Leave it to the New York Times, the undisputed king of journalistic hyperbole, to come up with the gem that forms the title of this post.
It wasn’t that recently that the Times made this bold observation. It was in October 2008 — a presidential year — and the sentence led off with its endorsement of a candidate for that cycle.
Here’s where the Times editorial board went after that shaky opening:
[T]his year the nation’s future truly hangs in the balance.
The United States is battered and drifting after eight years of President Bush’s failed leadership. He is saddling his successor with two wars, a scarred global image and a government systematically stripped of its ability to protect and help its citizens — whether they are fleeing a hurricane’s floodwaters, searching for affordable health care or struggling to hold on to their homes, jobs, savings and pensions in the midst of a financial crisis that was foretold and preventable.
As tough as the times are, the selection of a new president is easy. After nearly two years of a grueling and ugly campaign, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois has proved that he is the right choice to be the 44th president of the United States.
Mr. Obama has met challenge after challenge, growing as a leader and putting real flesh on his early promises of hope and change. He has shown a cool head and sound judgment. We believe he has the will and the ability to forge the broad political consensus that is essential to finding solutions to this nation’s problems.
Naturally, little about the Times’s assessment of Obama has changed since then, despite his abysmal record as leader of a nation and its military’s commander-in-chief. His “achievements” include having racked up more debt than all previous presidents combined, overseen the most anemic recovery in history, and ushered in an era of racial animus not seen since the days of Jim Crow.
As for the two wars Obama was saddled with once he took the reigns of office, his three former defense secretaries have spoken out publicly and unflatteringly, noting in particular his “operational micromanagement” and “his “cautiousness and overcorrection, which makes it appear that the United States is hesitant to take action.”
Robert Gates, a holdover from the Bush administration, said in a Fox News interview last night:
[I] told the combatant commanders … if you get calls from the White House staff, you get a call from the president, that’s one thing. That’s totally okay. That’s the chain of command. But you get a call from one — some White House or National Security Council staffer, you tell them to call me instead, and then tell them, oh by the way, go to hell. And that’s directly from the Secretary of Defense.
Back to the quote of the day. It came to mind after I read the Times’s endorsement for the 2016 election, which is occurring at a time when, to paraphrase the Times, the nation’s future hangs in the balance far more than it did in 2008.
The article includes this knockout:
Voters have the chance to choose one of the most broadly and deeply qualified presidential candidates in modern history.
You can probably guess which Democrat they are referring to this time.