GOP Leaders Call on Trump to Withdraw | Leadership can’t continue support without alienating Republican base


In an unprecedented turn of events, a growing list of GOP leaders have rebuked Donald Trump over his misogynistic comments caught on video in 2005 and called for him to step down as the GOP presidential candidate.

SD Sen. John Thune (the third-highest ranking member of the Republican leadership in the Senate):

Donald Trump should withdraw and Mike Pence should be our nominee effective immediately.

AL GOP Rep. Martha Roby:

As disappointed as I’ve been with his antics throughout this campaign, I thought supporting the nominee was the best thing for our country and our party, Now, it is abundantly clear that the best thing for our country and our party is for Trump to step aside and allow a responsible, respectable Republican to lead the ticket.

Nebraska GOP Sen. Ben Sasse:

Character matters. @realDonaldTrump is obviously not going to win. But he can still make an honorable move: Step aside & let Mike Pence try.

IL Sen. Mark Kirk:

@realDonaldTrump should drop out. @GOP should engage rules for emergency replacement.

UT Sen. Mike Lee:

 I respectfully ask you, with all due respect, to step aside.  Step down.

UT GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz:

Well, I do wish that Mike Pence is at the top of the ticket. I really do.

Alabama GOP Rep. Bradley Byrne:

Donald Trump’s comments regarding women were disgraceful and appalling. There are absolutely no circumstances under which it would ever be appropriate to speak of women in such a way. It is now clear Donald Trump is not fit to be President of the United States and cannot defeat Hillary Clinton. I believe he should step aside and allow Governor Pence to lead the Republican ticket.

GOP Rep. Joe Heck:

My hope is that this will not divide us and that we can unite behind Republican principles. We deserve a candidate who can ask him or herself at the end of the day  “did I live my life with honor and do I deserve to be elected president of the United States.”

CO GOP Rep. Mike Coffman:

 For the good of the country, and to give the Republicans a chance of defeating Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump should step aside. His defeat at this point seems almost certain. And four years of Hillary Clinton is not what is best for this country. Mr. Trump should put the country first and do the right thing.

WV Sen. Shelley Moore Capito:

 As a woman, a mother and a grandmother to three young girls, I am deeply offended by Mr. Trump’s remarks, and there is no excuse for the disgusting and demeaning language. Women have worked hard to gain the dignity and respect we deserve. The appropriate next step may be for him to reexamine his candidacy.

VA Rep. Barbara Comstock:

This is disgusting, vile, and disqualifying. No woman should ever be subjected to this type of obscene behavior and it is unbecoming of anybody seeking high office. In light of these comments, Donald Trump should step aside and allow our party to replace him with Mike Pence or another appropriate nominee from the Republican Party.

UT Rep. Chris Stewart:

 I’m incredibly disappointed in our party’s candidate. And unlike the Democrats who have proven completely unwilling to hold secretary Clinton accountable for her illegal activities that endangered our national security, I am willing to hold Mr. Trump accountable. I am therefore calling for him to step aside and to allow Mike Pence to lead our party.

ID Sen. Mike Crapo:

 Make no mistake—we need conservative leadership in the White House. I urge Donald Trump to step aside and allow the Republican party to put forward a conservative candidate like Mike Pence who can defeat Hillary Clinton.

Carly Fiorina (GOP primary presidential candidate):

Donald Trump does not represent me or my party…Today I ask Donald Trump to step aside and for the RNC to replace him with Gov. Mike Pence.

Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt:

 For the benefit of the country, the party and his family, and for his own good, @realDonaldTrump should withdraw. More and worse oppo coming.

Former NY Gov. George Pataki:

I’m horrified by #TrumpTape news. @realDonaldTrump campaign is a poisonous mix of bigotry & ignorance. Enough! He needs to step down.

Former UT Gov. Jon Huntsman:

In a campaign cycle that has been nothing but a race to the bottom — at such a critical moment for our nation — and with so many who have tried to be respectful of a record primary vote, the time has come for Governor Pence to lead the ticket.

