Pandering as a character issue

What do “obliterate Iran” and the gas tax holiday tell us about HRC’s character, the quality of her experience, and her fitness to be President?

A correspondent thinks I’ve missed the main point about both “obliterate Iran” and the gas tax holiday. For Clinton, who has run on being the grown-up, experienced policy wonk in the race, the willingness to talk complete nonsense when the situation is desperate not only contradicts her major claim to office, it raises serious questions about her character. Her behavior on those issues has, by contrast with the behavior of the Democratic candidate, profoundly un-Presidential.

“Experience,” it is said, “isn’t what happens to you; it’s what you make of what happens to you.” Which candidate looked “experienced” this week?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: