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Hillary Clinton deserves Democratic nod

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holds a conversation

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holds a conversation on gun violence at the Landmark Theater on April 11, 2016 in Port Washington. Sitting alongside activists who shared stories of losing their loved ones to gun violence, Clinton said, "Let's figure out what we're going to do to save lives." Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

Hillary Clinton, who is aiming to shatter the nation’s highest glass ceiling, has the right blend of knowledge, skill and experience to be an outstanding candidate for president.

We have seen her in action for decades now — as an active first lady; as an effective eight-year senator who delivered for New York, including billions in federal aid to rebuild New York City after 9/11; and in four years as secretary of state, when she played a critical role in levying crippling sanctions on Iran and in the killing of Osama bin Laden.

That experience on the world stage makes her the best choice to deal with its complicated troubles, especially terrorism, a newly belligerent Russia and an increasingly militaristic China.

Her long service and many scars from more than 30 years of political battles make Clinton a superb manager, with a knowledge of issues unmatched by any candidate.

Sen. Bernie Sanders has sketched his vision for the nation’s future in the Technicolor strokes of a populist revolution. But articulating that is one thing. Getting us there is quite another.

We like that Sanders can inspire. But we have more faith in Clinton’s ability to actually move America forward. That’s why Newsday is endorsing Hillary Clinton in Tuesday’s Democratic presidential primary.

When Clinton discussed the nation’s financial collapse with the editorial board, she spoke of the frustration, anger and fear of millions of Americans who say the economy, government and political system failed them. “They don’t know what’s going to happen to them next,” she said, reflecting their uncertainty. A president, she said, must not only devise programs to launch a comeback, but also convey optimism and confidence to buoy people’s spirits while the recovery is underway. She’s right.

No one spends that long in public life without making mistakes. Clinton is no exception. We understand the questions raised about her. Some have been purely partisan attacks. Some have merit. Using a private email server for official communications as secretary of state was a mistake in judgment for which she has apologized. It does not appear likely she committed a crime, though many wish it so. Her vote to authorize military action in Iraq was part of the accepted wisdom and emotion of the time. Given the results, it was a regrettable choice.

[/DROPCAP]Sanders has proved to be a considerable foe. He has morphed before our eyes — a marginalized senator from tiny Vermont now the maestro of the disaffected, espousing lofty, socialist-leaning goals while calling for the upending of the status quo.

He is right about some things — including minimizing the influence of money in politics and the aftermath of the financial meltdown. How can so many companies pay billions of dollars in fines for wrongdoing without anyone being deemed responsible and sent to prison? But many of his plans lack details and a sophisticated political strategy to bring them to fruition. He cannot accomplish what he promises.

That doesn’t mean his passion to fix the current economic malaise and try for the impossible should be dismissed. We urge Clinton to embrace that vision. Reach for the stars. She always has understood the politics of the moment, acclimated to it and recalibrated. She’s been criticized for that, but she’d be wise to do it again now.

Sanders represents a real movement, and Clinton should make clear she yearns for the same future — and that her policies will lead us toward it. She has framed her campaign as one that seeks to break down all the many barriers to success.

America is a country of big dreams, and Democrats a party of big dreamers. Hillary Clinton is uniquely positioned to carry on her party’s legacy and make those dreams a reality.


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