^ our endorsements : Joe Biden, Bill Weld

Massachusetts’s Presidential primary takes place on Tuesday. We have two endorsements to make: Bill Weld for those taking a Republican ballot, Joe Biden for those choosing the Democratic ballot. Here’s why we have thus chosen :

Bill Weld for Republicans : he’s what the Republican party used to be, and still should be : socially inclusive of all, economically prudent. Most voters hold these views : welcoming of differences among people, and respecting hem; careful with taxpayers’ dollars. It works in Massachusetts : Charlie Baker exemplifies it. Why not also in Washington ? There HAS to be better than the bigotry and incompetence of Mr. Trump, the grievances, the weakness and the lies, not to mention the constant corruption and idolization of autocrats. There has to be better than bottomless  negativity, and with Bill Weld, there is, better than that, a genial and restrained optimism on all fronts, domestic, legal, and foreign affairs.

For all of these reasons Bill Weld deserves a Republican vote even if its unlikely that he can prevail. He won 9.1 percent in New Hampshire, but that was 13,700 votes — a significant number. In Massachusetts he could win twice that even if he wins only the same nine percent. 27,400 Weld votes would certainly send a message to those who have Mr. Trump’s ear.

Joe Biden for Democrats : Has there ever, in our long lifetime, been a more obvious potential President than Joe Biden ? He has every political experience needed, domestically and in foreign affairs; he was a very successful vice-President to Barack Obama. He honors the Constitution and its limits placed on the Article 2 office. He isn’t likely to issue a blizzard of “Executive Orders.” He’ll work with Congress — as the President should — to move good reforms, in immigration, labor law, environmental policy, budget deficits. As John McCain — Biden’s great friend of 40 years — famously put it a year before he died, “We’re not getting anything done. We need to return to regular order.”

He is a humble man, a kind man, a man who does not think he walks on water, who knows he doesn’t have all the answers, who listens to criticism, who listens to everybody and greets everybody. The nation right now needs healing more than anything. It needs to be bound together. It needs a time out from the drama and disgusts of the Trump years. Biden’s chief rival promises revolution. Can we please not go there just yet ? A term of Joe Biden’s common sense and basic decency will do more than anybody’s revolution to cleanse America’s spirit of the current nastiness.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg has impressed us, too, with his patriotism, his basic good sense, his moderation, and his youth. He could well be America’s Emmanuel Macron — a man of the attractive middle. Yet the American Presidency isn’t the same hing as France’s Presidency. Here, administration is paramount, and restraint on the President’s part, and long experience with the enormously complex checks and balances system our Constitution’s framers gave us. Mayor Pete should run for Governor of Indiana, and then, in the 20228 or 2032 cycle, run again for the Big Office.

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota would be a fine President. She has the experience, the temperament, the moderation to serve us all. But her campaign has never commanded significant numbers, and every political asset that she has, Joe Biden has more of.

Policy activists tout Senator Liz Warren’s proposals, many of which ought be enacted. (And some not.) We get that. We understand why Warren gets support from policy-first voters and from so many electeds. Yet everything that Warren has proposed depends on Congress,. not on a President. Can Warren command bipartisan support for her proposals, or would she not better used in the very Congress that must enact what she proposes ? We think she is far better suited to legislation than administration, and administration is the job set forth in Article 2.

For all of the above reasons, Joe Biden deserves the Presidential vote of Democrats.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere

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