It is unprecedented in recent political history for members of a major political party to call on its presidential nominee to drop out of the race just a month before election day.

 

Against Donald Trump | For the third time since The Atlantic’s founding, the editors endorse a candidate for president–Hillary Clinton.


(The Atlantic) — In October of 1860, James Russell Lowell, the founding editor of The Atlantic, warned in these pages about the perishability of the great American democratic experiment if citizens (at the time, white, male citizens) were to cease taking seriously their franchise:

In a society like ours, where every man may transmute his private thought into history and destiny by dropping it into the ballot-box, a peculiar responsibility rests upon the individual … For, though during its term of office the government be practically as independent of the popular will as that of Russia, yet every fourth year the people are called upon to pronounce upon the conduct of their affairs. Theoretically, at least, to give democracy any standing-ground for an argument with despotism or oligarchy, a majority of the men composing it should be statesmen and thinkers.

One of the animating causes of this magazine at its founding, in 1857, was the abolition of slavery, and Lowell argued that the Republican Party, and the man who was its standard-bearer in 1860, represented the only reasonable pathway out of the existential crisis then facing the country. In his endorsement of Abraham Lincoln for president, Lowell wrote, on behalf of the magazine, “It is in a moral aversion to slavery as a great wrong that the chief strength of the Republican party lies.” He went on to declare that Abraham Lincoln “had experience enough in public affairs to make him a statesman, and not enough to make him a politician.”

Perhaps because no subsequent candidate for the presidency was seen as Lincoln’s match, or perhaps because the stakes in ensuing elections were judged to be not quite so high as they were in 1860, it would be 104 years before The Atlantic would again make a presidential endorsement. In October of 1964, Edward Weeks, writing on behalf of the magazine, cited Lowell’s words before making an argument for the election of Lyndon B. Johnson. “We admire the President for the continuity with which he has maintained our foreign policy, a policy which became a worldwide responsibility at the time of the Marshall Plan,” the endorsement read. Johnson, The Atlantic believed, would bring “to the vexed problem of civil rights a power of conciliation which will prevent us from stumbling down the road taken by South Africa.”

The Atlantic has endorsed only three presidential candidates in 159 years. Abraham Lincoln (1860) and Lyndon B. Johnson (1964) were the first two.
The Atlantic has endorsed only three presidential candidates in 159 years. Abraham Lincoln (1860) and Lyndon B. Johnson (1964) were the first two.

But The Atlantic’s endorsement of Johnson was focused less on his positive attributes than on the flaws of his opponent, Barry Goldwater, the junior senator from Arizona. Of Goldwater, Weeks wrote, “His proposal to let field commanders have their choice of the smaller nuclear weapons would rupture a fundamental belief that has existed from Abraham Lincoln to today: the belief that in times of crisis the civilian authority must have control over the military.” And the magazine noted that Goldwater’s “preference to let states like Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia enforce civil rights within their own borders has attracted the allegiance of Governor George Wallace, the Ku Klux Klan, and the John Birchers.” Goldwater’s limited capacity for prudence and reasonableness was what particularly worried The Atlantic.

We think it unfortunate that Barry Goldwater takes criticism as a personal affront; we think it poisonous when his anger betrays him into denouncing what he calls the “radical” press by bracketing the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Izvestia. There speaks not the reason of the Southwest but the voice of Joseph McCarthy. We do not impugn Senator Goldwater’s honesty. We sincerely distrust his factionalism and his capacity for judgment.

Today, our position is similar to the one in which The Atlantic’s editors found themselves in 1964. We are impressed by many of the qualities of the Democratic Party’s nominee for president, even as we are exasperated by others, but we are mainly concerned with the Republican Party’s nominee, Donald J. Trump, who might be the most ostentatiously unqualified major-party candidate in the 227-year history of the American presidency.

