Hillary Clinton’s experience makes her the right choice for president

The Idaho Statesman is endorsing Hillary Clinton for president.

We recognize a lot of you are not going to like our choice of a Democrat in this Republican state — where Sen. Ted Cruz won the GOP primary in a landslide and where Sen. Bernie Sanders soundly defeated Clinton in the Democratic caucus. But our hope is that you will consider our reasoning before critiquing our conclusion. At this critical time in our nation’s history, we need, more than ever, to listen to each other with respect.

Even though Donald Trump won the Republican nomination fair and square, his checkered past, vague policies and divisive statements have never convinced us that he is, indeed, a Republican. This is borne out by a growing list of GOP icons — generals, former presidents, former Cabinet members, national security experts and Republicans in Congress — who, like us, are convinced Trump’s allegiances begin and end with himself.

Our seven-member editorial board’s vote for Clinton was nearly unanimous, and we decided this before the audio and video surfaced of Trump’s lewd 2005 conversation about women. A few expressed low to medium enthusiasm for Clinton, and one simply would not endorse her. But the board was unanimous on one count: None could endorse Trump.

The board believes the 2016 presidential race ought to be about how the candidates intend to govern, keep us safe and create an atmosphere for economic growth for the nation. We also believe that Clinton is far from perfect. We did not ignore or dismiss her private emails, Benghazi and her lack of transparency. We talked at length about the poor judgment she has used and her reluctant acknowledgment of it.

But our conversation focused on the choice before us: Clinton or Trump. During our deliberations, we considered a long list of Idaho issues and essential qualifications for presidential candidates, and decided to highlight the ones below. We sourced the candidates’ records and policy statements to see whether they measured up. This led us clearly to Clinton.