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OUR ENDORSEMENT: Hillary Clinton. America must get this right.

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Hillary Clinton

Clinton

The next president of the United States will be elected into a chaotic world with a highly competitive global economy that requires new ideas and collaborations. These challenges and opportunities cannot be ignored, minimized or walled off.

The world watches and depends on the pragmatic and inspirational leadership of the United States. That begins with the behavior of the American president.

In a time that requires a new normal of peace and stability, we cannot elect a president who would inflame global conflicts through irresponsible rhetoric. Nor can we elect someone who would fuel strife at home by pitting Americans against one another.

Many foreign policy decisions don’t have easy answers. Harm can result regardless of what the United States does. But even in those situations, American leadership can be a force for good if it is dignified, well-informed and smart.

Hillary Clinton — by far — is best prepared to lead our nation toward peace and prosperity. The State Journal endorses the former secretary of state, U.S. senator and first lady in the Nov. 8 election.

Clinton is disciplined, knowledgeable and experienced. Unlike her Republican opponent, Donald Trump, a wealthy New York businessman and reality television star, Clinton will assemble a strong administration that can work with Congress toward bipartisan solutions.

Trump has shown he can’t even work with his own party. He’s tearing the GOP apart.

The last two Republican presidential nominees — Mitt Romney and John McCain — say they won’t vote for him. The last two Republican presidents — George W. and George H. W. Bush — refused to attend his nominating convention. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a revered statesman and four-star general for Republican administrations, slammed Trump as “a national disgrace” and “international pariah.”

Clinton, a Democrat, worked well with her GOP colleagues in the Senate, sponsoring hundreds of bipartisan bills. She achieved incremental progress on public safety, health, the military and economy. She became friends with many Republicans, some of whom attempted to remove her husband, former President Bill Clinton, from office.

While Congress has resisted many of President Barack Obama’s executive appointments, the Senate confirmed Clinton as secretary of state with a 94-2 vote in 2009. That’s impressive and indicates she’ll have the support to build a better relationship with Congress than Obama.

As a candidate for president, Clinton has had detractors in her party, too. But that’s mostly because the far left views her as a moderate. Like most Americans, we consider her centrist instincts to be a positive trait. And we will demand, along with the American people, cooperation with Republicans — including House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville — when she is elected.

The Democratic Party has solidified around her following a difficult campaign. Her main challenger for the nomination, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, recently stumped for Clinton in Madison. He has made her a better candidate by forcing her to address the public’s frustrations with the establishment in Washington.

Clinton, as secretary of state, traveled nearly a million miles, the equivalent of 38 trips around the globe, to 112 countries. She understands the world and its messy politics far better than Trump.

That doesn’t mean she always makes the right decision. Her critics highlight the Syrian war and its ensuing refugee crisis as a major failure. Instability in Libya, after a U.S.-led bombing campaign, is another miscalculation. And the fatal attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi exposed a lack of foresight and transparency. Though she wasn’t charged, her use of a private email server in handling “highly classified information” was “extremely careless,” said FBI Director James Comey.

Yet Clinton was a key contributor to Obama’s pursuit and killing of 9/11 terrorist Osama bin Laden. Clinton organized stiff international sanctions on Iran, which forced it to negotiate. Through her words and actions, Clinton has advanced the cause of freedom for women and children around the globe.

While Trump last week was trying to dismiss his misogynist comments about women — part of a stream of obnoxious behavior — Clinton continued her less-than-flashy yet highly professional bid for the presidency.

Trump’s scandal-a-day campaign has shown he would distract, isolate and embarrass our nation. The world doesn’t need a United States in retreat, nor a stark reset of America’s politics and international posture.

The world needs a U.S. president who can actually lead. Clinton is that leader, and the world needs America to get this right.

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