Rolling Stone has endorsed Hillary Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders for president in 2016. The magazine's publisher, Jann S. Wenner, said the reason is Clinton's history as a political fighter who has affected change, versus Sanders, who is angry but has little by way of accomplishments to his credit. Photo by Shutterstock
WASHINGTON, March 23 (UPI) -- Rolling Stone magazine, the self-proclaimed champion of the youth vote, has endorsed Hillary Clinton over her opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose campaign has been propelled largely by college students.
Jann S. Wenner, the magazine's publisher, said in an editorial he admires Sanders but cites Clinton's election as an "urgent" need in the face of Republican advances in Congress and the state of the GOP campaign, which is led by Donald Trump.
Ultimately, Wenner concludes, the Sanders campaign is appealing to people through anger when voters should be inspired by the "incremental progress" Clinton has advocated on important issues.
"You get a sense of 'authenticity' when you hear Sanders talking truth to power, but there is another kind of authenticity, which may not feel as good but is vitally important, when Clinton speaks honestly about what chance really requires, about incremental progress, about building on what [President Barack] Obama has achieved in the arenas of healthcare, clean energy, the economy, the expansion of civil rights," Wenner writes. "There is an inauthenticity in appeals to anger rather than to reason, for simplified solutions rather than ones that stand a chance of working. This is true about Donald Trump, and lamentably also true about Sanders."
Wenner acknowledged the magazine's history in support of youth-oriented campaigns -- and their past failures.
Rolling Stone famously began covering presidential politics in 1972, when Hunter S. Thompson covered the anti-war candidacy of Sen. George McGovern. Wenner said that experience, along with the protest votes by liberals cast for Ralph Nader in 2000, which were enough to tip the election to George W. Bush, are instructive in evaluating the 2016 campaign.
"We worked furiously for McGovern. We failed; Nixon was re-elected in a landslide," Wenner writes of 1972. "But those of us there learned a very clear lesson: America chooses its presidents from the middle, not from the ideological wings. We are faced with that decision again."