The closest analogy to this process may be a job interview. What is it in the candidates’ experience that prepares them for the job we’re trying to fill?
The Times’s editorial page editor, James Bennet, whose brother, Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, is running for the Democratic nomination, has recused himself from any involvement in the 2020 elections.
How does the editorial board come to endorsement decisions?
After we’ve interviewed every candidate, we get together and deliberate. We discuss the merits of each candidate, what we heard from them in the interviews, what challenges they face to earn the nomination and to win a general election. Our choice will reflect a consensus of the board.
Not everyone will agree with our endorsement or the thinking behind it. But our goal is to present an informed view through reasoned analysis, open debate and what Adolph S. Ochs, who bought The Times in 1896, once called “the free exercise of a sound conscience.”
Do the editorial board’s endorsements ever influence The Times’s coverage of the candidates?
No. The Times’s Opinion section is completely separate from its newsroom.
What is new this year about the editorial board’s process for endorsing a presidential primary candidate?
The board comes to its decision by doing something very few people in America get a chance to do: sitting down privately with each of the candidates, away from press secretaries and chiefs of staff, for over an hour and asking them any questions we want. Historically, these intense interviews have been off the record, meaning nothing that’s said leaves the room or ends up in our writing, other than the final judgment made by the board.
This content was originally published here.