These concerns compel us, for the third time since the magazine’s founding, to endorse a candidate for president. Hillary Rodham Clinton has more than earned, through her service to the country as first lady, as a senator from New York, and as secretary of state, the right to be taken seriously as a White House contender. She has flaws (some legitimately troubling, some exaggerated by her opponents), but she is among the most prepared candidates ever to seek the presidency. We are confident that she understands the role of the United States in the world; we have no doubt that she will apply herself assiduously to the problems confronting this country; and she has demonstrated an aptitude for analysis and hard work.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, has no record of public service and no qualifications for public office. His affect is that of an infomercial huckster; he traffics in conspiracy theories and racist invective; he is appallingly sexist; he is erratic, secretive, and xenophobic; he expresses admiration for authoritarian rulers, and evinces authoritarian tendencies himself. He is easily goaded, a poor quality for someone seeking control of America’s nuclear arsenal. He is an enemy of fact-based discourse; he is ignorant of, and indifferent to, the Constitution; he appears not to read.

This judgment is not limited to the editors of The Atlantic. A large number—in fact, a number unparalleled since Goldwater’s 1964 campaign—of prominent policy makers and officeholders from the candidate’s own party have publicly renounced him. Trump disqualified himself from public service long before he declared his presidential candidacy. In one of the more sordid episodes in modern American politics, Trump made himself the face of the so-called birther movement, which had as its immediate goal the demonization of the country’s first African American president. Trump’s larger goal, it seemed, was to stoke fear among white Americans of dark-skinned foreigners. He succeeded wildly in this; the fear he has aroused has brought him one step away from the presidency.

Our endorsement of Clinton, and rejection of Trump, is not a blanket dismissal of the many Trump supporters who are motivated by legitimate anxieties about their future and their place in the American economy. But Trump has seized on these anxieties and inflamed and racialized them, without proposing realistic policies to address them.

In its founding statement, The Atlantic promised that it would be “the organ of no party or clique,” and our interest here is not to advance the prospects of the Democratic Party, nor to damage those of the Republican Party. If Hillary Clinton were facing Mitt Romney, or John McCain, or George W. Bush, or, for that matter, any of the leading candidates Trump vanquished in the Republican primaries, we would not have contemplated making this endorsement. We believe in American democracy, in which individuals from various parties of different ideological stripes can advance their ideas and compete for the affection of voters. But Trump is not a man of ideas. He is a demagogue, a xenophobe, a sexist, a know-nothing, and a liar. He is spectacularly unfit for office, and voters—the statesmen and thinkers of the ballot box—should act in defense of American democracy and elect his opponent.

Clinton’s Former Prosecutor Endorses Her for President | Trump is unfit while Clinton is fully competent


(Bloomberg View: Eli Lake) — Twenty years ago, Michael Chertoff was near the top of the Clintons’ enemy list. He was the lead Republican counsel on the Senate Whitewater Committee, one of the first of many congressional investigations into Hillary Clinton.

Clinton later cast the only vote in the Senate against him when he was nominated in 2001 to head the Justice Department’s criminal division. She was also the lone no vote against Chertoff in 2003, when he was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the third circuit.

All of this, though, was before the Republican Party nominated Donald Trump as its presidential candidate. This has shaken the party of Reagan. Chertoff, a lifelong Republican, will now be voting for the Democrat in November.

Over the weekend, Chertoff — the former secretary of Homeland Security — told me his decision came down to national security. “I realized we spent a huge amount of time in the ’90s on issues that were much less important than what was brewing in terms of terrorism,” he said. For Chertoff, Clinton “has good judgment and a strategic vision how to deal with the threats that face us.”

Whitewater has not come up much in this election season. But it was the Benghazi of the 1990s. Just as the Benghazi investigation begat a congressional probe into Clinton’s e-mail server, the Whitewater investigation led Congress to President Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. So it’s significant that an investigator from that era is now in Hillary Clinton’s corner.

“People can go back decades and perhaps criticize some of the judgments that were made,” Chertoff said. “That is very, very insignificant compared to the fundamental issue of how to protect the country.”

