If Palin and McCain are hiding from reporters, Biden and Obama should try to get as much free unanswered airtime as possible.

Let’s assume for the moment that the Republicans are going to keep Palin, and to a large extent McCain, protected from any questions from the press, and pretend that Palin’s ability to read a script off a teleprompter is the same as actually knowing anything about anything and that McCain can continue to claim the mantle of “straight talk” with a gag in his mouth.

Democrats could hope that the press will do its job and point those things out, or we could ask the Tooth Fairy to bring them the election. Those two counter-strategies should be equally efficacious.

But what would happen if Obama and Biden offered to go on every Sunday shows and every or morning news show that will have them? Do you think that the networks would turn them down in the name of balance? I don’t. Thus we either we smoke the Republicans out or we get our guys a bunch of free air time. And if Palin and McCain continue to hide, of course that’s something Biden and Obama can point out when they’re on the air.

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: