With Friends Like These …

Back in January, the New York Times endorsed Hillary Clinton, praising her as “brilliant,” “capable of both uniting and leading,” and “more qualified” to be president than Barack Obama.

At the time, the  New Republic ’s Gabriel Sherman reported that the Times editorial board had initially favored Obama only to be swung toward Clinton by publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. Maybe that’s why reading the paper’s editorial page since then has been like watching a marriage fall apart. The page tries to criticize Obama and Clinton equally, but certain passages give the impression there are regrets:

“As strongly as we back her candidacy, we urge Mrs. Clinton to take the lead in changing the tone of the campaign.”— “Primary Choices,” Jan. 25, 2008

“The reluctance of Mrs. Clinton and Mr. McCain to reveal more about their finances ill-serves voters and the nominating process of both parties.— “Show Us the Money,” Feb. 15, 2008

“Mrs. Clinton’s camp continues to be responsible for most of the nastiness we’ve seen this primary season, and there were signs that they were drawing the wrong lesson from Tuesday’s vote: that ‘red phone’ ads and hardball tactics will win the day.”— “What We’d Like to Hear,” March 6, 2008

“After days of digging at Mr. Obama for saying that working-class voters turn xenophobic or ‘cling to guns and religion’ because they’re bitter over lost jobs, Mrs. Clinton couldn’t resist a new nasty attack ad. What she has yet to figure out is that she ends up hurting herself—feeding her negative image—by attacking too long and with too much relish.”— “Guns and Bitter,” April 16, 2008

“It is past time for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to acknowledge that the negativity, for which she is mostly responsible, does nothing but harm to her, her opponent, her party and the 2008 election.”— “The Low Road to Victory,” April 23, 2008

“We know pandering when we see it. We also know that suspending the gas tax for the summer won’t solve this country’s energy problems or even reduce the price of gas.”— “The Gas-Guzzler Gambit,” May 1, 2008