I was about to post on the topic of Clinton talking about making a virtue of ignoring expert advice, but just as I sit down to gather my sources, I find it's been done.
The tragedy is that Hillary Clinton understands perfectly well that this is a stupid policy. (If you actually wanted to save people $40 over the course of the summer, you would just give them $40.) She is embracing it anyway. Her campaign is pushing it as a purely symbolic gesture, attempting to take the side of “real people” against elitist snobs with all of their “education” and “expertise” and Ivy-League degrees.
I personally don't understand when politicians seek to distance themselves from expert opinion. Surely a politician, and certainly the so-called 'leader of the free world' should be able to say 'this may seem a good idea, but it's actually a bit of a con, and these guys will explain why'. I want a president who will act on an evidence base.
I don't understand why people want to vote for a president who is homely, who will tell them whatever they think they want to hear. I want to see a president who is the smartest guy (or gal) in the room, and part of being smart is knowing when you're out of your field and recognising when other people have expertise - be that in matters scientific, military, economic, whatever.
It's not about snobbery, it's about being fit to hold that office.
If I could vote, I wouldn't be casting that vote for Clinton right now. Not because she's trying to be populist, but because she's seeking to cast expertise on the fire of her electoral success.
She may as well be sitting in a room reading about pet goats.
Referring to this idea, originally from McCain, Obama makes a considered response. (via Inverse Square)
Now, that's a man who has listened to advice, thought about it and made a sensible (if on the face of it, unpopular, call)
He's the only guy who seems presidential in this race.