Tucked inside her New York Primary victory speech last night Hillary Clinton included a seemingly offhand comment that her staff ought to clarify right away.
“We have to reform our criminal justice system and ‘ban the box’ so others have a fair chance to succeed.”
She was referring to a movement — “ban the box” — to prevent employers from asking potential employees about any criminal record.
Was this a dog whistle to supporters of the movement in hopes the general populace wouldn’t notice? Sure, employers should be encouraged to give some convicts a chance but surely they have a right to know what they’re getting into.
Regardless of the merits of that proposal, the politics could be disastrous in a general election.
Imagine the Republican TV ad: “Hillary would deny employers the right to ask Willie Horton if he had ever been in jail.”
And don’t even get me started on the Kitty Dukakis debate question this might provoke.