '08, when the Times editorial board had an opportunity to cheer a woman for the executive branch, but passed. Suddenly, it's all for a woman to be Commander-in-Chieftess, and Ms. POTUS.
     If the local paper is any indication of just how insignificant the NY Times endorsement is, The Des Moines Register on its page related to candidate backing, makes no mention of it. However, Senator Warren did get the go ahead from the Storm Lake Times on December 11th. (DM Register)

     In the ever shifting world of presidential candidate politics, just how far the runners can play the age-gender cards has yet to be seen. Is Joe Biden correct, that at his age, he can still do more pushups than the overweight heckler at a recent rally? Is Bernie spot on when he says Warren is just not qualified because she's the wrong sex? Joan Summers on Jezebel thinks Joe is good for at least 25 pushups. (Jezebel) Bernie has had female opponents in the past in his home state of Vermont, in his bids for mayor, governor and the senate.
     In 1986, according to his electoral history at Wikipedia, Bernie was crushed by Madeleine M. Kunin when he ran on the Independent ticket; he did win in '83 and '85 for the Burlington mayor's job against women. In 2018, for the US Senate, he took 94 percent of the vote against Folasade Adeluola, who claimed Bernie party-jumped to retain his seat, Jack Thurston reported for NBC Boston;
     "NBC 10 Boston and necn (sp?) obtained the formal complaint Adeluola filed this week with the Vermont Secretary of State’s office, in which she alleges Sanders is trying to 'game' the system—claiming his 'pattern of infidelity' to the Vermont Democratic Party has corrupted the process." (NBC)
     Obviously confident after crushing his most recent female opponent, Bernie might have certainly extrapolated the conclusion that women simply do not belong in the White House, especially running in the same campaign against him, but that isn't the issue.
     It's OK for the media to decide what is age-worthy and gender-worthy for a candidate, but not for the candidate to decide. Combine that with the Times' early, more like still-born, thumbs up votes for two women candidates, prior to the first signs of Bernie pulling ahead in Des Moines, motive enters and appears to be:
    The Times has that same uneasy feeling about Bernie that Team Trump has; he's a threat, shades of McGovern, using Nixonesque strategy to undermine his campaign even before it starts. But as in the anti-endorsement last week when Team Trump acknowledged Bernie as the front runner in Iowa, the Times now finds it has only made his position stronger by placing legitimacy on the enemy before the first battle has even been fought.

Further Reading:

Register editorial board to announce caucus endorsement at 6 p.m. Saturday

Before the announcement, here's a quick explanation of who's doing the endorsing and why it's being done. The Des Moines Register's editorial board will announce its endorsement for Iowa's Democratic Party presidential caucuses at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25. The caucuses, the first presidential nominating contest in the nation ahead of November's general election, are Feb.

Amid sexism spat, Sanders says his age and Warren's gender are both problems

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire - Bernie Sanders made a comparison Sunday between the challenges women face in politics today and his running for president at the age of 78 as the Democratic presidential candidate continues to face questions over his recent feud with Elizabeth Warren on sexism in politics.

NY Times Endorsements in recent campaigns,

George McGovern, Oct 22, 1972
Walter Mondale, Oct 28, 1984
Michael Dukakis (D-  )   Oct 30, 1988
Bill Clinton,  Oct 25, 1992
Al Gore,   Oct 29, 2000
John Kerry,   Oct 17, 2004
Barack Obama,  Oct 23, 2008
Hillary Clinton,  Sept 24, 2016
Complete List

NYT Directors,
2008 campaign,
DM Register,
Party jump,
Iowa caucus image,