PAG E 1 0 W E D N E S D AY, F E B R U A R Y 1 , 2 0 0 6 THE NEW YORK SUN
THE NEW YORK SUN
Dan Gerstein on Senator Clinton’s presidential prospects
How Hillary Can Win
he CNN/Gallup Poll released last
week on Hillary Clinton’s presi-
Greenspan for Mt. Rushmore?
dential prospects showed the
former ﬁrst lady is starting out
essentially in last place with
much of the American electorate
nclude us out of the loosely organ- world with dollars. Until 1971, a suspi- — 51% said they would not vote for her under
ized Greenspan for Mt. Rushmore cious foreign creditor could present him- any circumstances.
Committee. And count us skeptical self and his dollars at our Treasury and de- But what this poll failed to illuminate, as
toward Ben S. Bernanke, who this day mand gold in exchange for greenbacks. have others on Senator Clinton, is exactly why
succeeds Mr. Greenspan as chairman of The statutory rate of exchange,starting in she is so unpopular with voters who are not
part of the vast right-wing conspiracy.
the Federal Reserve Board. We just have the early 1930s, was $35 to the ounce. It To try to get a handle on that question, I
a hard time with the idea that downsizing was a monetary arrangement grounded in thought it would be an informative exercise to
of the dollar ought to be the basis of the spirit of Ronald Reagan — trust the ask non-insiders for their impressions.
American monetary policy — as it has dollar but verify that there was something So over the last few weeks, I conducted my
been, is now and, by every indication, will behind it. Gold convertibility stayed the own informal, unscientiﬁc, overcaffeinated fo-
cus groups, avoiding the typical right-wing
long remain. hand that cranked the U.S. monetary Hillary-haters and speaking with Democrats
The departing Mr. Greenspan and the printing presses. and independents.
incoming Mr. Bernanke are of one mind Now that hand is free to crank until What I found is that Mrs. Clinton’s biggest
on this issue.They believe that the curren- the world cries “uncle.” As a matter of hurdle to becoming a viable presidential con-
cy in your wallet fact, monetary tender is not ideological, as much of the pundi-
tocracy suggests, but personal.
should buy a little presses the world It seems the prevailing perception that has
less with every over are working taken hold is not Hillary the wild-eyed liberal,
passing year. Its three shifts a day. but Hillary the ice queen. Indeed, the most
value should never The United common and visceral complaint I heard is that
she comes off as cold, calculating, and fake.
appreciate. De- States, consum- These same conversations suggest that this
basement, rather, ing much more perception problem is, ironically, most acute
is the sine qua non than it produces, with professional women, her supposed base.
of a healthy econo- sends dollars ﬂy- Some of this appears to be residue from the
my. Not a lot, mind ing east in pay- Lewinsky scandal. I heard many women criti- lash that has accompanied Hillary’s so-called To supplement these larger town hall meet-
cize her for enabling her husband’s repeated repositioning as a centrist.The reality is that in ings, and connect more directly with women,
you, just a little. ment for Asian inﬁdelities and staying with him after he dealt most of these cases, she was just being consis- she should set up a series of house parties at
This would be a m e rc h a n d i s e . her a horriﬁc public humiliation; their sneak- tent, not cynical. But as is often case, the truth the homes of friendly female supporters in the
dislogical doctrine KAREN BLEIER/AFP/GETTY Asian producers ing suspicion is that she tolerated Bill’s sneak- is irrelevant, and the result is that the percep- suburbs, with a heavy dose of them in red
even if the govern- sell these dollars ing around to further her political ambitions. tion of her as calculator-in-chief has only deep- states.
ment could measure the to their local central Some of it just seems to be purely stylistic ened. This would give her a chance to talk in a
reaction. Many women say they ﬁnd it hard to So how can Hillary break free of this damn- more intimate setting about the historic na-
rate of inﬂation with banks, which pay with lo- connect with her because she rarely lets her ing trap? Not by trying to make herself over, ture of her run, how this will be a test not of her
anything like the preci- cal currency they have emotions show in public and thus seems like but by opening herself up — and showing off political power but of theirs, and what a
sion it pretends to. printed for the very pur- she’s hiding something. the same warm, funny, and generous side that Hillary victory (or an embarrassing defeat)
The dollar is Ameri- pose. The result is a Either way, this helps explain why just 22% has won her many admirers on both sides of could mean for gender equity going forward.
ca’s greatest export. world awash in money. of the women surveyed in the CNN/Gallup poll the aisle in the Senate. In these meetings and in all her interviews,
indicated they would deﬁnitely vote for Mrs. The reality is, as I learned from watching her Hillary should be open about her motivations.
