Hillary on Twitter

AP photo
AP photo

Who can blame Hillary Clinton for tweeting only once so far in her new existence as a tweeter? Check out @HillaryClinton and you’ll find exactly one tweet. But obviously she needs to be careful: What with the national security state we have these days, her tweets will be treated as codes, bristling with secret information. They will be portals to her inner self, MRIs of the soul. Already, according to Maureen Dowd’s column today, people have found a way to dissect her Twitter bio (“Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD…”) and see which words were re-arranged and prioritized as it came together. She moved “Wife” ahead of “mom.” WHY?????????????????

You say, “Because ‘wife and mother’ is the common construction, and follows the natural sequence of events in her life.” And I say you are missing the political significance here, and how it relates to cultural norms in Iowa and New Hampshire. It’s one step removed from posting a cookie recipe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A few months back, David Remnick posted a persuasive item at the New Yorker website declaring that Hillary Clinton is running, and I’ve seen nothing to contradict that conclusion. Why wouldn’t she? This is what her professional life has been leading her toward and she’s already been in it to win it once. She hasn’t lost a step. Benghazi? Cue the YouTube:  “What difference does it make?”

You could make a case that Hillary vs. Jeb solves a major problem for both parties, which is the draining, divisive, extremism-inducing system in which candidates are forced to fight their ideological brethren for 18 months to win their party’s nomination. I have no idea if Jeb will run but stand on my famous prediction from 1986 that he will (because it’s practically a cosmic imperative).

What we have seen in the past week, though, is a reshuffling of national concerns, with the number one at the moment being the erosion of privacy and the sense that giant server farms know everything about us, and not simply what websites we like to visit. They know how you take your coffee. Which can lead to the worst-case scenario: They know whether you like whole milk or 2 percent or (and this really should be private) skim. Seriously — and I mean “Seriously” seriously — I am not ready for Big Brother to know that I always order a half-caf at Starbucks. That would destroy my brawny he-man knuckle-dragging image.

What does this have to do with Secretary (or do we say, in keeping with protocol, “Senator”?) Clinton? Only that this kind of thing could shift political sentiment toward a more libertarian perspective, and away from “It Takes a Village of Computer Servers” Hillary Clinton. And more broadly than that, we must always remind ourselves that the future is particularly hard to predict, because it hasn’t happened yet. There’s that.

Joel Achenbach writes on science and politics for the Post's national desk and on the "Achenblog."
Comments
Show Comments
Most Read National
Next Story
Joel Achenbach · June 10, 2013