WITH THE presidential campaign entering its final days, you have likely heard the latest theory gaining currency among political pundits: If the election is about Hillary Clinton, and not Donald Trump, she is sure to lose.
We have written a lot in recent months about why Mr. Trump is manifestly unqualified — by experience, temperament and outlook — for the Oval Office. We agree that attention paid to his unfitness is to Ms. Clinton’s benefit. But we also believe that fair examination of Ms. Clinton in her own right provides convincing evidence that she is well prepared and fully capable to succeed as president of the United States.
When we endorsed Ms. Clinton, we stressed we were not choosing between the lesser of two evils. “Hillary Clinton,” we wrote, “has the potential to be an excellent president. . . . Anyone who votes for her will be able to look back, four years from now, with pride in that decision.” Not only has Ms. Clinton sketched out a thoughtful and ambitious policy agenda but she has run an impressive campaign, including her choice of running mate and her nimble mastery of three debates.
We are not alone in our recommendation. Most newspapers — including conservative newspapers that never before supported a Democrat for president — have endorsed Ms. Clinton, as have publications that broke decades-long traditions of not choosing sides. She has been backed by an impressive number of officials, former officials and experts from both sides of the aisle, including cabinet secretaries, retired military and Nobel Prize winners. Tellingly, people who worked most closely with her are most enthusiastic. “Prepared, detail-oriented, thoughtful, inquisitive and willing to change her mind if presented with a compelling argument,” was the testimonial offered by Michael J. Morell, 33-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency, who has served presidents of both parties and never publicly backed a presidential candidate before. “I never saw her bring politics into the Situation Room.”
These capabilities — President Obama has said there has never been anyone more qualified than Ms. Clinton to serve as president — must not be obscured in the sideshow whipped up by her opponents and unfortunately enabled by FBI Director James B. Comey’s ill-advised letter to Congress last month. There is no question that Ms. Clinton has flaws and has made mistakes in her 30 years in public life, but the caricature painted by her opponents is more slander than reality. Yes, she was wrong to use a private email server as secretary of state, but that does not constitute treason. Nor, as Mr. Comey’s Sunday letter makes clear, did it involve criminal behavior. Yes, she and her husband should have taken more care in avoiding even the appearance of conflicts with the Clinton Foundation, but that again doesn’t mean that crimes were committed or that the foundation doesn’t do worthy work.
It is hard to imagine that any other politician subjected to decades of unrelenting conspiracy-mongering, unprecedented scrutiny and outright misogyny would fare as well as she has. Some of the emails from her staff stolen by Russia and released show thoughtless comments and embarrassing political calculations by her staff, but many others reveal a woman with discipline and resilience who thinks thoughtfully about the important issues of the day and pushes for pragmatic solutions. Those are the qualities we hope will result in her being elected president on Nov. 8.