Non-Americans accept No accident, then, that Clinton for president at this stage. up close on Capitol Hill, Mrs. Clinton gets more She should acknowledge that 15 years of viliﬁ-
the currency as their the price of gold has been It also reveals the crux of Hillary’s challenge likeable the more you know her. She used this cation has taken its toll, and make clear that in-
own. They send us mer- appreciating in every cur- in becoming a winning national candidate. It’s to her advantage in her highly successful lis- stead of running away from her image prob-
chandise, and we send rency. In terms of the dol- hard to see how a woman in general — and in tening tour in the 2000 campaign. And since lem, she’s going to confront the caricatures and
particular a woman with Mrs. Clinton’s politi- then, her persistent efforts to personally touch puncture them.
them dollars. The mer- lar, it has doubled in the cal and personal baggage — can get elected voters upstate has been widely cited as her se- The conventional-thinking consultants and
chandise is costly to past four years. Gold and with a major chunk of her natural support cret weapon in maintaining her high state fa- operatives will be aghast. But I bet average
manufacture, while the currencies are forever stronghold strongly predisposed against her. vorability numbers. Americans will ﬁnd her candor refreshing and
greenbacks cost next to WIN MCNAMEE/GETTY competing for the mar- There’s no way she can make it up with So if Hillary really wants to be president, — lo and behold — real. Besides, it gives her a
nothing to print. No ket’s favor. When gold African-American voters — there’s just not probably the best thing she could do would be rare opportunity to show strength and vulner-
enough of them. And she’s certainly not going to quit the Senate — which is a graveyard for ability in one fell swoop.
American could dream up a sweeter divi- gains the edge, as it is doing at a gallop to- to make up for it with the white men who are presidential ambitions — and take her real- All things considered, it’s a crapshoot
sion of labor. day, central banks are losing it. already ﬂeeing the Democratic Party in people road show national. Unfortunately, whether this strategy will ultimately work, es-
But the dollar is also America’s most As well they might. For reasons that droves. that’s not a realistic option at this point. pecially given where the Democratic elec-
fragile export. It is a piece of paper, ex- have never persuaded us, short-term in- In fact, in the CNN/Gallup poll, only 11% of The next best thing would be to hit the torate is right now.After losing two straight na-
changeable into nothing except pennies, terest rates are deemed too important to men said they would deﬁnitely vote for her, ground running with this focused outreach tional campaigns with candidates who largely
while 60% said they would not vote for her in strategy when her re-election campaign ends failed to connect personally with average peo-
nickels, dimes and quarters. No collateral be discovered in the open market.Central any circumstance. in November — and build her schedule in 2007 ple, primary voters may just write Hillary off
supports its value. Nothing stands behind banks must ﬁx them, as, in unhappier I suspect that this hurdle, while formidable, around it. as unelectable and opt for a fresh, non-polariz-
it except the willingness of America’s times, governments ﬁxed a whole assort- is not insurmountable. But it won’t be by con- Speciﬁcally, she should start ramping up a ing face.
creditors to hold and invest it. Yet Mr. ment of prices, from rents to air fares. Mr. ventional political means. series of town meetings in targeted states to But two things seem certain. Her watchword
Bernanke wants to debase it — just a lit- Bernanke, taking up where Mr. Indeed, typical targeted efforts to rehab her discuss the country’s future post-Bush — and isn’t liberal, it’s likeable. And Hillary won’t
image are doomed to fail. These moves will be not the cynical contrivances that President make history if she does not openly and com-
tle bit, of course. Greenspan left off, will try to set the so transparent, and so thoroughly chewed over Bush himself has staged, but totally open ses- pellingly tell her story.
Mr. Greenspan is the greatest central overnight interest rate just where it ought by the media, that they more likely than not sions with no pre-screened questions.
banker — possibly, the greatest human to be. will just reinforce the unfair image of Hillary This kind of forum can be risky, but I am Mr. Gerstein is a political communications con-
being — who ever lived, his fans insinu- With this inspired stroke of policy, it is as a calculating power-schemer instead of de- afraid Mrs. Clinton can’t bust her crippling car- sultant based in New York and
ﬂating it. icatures and win the presidency if she is afraid the author of the Dangerous Thoughts blog
ate.They cite the macroeconomic record. hoped, the economy will grow, inﬂation As proof of that point, just look at the back- to take chances. (http://dangerstein.blogspot.com).
