Trump Time Capsule #118: John Warner, Arizona Republic

Former Republican senator John Warner, right, greeting former Senator Bob Dole in 2008. Dole, the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, was one of the long series of GOP nominees whom Warner endorsed, until this year. (Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)
Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Republican newspaper. Earlier this month, the Dallas Morning News made a first-in-modern-times recommendation of a Democrat for president over a Republican, in endorsing Hillary Clinton.

The news this evening from Phoenix is if anything more dramatic: the Arizona Republic has also endorsed Hillary Clinton. Why is this newsworthy? The beginning of the editorial, whose title is “Hillary Clinton is the only choice to move America ahead," spells it out:

Since The Arizona Republic began publication in 1890, we have never endorsed a Democrat over a Republican for president. Never. This reflects a deep philosophical appreciation for conservative ideals and Republican principles.

This year is different.

The 2016 Republican candidate is not conservative and he is not qualified.

That’s why, for the first time in our history, The Arizona Republic will support a Democrat for president.

The editorial’s tone gets tougher as it goes. The common theme in this series of for-the-record time capsule notations is things that have not happened before. The Republic endorsing a Democrat is one of those.

***

Republican politician. For 30 years, John Warner was a Republican Senator from Virginia. Before that, he had served as Richard Nixon’s Secretary of the Navy. He is from the pre-Tea Party version of the party, but he has been very much a Republican stalwart.

Today comes news that he will endorse Hillary Clinton and her running mate, current Virginia Senator Tim Kaine.

Think of the stand that publications like the Dallas Morning News and now the Arizona Republic are making, along with politicians like John Warner. And then think by contrast of the current Republican leadership of Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, et al.

41 days to go.