The New York Times endorsed Hillary Clinton for president on Saturday, saying her intelligence, record of public service and other strengths qualify her for the White House.
In an editorial, the influential Times as expected threw its weight behind Clinton and dismissed Donald Trump as "the worst nominee put forward by a major party in modern American history."
But Americans should not vote for the Democrat Clinton simply because the alternative is Trump, the paper argued.
Trump "discloses nothing concrete about himself or his plans while promising the moon and offering the stars on layaway," it said.
Rather, the Times said, the best case for voting for Clinton is to consider the challenges the United States face at home and abroad and what it called Clinton’s capacity to rise to them.
The editorial was published two days before a critical moment in the campaign – the first TV debate pitting Clinton against Trump.
The Times said it also wanted to persuade people reluctant of voting for her – Republicans who cannot stomach a Democrat, or voters who don’t want another Clinton in power or a candidate they do not see as representing change.
Today’s world is fraught with war, terrorism, "bigoted, tribalist movements" and the pressures of globalisation, among other problems, the Times argued.
And at home, middle class Americans are furious with government leaders they accuse of doing nothing to help them address the toll of recession, war, competition from abroad and technological change.
"Over 40 years in public life, Hillary Clinton has studied these forces and weighed responses to these problems," the editorial said.
The Times acknowledged Clinton had weaknesses, including policy flip-flops that could make her look opportunistic.
And of the controversy surrounding Clinton’s use of a private email server while working as secretary of state, the paper said this reflected "a lamentable penchant for secrecy."
But that "poor decision" has been duly scrutinised and Americans should move on, and given the challenges they face and Clinton’s record, "the country should put her to work."