The Daily Illini Editorial Board endorses…

Hillary Clinton is the most qualified candidate to be the Democratic nominee.

Despite the rhetoric surrounding Clinton’s ties to Wall Street and other big businesses, Clinton has created a legacy cementing herself as one of the most powerful women in the United States.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ speech on campus Saturday confirmed Sanders’ popularity amongst millennials. But when you look at Sanders’ stances on certain issues, The Daily Illini Editorial Board has concerns about the feasibility of passing legislation.

It’s not that we don’t agree with Sanders’ ideas, such as more accessible college education. But Clinton’s experience close to the White House, as Secretary of State, senator and the first lady, would increase the probability of passing liberal legislation.

Let’s be clear: Clinton isn’t leading a revolution. But her more moderate views will make reaching across the aisle more palatable for Republicans in a time when partisanship is at an all-time high.

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While there are valid questions about Clinton’s involvement in an email scandal and in the security failures surrounding Benghazi, her foreign policy experience is vastly superior to that of Sanders, as well as the Republican candidates. With international crises developing constantly, it’s crucial to choose an experienced diplomat to lead the United States.

Much of President Barack Obama’s tenure was spent arguing with Congress over policy, and Clinton has a better chance than Sanders to get work done both at home and abroad.

We believe Hillary Clinton is the best candidate for the Democratic nomination.

John Kasich stands out among the noise and chaos of the Republican primary field. The last governor standing in a race that once held several strong state executives, Kasich has branded himself the most moderate candidate in the field. He’s been a popular governor of Ohio, a critical swing state, evidenced by his winning reelection by 31 points in 2014 after winning in 2010 by just two points.

Kasic served in the House of Representatives for 18 years. He was the House budget chairman during the Clinton presidency and held a pivotal role in the first balanced federal budget since 1969.

While he was governor, Kasich was asked about the Medicaid expansion he approved in 2013:

“Now, when you die and get to the meeting with St. Peter, he’s probably not going to ask you much about what you did about keeping government small,” Kasich said. “But he is going to ask you what you did for the poor.??”

While we do not support some of Kasich’s views on controversial issues such as abortion rights, he is still our preferred candidate in the Republican field for his moderate views.

For Republicans looking to regain the White House, Kasich is the rational choice as the most moderate choice. For democratic and independent voters, he’s a far lesser evil than a Trump or Cruz presidency. For voters in every party, Kasich represents reasonable dialogue in a race that is lacking it.

There are a lot of negative connotations that come with being an Illinois politician, but Mark Kirk rises above all of them. He served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for nine years and has been the junior senator representing our state since 2010. In this time, he has worked with dignity to serve the people and reflect their true values.

Kirk is a Republican to his core, but is not afraid to work across the aisle to make real change in our country. He is a fiscal conservative and social moderate, and has proven to be among the most reasonable senators in the country.

For a number of years, before the idea was popular, Kirk supported marriage rights. Ten years ago, he voted against defining marriage as one man and one woman, and has voted yes to prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. At the same time, he has voted no to bailouts and stimulus packages, showing a fiscal responsibility foreign to most politicians from his home state.

The bottom line with Kirk is that he is someone we can believe in to get the job done. He’s true to his core beliefs, but is still willing to work with anyone to improve the welfare of our state, and often the country as a whole.

Tammy Duckworth is more accustomed to breaking barriers than perhaps any member of Congress.

A veteran of the Iraq War, Duckworth lost both of her legs due to an explosion. Since coming back from the Middle East, she’s become the first member of Congress with a disability and the first representative of Asian-American heritage from the state of Illinois.

She has been a vocal proponent of veterans’ rights and worked to keep the government in check. Since returning, Duckworth has criticized the federal government’s excessive allocation of funds to the Iraq War, a position the editorial board supports.

Duckworth has taken a firm stance in favor of strict background checks prior to gun purchases, which could help slow the wave of violence nationwide.

She has also supported important social causes, such as abortion rights for women, in her time as a representative of Illinois’ 8th district. Duckworth is worldly and experienced, qualities that opponents Andrea Zopp and Napoleon Harris lack.

The Democratic party trusted Duckworth to speak on the first day of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, and the citizens of Illinois should trust Duckworth to be their Democratic nominee for senate.