The Tampa Bay Times, Florida’s largest newspaper, endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination in their Friday editorial. Back on Jan. 28th The Times gave the their endorsement to former Gov. Jeb Bush on the Republican side.
The paper dismissed Clinton’s Democratic rival Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders calling his proposals “unrealistic” and “expensive fantasies.” The Times highlighted her experience saying that, “only Clinton has the skill and experience to appeal to general election voters and build on President Barack Obama’s record.”
It was clear that while the Times endorsed the former Secretary of State they did admit that she had some problems. “She is an imperfect candidate with political baggage that would sink most other politicians” — mentioning her “terrible judgement” of using a private email server as secretary of State — they concluded her “record as a pragmatic progressive should be beyond question, and so should her resilience.”
Meanwhile, the paper was not kind to Sanders as they were quick to dismiss his free college tuition idea and his change of the health care system to a single payer plan as “expensive fantasies,” ripping his “lack of a coherent foreign policy and tendency toward isolationism.”
Lastly, Clinton got high marks from the paper for being the best prepared on terrorism, domestic security and global diplomacy, while praising her grasp of domestic policy on issues like healthcare.
The endorsement was welcome news to the Clinton camp as they get ready for what they hope will be a great swing south and a chance at stopping Sanders momentum. The Florida primary will be key to Clinton and she is likely to visit the Sunshine State often before the March 15th primary.