NY Times Sees Clintons’ ‘Rich and Complicated Relationship,’ Owes Romney Apology on Russia

Night 2 of Democratic Convention coverage: A New York Times reporter euphemistically referred to the Clintons’ marriage as "a very rich and complicated relationship,” the “historic” card was played nonstop, and the editorial page owes Mitt Romney an apology on Russia.

The paper’s coverage from Philadelphia again featured real-time analysis from Times political reporters. They weren’t particularly thrilled with Bill Clinton’s meandering speech, in which he took the gathering on a long year-by-year journey (skipping 1998 and the Monica Lewinsky-impeachment embarrassment) of he and Hillary’s life together.

Nicholas Confessore confessed: “Folks, how is the crowd in the arena? On TV were are well past the point where you’d flip the channel.”

When told by Adam Nagourney that “It’s 23 minutes -- not really that long,” Confessore rebutted “This definitely feels like more than 23 minutes.”

The reporters made a few nods toward the lack of mentions of ISIS or the threat of terrorism in general, but still gushed over the “historic” nature of a night when a woman was officially nominated for president on the Democratic ticket.

Alan Rappeport signed off at 11:15 PM: “Great stuff, everyone. Historic night. Looking forward to tomorrow.”

Maggie Haberman had said just before: “It is worth reflecting, guys, that history was in fact made today. One of the major political parties nominated a woman.”

Earlier in the night, Nagourney said “People who hate Clinton are going to be yelling at their TVs right now. People in here love it and completely believe it. I won’t take sides, except to say the Clintons have a very rich and complicated relationship.”

That’s certainly one way of putting it. Given that Clinton cheated multiple times on wife Hillary, who defended her husband by slandering women who accused him of sexual harassment and called Monica Lewinsky a “narcissistic loony tune,” that just might be “taking sides.”

Patrick Healy and Jonathan Martin played the “history” card early and often in Wednesday’s “Democrats Make Clinton Historic Nominee.”

The Democratic convention formally nominated Hillary Clinton for president on Tuesday, making history by choosing a woman to be the first standard-bearer of a major political party, a breakthrough underscored by a deeply personal speech by Bill Clinton calling her “the best darn change-maker I have ever known.”

At 6:39 p.m., the hall erupted in cheers and joyful tears as South Dakota cast the decisive 15 votes to put Mrs. Clinton over the threshold of 2,382 delegates required to clinch the nomination.

A paragraph from Wednesday’s smug lead editorial Wednesday, “This Is What Democracy Looks Like,” about Democratic “tolerance of dissenting views” seems a bit much, given how hard the Democratic National Committee worked to squelch the will of Bernie Sanders’ supporters.

The Republican convention in Cleveland left many Americans with an unsettling awareness that these conventions are, for once, deeply consequential. They are not just midsummer pageants, the rallies before the homecoming game, where control of the White House involves a periodic governing adjustment a few degrees to the left, right or center. The bleak extremism of the Trump campaign seems to have put the fate of some basic democratic values in play -- a tolerance of dissenting views, a willingness to compromise, the eternal search for common ground.

And another editorial, “The Putin-Trump Admiration Society,” revealed a staggering bit of hypocrisy by the Times editorial board when calling Russian president Vladimir Putin “a dangerous adversary.”

One curious aspect of the 2016 presidential campaign has been Donald Trump’s startling affinity for Vladimir Putin, the increasingly authoritarian president of Russia. Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin have spoken admiringly of each other; exhibited similar strongman tendencies; and seemed to share certain views, notably a disdain for NATO. But would Mr. Putin really interfere in the American presidential race to help Mr. Trump, the Republican Party nominee, get elected over the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton?

As odd as that may sound, it is being considered a serious possibility after the release on Friday of nearly 20,000 emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers, many of them embarrassing to Democratic leaders. The emails, made public by WikiLeaks, forced the swift resignation of the D.N.C.’s chairwoman, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz. And the Democrats expect more leaks.


If it is proved that Mr. Putin instigated the D.N.C. hack, it could backfire. But regardless of whether Mr. Putin is out to help Mr. Trump, voters would be right to question the judgment of a candidate who has shown so much admiration for such a dangerous adversary.

The sharp-eyed “JimmyPrinceton” directed his Twitter followers to a Times editorial from March 28, 2012, in which the eminent editors sniffed at then-Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s “shocking lack of knowledge about international affairs” after Romney called Russia the U.S.’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe.”

Two decades after the end of the cold war, Mitt Romney still considers Russia to be America’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe.” His comments display either a shocking lack of knowledge about international affairs or just craven politics. Either way, they are reckless and unworthy of a major presidential contender.

2016 Presidential 2016 Democratic Convention Russia New York Times Adam Nagourney Nicholas Confessore Patrick Healy Jonathan Martin Hillary Clinton Mitt Romney Bill Clinton Vladimir Putin Monica Lewinsky
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