Senator Clinton’s opportunity

Now that Roger Ailes has (“jokingly,” of course) conflated Barack Obama with Osama bin Laden, Hillary Clinton has the chance to show what she’s made of. Will she have the nerve and the savvy to denounce Ailes and the pseudo-news operation he runs?

If Hillary Clinton wants to convince people:

(1) That she is capable of a generous gesture toward a rival; and

(2) That she is capable of departing from narrow short-term self-seeking to serve the greater good; and

(2) That she is not a hopeless captive of Washington insider politics; and, in particular

(3) That she hasn’t sold out to Rupert Murdoch;

then Roger Ailes just made it easy for her. All she has to do is let Fox News have it, publicly, with both barrels.

If she’s a Democrat before she’s an insider, that’s what she’ll do. If she doesn’t, then the rest of us can draw our own conclusions.

Of course, I’m an un-fan of her campaign for President. (Her talents seem excellently suited to the Senate.) And tactical advice from un-friends is never to be trusted. But it seems to me that this one is a no-brainer. If she takes my advice, her nomination (and maybe her election) gets a little bit more likely. Well worth it, in my view. If she puts the common interests of liberals and Democrats ahead of her own short-term advantage, then maybe she’s made of better stuff than I’ve been giving her credit for.

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: