Political endorsements are a newspaper owner’s prerogative, and there are plenty of reasons Arthur Sulzberger Jr.’s Times might have announced its support for Hillary Clinton on January 25, eleven days before New York’s Super Tuesday primary and a day before the pivotal South Carolina contest. She’s “more qualified, right now, to be president,” the editorial said. But some at the paper wonder if Sulzberger was pushed toward his decision by his best friend, investment banker and former Times reporter Steven Rattner, with whom he works out each morning. Rattner is a longtime Hillary supporter and a major donor to her campaign; earlier this month, as the Obama campaign surged, Rattner and his wife, Maureen White, became two of Hillary’s new coterie of “national finance leaders.” Sulzberger was recently seen showing off his new newsroom to Rattner, though before its publication the financier claimed to be unaware of the endorsement. Neither Rattner nor a Times spokeswoman returned calls by press time.
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