The political world now reacts to the long-awaited reaction by Hillary Clinton to a national crisis that caught fire in a city in the heart of our country — two weeks ago. Clinton's decision to comment on the killing of an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, by a policeman in Ferguson, Mo., and the subsequent police crackdown on protesters came too late. Sometime during the course of three autopsies and hundreds of arrests, Clinton could have taken to Twitter to share her thoughts about this tragedy and the incredible pain it provoked. She might not have known how to say it all in 140 characters or less, but it would have been a way to draw attention and comment on the dialogue and debate the nation has been undertaking about race relations and the way young black men are treated by police.
Clinton was enthusiastic Thursday, once she broke her silence, calling out the inequity in our justice system, declaring in America that "we are better than that," and even asking those in the room at the Nexenta OpenSDx Summit in San Francisco to imagine what it would be like if white men were three times as likely to be searched by police at a traffic stop. But she did so at a paid speech, calling attention — once again — to her busy schedule of only commanding roughly $100,000 per hour for two hours of work. Did she know the announcement about her daughter Chelsea Clinton leaving NBC would come today — leaving that $600,000 job at NBC that included appearing on the air just once? Did Hillary Clinton know that — for better or worse — the media had moved off of what had happened in Ferguson and moved on to talking about the frightening threat from ISIS, which she would know something about as the former secretary of State? Perhaps she didn't realize, back when Ferguson was in chaos, that she was the other story in the news that week because she had thrown President Obama under a bus in an interview about Syria with Jeffery Goldberg, but then pledged to "hug it out" with the president at a posh party that night on Martha's Vineyard, Mass. Certainly no time during all that soap opera with her former adversary-turned-boss — and those long lines at the book signings — to think or talk about Ferguson.
Clinton may not be running for president after all, and if so, she shouldn't feel pressure to comment on anything. But if she is a presidential candidate, she shouldn't assume it's all going to be a walk and that she doesn't need to up her outdated game.
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