Just as Chertoff doesn’t think Clinton’s dodgy friendships from her Arkansas days disqualify her from the presidency, he says the same thing about Clinton’s use of a private e-mail system. It was a mistake, he said, but “she did not intentionally endanger national security.”

Trump, on the other hand, lacks the temperament and knowledge base to be president. Chertoff has made his views on the Republican nominee known before. Last month, he was one of the 50 former senior Republican national security officials to sign a letter warning Trump would be a dangerous commander in chief. But many of those former officials have not crossed over to publicly endorse Clinton.

Chertoff says he made the decision to go public for Clinton after watching the debate last week. “Trump’s sense of loyalties are misplaced,” he said. “Some of our NATO allies sent troops overseas, at the same time he is defending Russia and trying to dismiss what is widely acknowledged to be Russian intrusions into the databases of our political parties and political figures.” Chertoff said this amounted to “making enemies of your friends and cozying up to your adversaries.”

For Chertoff, it’s also a question of Trump’s impulse control. “This issue came up at the debate about Miss Universe,” he said. “Not only did he seem at the debate to lose his temper, but to get up at 3:30 a.m. and reach for your smartphone is to me a hysterical reaction. If you’re president, the button you reach for is not the Twitter button; it’s the nuclear button.”

Chertoff’s relationship with Clinton began to heal after he was nominated to be the second secretary of Homeland Security, in 2005. Clinton voted for him that time. Chertoff said that while he was secretary, he found Clinton to be “clear-eyed and tough on national-security issues.”

Chertoff said he expects Clinton will be different from President Barack Obama when it comes to Middle East policy. “There are things Obama did that I disagree with, not to have a no-fly zone and a safe zone in Syria, for example,” Chertoff said. “My understanding from having talked to her and seeing what she has said publicly is that she would have been tougher on that.”

Chertoff’s decision to endorse Clinton puts him on the opposite side of one of his earliest political patrons. In 1983, Chertoff was hired as a prosecutor by then-U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani. Together they waged a devastating legal war against the five mafia families of New York. The success of those prosecutions laid the groundwork for Giuliani’s successful campaign to become mayor of New York.

Today Giuliani is one of Trump’s closest advisers. Chertoff told me he has not talked to Giuliani about Trump. “People make their own decisions,” he said. “I can’t get into someone else’s head.”

Poll: Clinton up 10 points in Pennsylvania | She leads Trump around Philadelphia by more than two to one


(Politico: Steven Shepard) — A new poll shows Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by 10 points in Pennsylvania — a crucial, vote-rich state that increasingly looks like a linchpin to Clinton’s Electoral College strategy.

Clinton leads Trump, 50 percent to 40 percent, in the new Monmouth University poll. Five percent of likely voters are backing Libertarian Gary Johnson, 2 percent for Green Party nominee Jill Stein and 2 percent are undecided.

One key factor contributing to Clinton’s lead: She is winning more Democrats (90 percent) than Trump is winning Republicans (75 percent).

The two candidates are also running neck-and-neck with white voters: 46 percent for Clinton, and 45 percent for Trump. White female voters are now tilting strongly toward Clinton, 55 percent to 35 percent. Trump maintains a strong lead with white men, 57 percent to 35 percent.

Clinton is campaigning in Pennsylvania on Tuesday with two events on the schedule: one in the Philadelphia suburbs, and another in Harrisburg. Clinton leads Trump in the seven congressional districts in and around Philadelphia by a more-than-two-to-one margin: 62 percent to 30 percent.

Clinton’s lead in the Monmouth survey is larger than her 4-point advantage in a Quinnipiac University poll released on Monday. The Monmouth survey is a little more recent: It was conducted last Friday through Monday, while the Quinnipiac poll was conducted last Tuesday through Sunday.

It’s the latest in a series of swing-state polls showing good news for Clinton in the wake of last week’s first presidential debate. Since the debate, Clinton has opened up leads in key states where the race had closed in recent weeks, including Colorado, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. That was reinforced Tuesday by an Elon University poll giving Clinton a 6-point lead in North Carolina.