On Mr. Greenspan’s watch, there have will perk along at 2% or 3% (you will
been fewer recessions, and a lower aver- hardly notice the loss of purchasing pow-
age rate of price inﬂation,than under pre- er) and foreign dollar holders will contin-
vious chairmen. Why can’t Mr. Bernanke, ue to absorb the $700 billion or so that an-
who sat at the master’s feet, perpetuate nually falls into their laps via the U.S.
these blessings? trade deﬁcit. Mr. Greenspan’s true legacy
Feature this reason. It’s the accident- — which Mr. Bush, the Congress and Mr.
waiting-to-happen called the “world mon- Bernanke are buying into — is to have
etary system.” The Greenspan Fed had a proven, yet again, that the American
‘After the Election’ trian fatalities contained specu-
luxury that few of its predecessors en- economy can survive any system and any- The Hamas victory conﬁrms lation about why they were oc-
joyed. It was the freedom to carpet the body. that the issue between the Mus- curring, with the implication
lim Palestinians and Israel is no that motorists were somehow at
longer settlements, borders or fault [“Andrea Bronfman Is
Dangerous Disease right of return [“After the Elec-
tion,” Editorial, January 27,
2006]. The issue is Israel’s right
Killed By a Car As She Walks
Her Dog on 65th Street,”
Stephen Miller, Page 1, January
he tort bar can boast of only limit- enzyme that causes inﬂammation but to exist as a Jewish state. As the 24, 2006, and “Many Pedestrian
ed success in its assault on Merck that is also linked to some cancer cells.Al- Gaza Arabs continue to acquire Injuries at Site Where Bronfman
weapons through Egypt at an Died,” Lauren Elkies, New York,
in the Vioxx sweepstakes, but the most from the time the Cox-2 inhibitors unprecedented rate, the Jewish January 25, 2006].
lawyers have undoubtedly succeeded at were developed, scientists have been ex- people are uniting everywhere. The main reason, to my mind,
one thing — scaring the pharmaceutical ploring their ability to prevent tumors. In Israel, whether one is iden- was not mentioned, and it is
giant into removing a promising drug The cardiac risks of Vioxx itself ﬁrst be- tiﬁed with Kadima, Likud, or La- something easily observed at
from the market.With a fourth Vioxx trial came clear in a study that was actually in- bor is nearly a mute point now. any street crossing: People wait-
In the Americas and in Europe, ing for the light to change do so
now underway, the contrast between tort vestigating whether the drug can protect Jews held meetings and rallies while standing in the street, not
greed and the public good couldn't be any against colon cancer. to come together and hear digni- on the sidewalk. This seemingly
clearer, underscored by the release this Researchers are still debating taries and leaders discuss the New York habit is virtually uni-
week of a study suggesting that Vioxx and whether Cox-2 drugs are more danger- new realities.The American gov- versal in the city.
other so-called Cox-2 inhibitors, like Cele- ous than older drugs or whether instead ernment, under President Bush, I have seen pedestrians stand-
has emphasized it will not talk ing one lane into trafﬁc (check
brex, could be effective at helping to pre- the older drugs turn out to be more dan- with an Arab government that is DANIEL ACKER/BLOOMBERG out East 77th Street and Lexing-
vent breast cancer. gerous than anyone had realized. But in sworn to the destruction of Is- THOMAS GOLISANO ton Avenue), including mothers
The study, conducted by three re- our lawsuit-happy day and age, Merck rael. with infants in strollers. This is
searchers at the Ohio State University executives apparently decided that they Israel’s acting prime minister, ‘Waiting for Golisano’ recent condition of the State not to touch upon jaywalkers at
College of Medicine and Public Health, Ehud Olmert, has declared that How would Thomas Golisano’s GOP, are weak, at best. night wearing dark clothes. To
couldn’t take the risk and pulled Vioxx Israel will not talk with the new candidacy have been any differ- If Mr. Avlon is concerned about this observer, were it not for
found that women who used a Cox-2 drug from the pharmacy shelves. Now thou- Palestinian government before ent than Mayor Bloomberg’s in the Republican Party selling out drivers being at least somewhat
for two years reduced their risk of devel- sands of lawsuits threaten the company it disarms and excises from its terms of conﬁrming the pres- to Mr. Golisano, he need look no diligent, the toll on our streets
oping breast cancer by an average of 71%. and drag on its bottom line, contributing covenant its vow to annihilate ence of a new plutocracy, where further than to City Hall to ﬁnd a would be much higher.
