Hillary Clinton often says that she’s just a small town girl from a little suburb of Chicago, the heart of the Midwest.
Today, the “heart of the Midwest’s” hometown paper endorsed Libertarian Gary Johnson. The Chicago Tribune, calling the third party candidate a “principled option,” selected Johnson over Democrat Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, who would have been the conservative-leaning Tribune‘s traditional pick.
The Tribune bucked its right-leaning editorial stance in 2008 and 2012 to endorse “hometown candidate” Barack Obama, despite his liberal agenda, because he hailed from Chicago’s South Side (though he spent most of his life in Hawaii). The paper clearly felt no need to do the same for Hillary Clinton, who grew up in Park Ridge, Ill., a suburb abutting Chicago on its north side.
Clinton, of course, now calls New York her home.
The nod from the Tribune editorial board is Johnson’s biggest media endorsement to date, following closely on the heels of the Detroit News‘s endorsement yesterday. Johnson has, so far, received five major editorial endorsements.
In making their selection, the Tribune editorial board said, they determined that Trump was “not fit to be president.” And while they felt that Clinton could handle the job from a professional perspective, they could not bring themselves to endorse her policy platform.
“Taken together, Trump and Clinton have serious flaws that prevent us from offering our support to either of them,” the board wrote.
The paper also defended voters who make the choice to vote third party rather than to vote for one of the two major candidates, noting that a vote for Gary Johnson isn’t a “throwaway” vote.
“We reject the cliche that a citizen who chooses a principled third-party candidate is squandering his or her vote,” the board wrote. “We offer this endorsement to encourage voters who want to feel comfortable with their choice. Who want to vote for someone they can admire.”
Clinton, of course, has made Johnson a prime target in recent days, in an effort to shame Millennials and left-leaning Independents who are considering voting third party rather than for the Clinton-Kaine ticket.