There is one bright spot for Republicans: Despite Clinton’s lead at the top of the ticket, the Monmouth poll shows GOP Sen. Pat Toomey tied with his Democratic challenger, Katie McGinty at 46 percent apiece. Three percent of likely voters say they will support Edward Clifford, the Libertarian candidate, and another 5 percent are undecided.

According to unreleased crosstabs provided to POLITICO, Toomey is winning 90 percent of Trump voters, but McGinty is only holding onto 82 percent of Clinton voters (11 percent of Clinton voters are supporting Toomey). Toomey also runs stronger than McGinty among undecided voters and those supporting third-party candidates.

The previous Monmouth poll in Pennsylvania, back in August, showed Clinton ahead by 8 points, and McGinty leading by 4 points.

The Monmouth poll surveyed 402 likely voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

Trump’s Campaign Team


Trump just being Trump — He’ll implode eventually

After 148 Years, the San Diego Union-Tribune Endorses a Democrat for President | Editorial board fears that Donald Trump could be America’s Hugo Chávez


(Huffington Post: Emily Tate) — The historically conservative San Diego Union-Tribune has endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over her “vengeful, dishonest and impulsive” Republican opponent, Donald Trump.

The Union-Tribune announced Friday morning it would support a Clinton presidency, despite having never endorsed a Democrat in the paper’s 148-year-history.

The change in course stems from the high stakes of this election, the editorial board said in its endorsement.

“Terrible leaders can knock nations off course. Trump could be our Chávez,” it wrote, referring to Hugo Chávez, the controversial former president of Venezuela. “We cannot take that risk.”

(Others have drawn parallels between Trump and Chávez, including Venezuelan author Alberto Barrera Tyszka, who wrote this month in The New York Times that Trump and Chávez are both “expert provocateurs.”)

Instead, The Union-Tribune has chosen to back Clinton because she is “the safe choice for the U.S. and for the world, for Democrats and Republicans alike.”

In its full endorsement, which you can read here, the editorial board envisions a Trump presidency that “ruins U.S. trustworthiness” and has “an open enemies list.”

“Imagine that,” the board implores. “Imagine President Trump.”

The Union-Tribune is the latest in a wave of conservative newspapers abandoning precedent to endorse a Democrat. The Dallas Morning News, The Arizona Republic and The Cincinnati Enquirer have each endorsed Clinton for president.

Other conservative newspapers that could not stomach a Trump administration have instead thrown their support behind Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

On Friday, The Chicago Tribune became the largest newspaper to endorse Johnson, joining a list that includes The New Hampshire Union-Leader and The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

For now, only a handful of papers, including The New York Post and National Enquirer, are poised to endorse Trump for president. Even so, the weight of newspapers’ editorial-board endorsements may not change the outcome on Election Day.

Sun Sentinel Editorial Board Endorses Hillary Clinton for President | Use your vote to swing this swing state to Hillary


(Sun Sentinel Editorial Board) — The Sun Sentinel Editorial Board endorses Hillary Clinton

Congratulations, fellow Floridians. Not only do we get to participate in one of the most consequential presidential elections in U.S. history, we possess an enhanced ticket to this important event. We are voters in a swing state. Perhaps THE swing state.

The Sun Sentinel Editorial Board urges everyone to use that ticket. Vote. And when you exercise that precious right, we urge you to cast your ballot for Democrat Hillary Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine.

We acknowledge upfront that one major reason to support Hillary is that Republican Donald Trump is manifestly unqualified to be president of the United States. In a related editorial, we explain why the Donald Trump/Mike Pence slate would be a terrible choice.

Trump’s awfulness is not the only reason to vote for Hillary, however. There are plentiful solid reasons to be for Hillary (whose campaign uses her first name, so we will too).