Patients who took 25 milligrams of Vioxx to massive downsizing. Israel. So far the top leaders of billionaires get elected by de- good example of a GOP sell out.
Hamas have told al-Jazeera and feating underfunded candi- The whole bunch of them —Mr. FRED HARTMANN
every day reduced their risk by 64%, Meantime, researchers continue un- the Western press that Hamas dates, who must follow cam- Bloomberg, Governor Pataki, Tuxedo Park, N.Y.
while patients who took 200 mg of Cele- covering signs of beneﬁts that could be has no intention of doing either. paign ﬁnance laws? [“Waiting Joseph Bruno, and Alfonse D’Am-
brex cut their risk by 83%. Patients who worth the cardiac risk for some patients. Israel and the Jewish people for Golisano,” John P. Avlon, ato — have shown little interest
took regular doses of older, less potent It’s a common phenomenon in medicine. recall how eight Arab nations Opinion, January 31, 2006] over the years in building a
nonsteroidal anti-inﬂammatory drugs Even thalidomide, infamous for causing swooped down on Israel to snuff I agree that this is not good for strong statewide party.
out its life right after it was born politics: Jon Corzine, Mr. Please address letters intended for publi-
like ibuprofen and naproxen (the active birth defects when administered to preg- nearly 58 years ago. That at- Golisano, Mr. Bloomberg. But EVAN EDWARDS
cation to the Editor of The New York
Sun. Letters may be sent by e-mail to
ingredient in Aleve) also enjoyed some nant women for morning sickness in the tempt at infanticide has not why single Mr. Golisano out? Manhattan firstname.lastname@example.org, f a c s i m i l e t o
risk reduction, but the results were less 1950s and 1960s, has been found effec- been forgotten. I am simply suggesting that 212-608-7348, or post to 105 Chambers
Street, New York City 10007. Please in-
dramatic and patients needed to take the tive against leprosy and multiple myelo- some of the criticisms leveled at ‘Andrea Bronfman Is Killed’ clude a return address and daytime tele-
medicines for a longer period. The study ma, a type of cancer, and is now legal in RAY KESTENBAUM a potential Golisano GOP candi- The New York Sun’s articles phone number. Letters may be edited.
Rego Park, N.Y. dacy by Mr. Avlon, in light of the about the recent spate of pedes-
was funded by grants from Pﬁzer, which America under tight controls. Thanks to
manufactures Celebrex, and by the Na- the tort-bar culture, Vioxx is no longer
tional Cancer Institute. available to arthritis patients who need- S e t h L i p s k y P r e s i d e n t & E d i t o r ; R o n a l d We i n t r a u b P u b l i s h e r
This latest study is another link in a ed a treatment that wouldn’t cause ul- Ira Stoll Vice President & Managing Editor; Stephen Hastings V ice President & General Manager;
lengthening chain of research investigat- cers, and other Cox-2 drugs like Celebrex the new york sun August Fields Vice President, Marketing & Circulation; Nancy Stuski Vice President, Advertising;
John Loor Comptroller; Michael Moncrieffe Production Manager
ing whether drugs like Vioxx can be used are under a litigation cloud.The latest re- IS PUBLISHED EVERY
John Seeley Night Editor; Alexander Storozynski City Editor;
M O N D AY T H R O U G H F R I D AY
for many conditions beyond the arthritis search on the additional potential bene- Megan Mulligan National/Foreign Editor; V i n n e e To n g B u s i n e s s E d i t o r ;
AT 1 0 5 C H A M B E R S S T R E E T, David Propson Cultural Editor; A . L . Gordon Society Editor;
they were originally marketed to treat. ﬁts of these medicines for women living NEW YORK CITY 10007 BY J o h n P. A v l o n , P r a n a y G u p t e , A d a m K i r s c h , Gar y Shapiro Associate Editors
Some of the most promising research has in fear of breast cancer only highlights
o n e s l, l l c
Trademarks herein are used by permission of One SL, LLC. The New York Sun is a member of the Associated Press and receives news from the Daily Telegraph of London. Home and
of f ice delivery of The New York Sun may be arranged by calling 1-866-NYC-SUN1. The New York Sun switchboard number is 212-406-2000. An advertising rate card is available
been in the ﬁeld of cancer prevention. how dangerous trial lawyers are to Amer- upon request at extension 2700. The news department may be reached at extension 2689. Facsimile: For advertising, 212-571-9836, news 212-608-7348. The general New York
The drugs work by blocking a particular icans’ health. Sun e-mail address is email@example.com.