This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
With this country bogged down in two wars, burdened by a crushing deficit and hurtling toward recession, experience and sheer toughness are essential in a presidential nominee.
We believe Sen. Hillary Clinton has an abundance of both - as Sen. Barack Obama does not - and should be the Democratic Party's nominee to reclaim the White House.
Clinton offers a unique background in government. She has been an active two-term senator, but the singularity of her political experience does not come solely from her work in the Senate, but also from her role as first lady to former President Bill Clinton. By her own description, and there is ample supporting evidence, she was her husband's closest adviser, involved in major policy decisions - an unofficial vice president of sorts - for eight years.
As first lady, she was handed the monumental task of formulating a comprehensive health-care reform proposal. Her complex, sweeping plan failed in Congress, but the effort gave her a broad background in what has become a national crisis. Her current health plan is more market-driven than its predecessor, but it would require insurers to provide coverage to anyone who can pay the premium, regardless of existing health problems.
In the Senate, Clinton serves on the Armed Services Committee and has been a critic of the Bush administration's handling of Iraq after voting for the resolution to invade. She vows that if elected, she would begin bringing U.S. troops home in the first 60 days of her presidency.
Clinton worked to get the Children's Health Insurance Program for low-income children started and is pushing to expand it. For years she has warned of a looming climate-change crisis and says, as president, she would create a $50 billion Strategic Energy Fund to jump-start development of alternative energies.
Clinton is a strong supporter of abortion rights, but also has worked on programs to reduce unwanted pregnancies. She fought the Bush administration to make the emergency contraceptive Plan B available to American women.
Hillary and Bill Clinton are a seemingly inseparable political team. What part he would play in his wife's administration is an important question, but not overriding. She has said his role would be advisory and unofficial.
We are endorsing Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee because her record of achievement is unmatched among the candidates - and is hers alone.