One reason her campaign goes with “Hillary,” of course, is an attempt to make her a little bit warmer and more likable. But we like the scholarly, policy-wonk Hillary just fine. It is necessary and reassuring when a president can get very specific on complicated issues. Those include:

The Economy. When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, the world was on the brink of economic collapse. No one is thrilled with the slow pace of recovery – which is one reason we endorsed Mitt Romney in 2012. But the economy is recovering. Unemployment is down. Poverty is down. And, importantly, politicians are learning the importance of nurturing the battered middle class.

That’s why Hillary’s economic plans, which you can see at HillaryClinton.com, emphasize tax fairness – making sure high income people and corporations pay their share – and investing the newly collected taxes in infrastructure improvements and jobs and education for the middle class. Give Bernie Sanders ample credit for sharpening Hillary’s understanding and focus on this issue. Give Trump partial credit, too. He exploited middle class anger early and often. Yet, in a betrayal of his base, Trump’s economic plans will benefit wealthy individuals and corporations.

National Security. The world is a big and dangerous stage on which Hillary – as a senator and as secretary of state – has been in the hot seat. She advised Obama when he gave the go-ahead for the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. She helped assemble the international coalition that imposed severe economic sanctions on Iran and set the stage for the nuclear deal that has increased America’s ability to ensure that Iran will not develop nuclear weapons.

We will be among the first to agree that the Iran nuclear deal is not comprehensive or incapable of being breached. But it represents the kind of difficult, imperfect diplomacy that is the only credible alternative to war. It is easy for the deal’s critics to harp on its imperfections. We’d be more impressed if at the same time they offered plausible alternatives that would accomplish more.

This is what you’re going to get with Hillary – tough negotiations that yield pragmatic results. After that, expect Hillary to press for more. Hillary understands America needs to use its economic power and diplomacy to solve international problems, not military might. Like Obama, Hillary understands that having American soldiers killing Muslims in the Middle East can cause more harm than good.

Hillary has cultivated relations with our NATO allies and realizes their importance, while her opponent has suggested America might ignore their calls for help.

However, as bin Laden’s killing shows, Hillary is prepared to pull the trigger when it is prudent and possible to do so. That’s why she’s believable when she says she will make killing the leaders of ISIS a priority. We should say continue to make it a priority, since the Obama administration successfully has targeted multiple terrorist leaders.

That approach beats a “secret” (aka, non-existent) plan to defeat ISIS.

Hillary’s toughness and clear-headedness are reasons some of America’s adversaries – Vladimir Putin, to name one – seem so eager to see Donald Trump in the White House. Hillary will look Putin in the eye and not blink.

There is no doubt that Hillary has made mistakes in her time on the world stage. One was her Senate vote to give President George W. Bush authority to invade Iraq. She has seen the consequences of that rash war. Another was her careless use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.

Here is a crucial contrast with her opponent: Hillary recognizes mistakes. She apologized for both of those. In this complex world, even good presidents are going to make mistakes – Obama has made them, Reagan made them, Kennedy made them, FDR made them. Hillary’s experience already makes her less likely to make mistakes. Her temperament makes her more likely to learn from mistakes – certainly more likely than someone who, even in the face of clear evidence, will not admit that he has made mistakes.

Just a few more things about Hillary’s email scandal. There was the potential to damage U.S. security, but no one has shown that damage occurred. The FBI did not charge her with a crime because investigators did not believe she intentionally withheld emails it was her legal duty to produce.

However, the entire email episode speaks to Hillary’s greatest weakness – a lack of transparency that has engendered significant public distrust. And we must note that pending court orders mean more deleted emails will be released before Election Day on Nov. 8. Is there a bombshell among them? We just don’t know.

Immigration. Start with the fact that Hillary’s immigration policy is sane. She recognizes the importance of tough screening of immigrants without resorting to impossible and/or legally thorny practices such as banning immigrants from certain regions or those who profess faith in certain religions. She does not claim that millions of illegal immigrants can be rounded up and deported. She does not claim that Mexico can be made to pay for a wall.

Hillary recognizes that portraying the United States as at war with Islam helps ISIS recruit terrorists. Hillary recognizes that insulting entire groups of immigrants is demeaning to this great country.

Ironically, Hillary stands a better chance of enacting the comprehensive immigration reform America needs than would Trump. Republicans such as Jeb Bush and (before he chickened out) Marco Rubio have had much more in common with Hillary on this issue.

The Supreme Court. The next president could appoint three, maybe four, justices. Those appointments would steer the court for decades. Hillary appointees would protect a woman’s right to choose and the rights of LGBT people. Hillary’s appointees would stand up for voting rights. Hillary’s appointees would provide hope that Citizens United – which gave special political power to wealthy special interests – can be overturned.

Race Relations. South Florida has not seen Charlotte-scale protests in recent days, but – with police-involved shootings and protesting athletes – the need to repair and promote race relations in our communities is as evident here as it is in the rest of our nation.

Hillary understands this issue and understands that it will take real work and commitment from all parties to reach this result: “Everyone should be respected by the law and everyone should respect the law.” That means more police training, and it means removing the plague of guns from the streets.

Hillary’s approach is in stark contrast to Trump’s confrontational “stop and frisk” approach, which will exacerbate conflict. In any case, Trump’s discredited “birther” activities make it impossible for him to play a positive role in improving race relations.

Women and Children. Hillary is an advocate and role model for women. Younger women might not quite realize how far she – and therefore they – have come. The ability to be somewhat blasé about this is evidence of success in the area of women’s rights. Hillary, with many allies, long has pushed for health care and child care that benefit women. As first lady, she played a crucial part in creating the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides coverage for 8 million children. That effort, which was bipartisan, also shows she can work with Republicans.

Hillary advocates equal pay for equal work. And without Hillary, Obamacare – which has provided essential insurance for families – will be history. Clearly, there is work yet to be done on this issue. Just as clearly, a President Trump would impede that work.

Third-Party Trap. Allow us to make a special pitch to voters considering casting their ballots for a third-party candidate.  Don’t.

Millennials and others who supported Bernie Sanders might be tempted to shun Hillary because she was so closely aligned with Broward’s own Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who led the Democratic National Committee and was ousted in the face of evidence the DNC was unfair to Bernie. We understand the feeling and recognize that, locally, there is a committed group that supported Wasserman Schultz’ primary opponent, Tim Canova.

But that “protest” vote actually is a vote for Trump. As noted, Bernie’s robust campaign pushed Clinton to more fully realize the importance of issues such as alleviating crippling student debt. She will be far more progressive than Trump would be. Remember the bitter lesson of the 2000 presidential election, when Ralph Nader’s candidacy bled votes from Al Gore and tilted the election to George W. Bush. You can bet that most Nader supporters were horrified by the Bush presidency.

Yes, it’s great to vote for a candidate you enthusiastically support. Sometimes, though, politics has to be pragmatic. Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein are not going to get elected. Either Hillary or Trump will. Vote for the one who most nearly represents your point of view.

The Bottom Line. Hillary is smart. Hillary has government experience that she used, for example, to secure money for World Trade Center site redevelopment and money for 9/11 responders. Hillary has diplomatic experience that she used, for example, to negotiate a 2012 cease fire between Hamas and Israel.

Hillary has developed the contacts, here and abroad, to promote stability and peace. She has not “solved” the various crises in the Middle East. But we believe a dogged diplomatic approach – such as that used in the nuclear deal with Iran – provide more prospects for peace. And that, in the long run, benefits Israel, our most important ally in the region.

Hillary has an extensive record of public service.

Hillary will push to improve oversight of Wall Street.

Under a President Hillary Clinton, world leaders would have confidence that they can depend on agreements, treaties and our financial system. If our partners cannot count on us, they will look elsewhere – to China or Russia, for example – for leadership.

Hillary favors the Obama administration’s overtures to Cuba, which is good for eventual freedom on that island and good for South Florida.

The very bottom line? Trump is not qualified. Hillary is fully qualified to serve as president of the United States. Use your vote to swing this swing state to Hillary.

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