From ‘FLOTUS’ to ‘POTUS.’ Waiting for the Clinton Reset button

Hillary Clinton will be in our news feed, whether we like it or not. She is under scrutiny by conservative newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, and more liberal writers. That’s par for the course, of course, when one announces an application for the top job in the country – an application tendered this early in the race.

I know it’s not quite a race yet. It’s a photo-op here, a downplayed event there, and lots of conspiracy theories running behind her.

So scrutiny she gets, in my latest editorial column for LMD this month, titled From FLOTUS to POTUS :

Hillary has important credentials. As the then secretary of state, she did a long ‘internship’ in world affairs, but needs to learn the simpler arts, in domestic affairs, for instance. We also want to see her being more accessible, more forthright and transparent. She once presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov an unusual gift – a ‘reset button.’ As the race heats up, she may need to borrow that button, since citizens need to know what the former first lady (FLOTUS, in White House speak) might do for them should she become POTUS.

Read From FLOTUS to POTUS here. (pdf)


Triva floods our media while real news slips by

I don’t know if this is an age thing, but commercial radio and TV ads irritate me. They seem to be eager to drown us in triva –not to mention groan-worthy humor. (have you seen that latest McDonald’s ad about French Fries and chicken something? If not, avoid it like the plague!)

Why is it that a British baby that’s 4th or fifth in line for a ‘crown’ that nobody quite cares about fills our channels? Or why the obsession with the other royal family over on this side of the pond? I’m not talking about the Clintons, but the Kardashians. So many important local and global events are unfolding, but we get non-stop coverage of trivia.

Here’s a glimpse of what went unreported last week.

  • NASA tested a 10-engine aircraft capable of vertical take-off, that could change idea of unmanned vehicles. Interesting, since Amazon seems to think the ‘delivery drones’ are actually becoming more possible.
  • Speaking of books, there’s the Arthur C. Clarke Science Fiction award in the UK, to a young writer, Emily St. John Mandel. It’s been described a novel about the ‘hyper-globalized’ future. Perhaps John Kerry, and Jeff Bezos are reading it right now, while ignoring the Clintons-in-waiting, and the princess of Cambridge, or whatever she is called.



Text-Hillary needs to switch to Tweet-Hillary

Having followed and reported on the State Department for years, I was glad to see Hillary dive into interactive mode on her recent trips to Asia and the Middle East.

Particularly on the openness to respond to text messages from anyone. These were her responses that have just been published online.

However I have two problems and a suggestion:

  • The questions may be legitimate, but there’s just no way of knowing who’s sending them, and when. In this transparency era that the administration is rightly talking up, we the people like to see who’s txt-ing.
  • Clinton’s responses are way too long. One ran into 200+ words. No, I am not suggesting 140 characters or nothing. I love long form answers, but it seems out of sync to respond to a 24-word question with a minor speech.  I know, I know, you didn’t text back those replies. By the way, who in their right  minds uses words like “to end the Gaza blockade and allow humanitarian aid to enter (based on UN Security Council Resolution 1860).” in a text message, with proper spelling, to boot?
  • My suggestion to the Secretary: It’s about time you started responding to people via Twitter as well. @ClintonNews account would be fine to start with. Don’t give up accepting SMS, because we all know that’s what most of the world still uses. But also remember, 60 percent of Twitter traffic comes from international users. Convinced?