The conservative editorial board of the Houston Chronicle has skipped the tradition of waiting until fall to make their endorsement for president.

In a really remarkable editorial, just four years after backing Republican nominee Mitt Romney, the paper is strongly supporting Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton:

Any one of Donald Trump’s less-than-sterling qualities – his erratic temperament, his dodgy business practices, his racism, his Putin-like strongman inclinations and faux-populist demagoguery, his contempt for the rule of law, his ignorance – is enough to be disqualifying. His convention-speech comment, “I alone can fix it,” should make every American shudder. He is, we believe, a danger to the Republic.

The Chronicle also praised Clinton as superior in experience and on a range of issues, including healthcare, immigration, energy and foreign affairs. They also lauded her calls for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, support for clean energy, commitment to NATO allies and temperament as some of her core strengths.

Whether voters like her personally is almost irrelevant at this “moment of reckoning,” to use Clinton’s words. She herself concedes that she’s not a natural campaigner. She lacks Obama’s oratorical gifts or her husband’s folksy ability to connect with crowds. Too often she comes across as calculated, inauthentic. We’re confident that she is, indeed, “steady and measured and well-informed” and that she would be a much better president than a presidential candidate.

The newspaper slammed Trump for the dark vision he has laid out about America.

These are unsettling times, even if they’re not the dark, dystopian end times that Trump lays out. They require a steady hand. That’s not Donald Trump. The times also require a person who envisions a hopeful future for this nation, a person who has faith in the strong, prosperous and confident America we hope to bequeath our children and grandchildren, as first lady Michelle Obama so eloquently envisioned in Philadelphia. That’s not Donald Trump’s America.

The Chronicle said America is on the verge of history with Clinton’s election.

America’s first female president would be in the Oval Office more than a century and a half after a determined group of women launched the women’s suffrage movement, almost a century after women in this country won the right to vote. It’s a milestone, to be sure. Few could have imagined it would be so consequential.

Clinton is only the third Democrat in the papers history to receive their endorsement for president. The Chronicle’s presidential endorsements have been solidly pro-Republican for half a century: Ronald Reagan twice, George H.W. Bush twice, Richard Nixon twice, George W. Bush twice, Bob Dole, Gerald Ford and Mitt Romney have earned the favor of the Chronicle’s editorial board.

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