The Atlantic Endorsed Hillary Clinton in Its Third Presidential Endorsement Ever
The Atlantic, whose Editor in Chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, recently published a hit piece on Donald Trump, has only endorsed three presidential candidates since its founding in 1857.
Those candidates were Abraham Lincoln (1860), Lyndon B. Johnson (1964), and President Trump’s 2016 rival — Hillary Clinton.
While the magazine has not yet endorsed a candidate in 2020 and it is not clear if it will do so again, its rare endorsement of Trump’s rival four years ago showed a clear dislike for a man whom Goldberg indicated there would be more such reports on in the leadup to the election.
The magazine wrote in its November 2016 issue that Trump “might be the most ostentatiously unqualified major-party candidate in the 227-year history of the American presidency,” and that 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.”
It called Trump a number of names, including a “xenophobe,” a “sexist,” and a “liar,” and said if Clinton had run against Sen. John McCain or Mitt Romney, it would not have even contemplated an endorsement. It said:
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.
Graeme Wood, a national correspondent for the Atlantic, recently commented on the rarity of the magazine’s endorsement and seemed to lament the magazine coming out and openly taking a side in the 2016 election in a September 3 podcast interview with Sam Harris.
Wood told Harris:
In the last election, it endorsed Hillary Clinton — a very odd thing for the Atlantic to do, just because we don’t endorse candidates most of the time. But to have announced ourselves as having been on one side, now readers have to take that into account.
And it’s just our being honest. I mean, there were basically nobody at the magazine who was in favor of Donald Trump. So it was important that we come right out and say that so when readers read us, they know that that’s where our origin point is going to be in our opinions.
Goldberg’s recent hit piece against Trump cited four anonymous sources who claimed that Trump called fallen troops from World War II “suckers” and “losers” and did not want to visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France in 2018 while on an official trip because he did not want to mess up his hair.
However, there is documented evidence the trip to the cemetery did not happen due to bad weather. In addition, more than two dozen former and current officials have come out on the record to dispute the story, including 14 who were on the trip to France with Trump.