As nearly 100 million Americans brave the blizzard slamming the Mid-Atlantic States, The Des Moines Register has released their endorsements as Iowans prepare to caucus on February 1. It’s Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. With Sen. Rubio, the papers’ editorial board was impressed with his grasp of public policy, and sees him as a figure who can chart a different path for Republicans:
Sen. Marco Rubio has the potential to chart a new direction for the party, and perhaps the nation, with his message of restoring the American dream. We endorse him because he represents his party’s best hope.
In two meetings with the editorial board, the whip-smart senator displayed an impressive grasp of public policy detail, reeling off four-point plans on foreign policy and other issues. He proposes overhauling higher education and promoting vocational training, helping workers threatened by automation acquire skills rewarded by a new economy.
Rubio would prime that new economy by embracing innovation. He would auction off portions of the wireless spectrum controlled by government, allowing freer flow of online traffic. He’d remove barriers to enable the next Uber to take off. He’d require a cost-benefit analysis of federal regulations.
The editorial board also values the executive experience, pragmatism and thoughtful policies of John Kasich, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush. Yet most Republicans aren’t interested in rewarding a long resume this year. They want new and different.
Concerning Mrs. Clinton, it was “knowledge” and “experience” the earned her the nod of the editorial board. Then again, they did note that she was “prickly” when discussing her emails:
As secretary of state, she helped secure international sanctions against Iran and redefined her job by expanding America’s diplomatic agenda to include poverty, women’s rights, the environment and other issues.
She is not a perfect candidate, as evidenced the way she has handled the furor over her private email server. In our endorsement of her 2008 campaign for president, we wrote that “when she makes a mistake, she should just say so.” That appears to be a lesson she has yet to fully embrace.
Over the course of two meetings, Clinton spent more than three hours with the editorial board, answering questions in a direct and forthright manner. She exhibited an impressive command of the issues, though we’d have liked to hear more from her on the debt and the future of Social Security. She was somewhat prickly and defensive when discussing her emails, but overall she was gracious, engaging and personable.
Well, that could be due to the recent bombshells over Clinton’s use of a private email system that reached new heights when it was discovered that she instructed an aide to remove classified markers on a sensitive document and send it unsecured; a possible felony. Additionally, documents were discovered on her server that was classified as beyond top secret. It also doesn’t help that the inspector general with the intelligence community had to get special clearance to review those documents. Is Clinton prickly because she doesn’t want to talk about it, or does she fear being served an indictment?