Dear Ms. Clinton,
Well, it’s nice to know I have things in common with so many potential presidential candidates.
With Chris Christie, I share a large waistline and a reputation for a gruff demeanor, although I like to think of myself as more of a light-hearted curmudgeon whereas Governor Christie just seems Grinchlike.
Like Senator Marco Rubio, I have a deep-seated desire to leave Florida. It’s true I’m only there once a year, and my only constituent in the Sunshine State is my mother, but whenever I visit I cannot get out of the place fast enough. If it was the only way out, I, too, might run for national office.
But today I want to talk about what I have in common with you, Hillary (if I may call you that).
No, I do not often wear pants suits. But I do use my personal email account for work.
I really stand behind you on that. I don’t understand people who have multiple accounts. Take my wife, for instance. She has at least three (that I know of), and probably many others under assumed names she invents to get extra lives in Candy Crush or whatever she’s playing these days. She’s constantly checking her iPhone for mail to all her various aliases.
You and I don’t have that problem.
I’m a big fan of simplicity. You are, too, I bet. Not only do I only have one email account, I am determined to be the last person on Earth to have an AOL email address. I’ve had it since back in the days when AOL was America Online and people had complete sets of coasters that were actually AOL installation disks. Remember those? My email address is the digital equivalent of having a phone number that starts with letters.*
In the interest of full disclosure (I would never lie to you, Hill, if I may use the diminuitive version of your name), I do have one other account with Gmail. It’s for emergency use only, and every time I need to use it, I first delete a year or two worth of spam from the inbox. I can never remember my Gmail password, so I have it written down somewhere, or I’d never be able to use the account. And if I don’t remember where I wrote down the password, I’ll never be able to use it again.
So, yes, I use my personal email account for business, just like you did when you were Secretary of State. If your work day went anything like mine does, you would have been able to conveniently:
- View the cute puppy videos Chelsea sent you.
- Keep track of new book releases that were like other books you had purchased (“New and similar to 10 Real Signs that He’s Cheating On You”).
- Get Fedex service alerts (“Your package from the DOD containing the latest launch codes has been delayed due to weather.”)
- Learn how to be harder and last longer.
(By the way, I assume that in your position, you would have been able to use the resources of the State Department to do much more for all those Nigerian princes than I was able to.)
Now, Hillary, we both have our critics, although mine mostly live in my house. Yours point out that perhaps you might have considered using official email that could be stored on super secret secure servers for sensitive subjects. But as is becoming painfully apparent, nothing is hackproof. So what if you were attaching Excel files listing CIA operatives around the world? I need to protect my clients’ information, too (such as the most successful designs for name and address labels in fundraising mailings), and if AOL is good enough for me, it’s good enough for you.
Besides, some of the people you were writing to might not have wanted to hear from U.S. government officials and so set their spam filters to redirect any mail from addresses ending in “.gov” (or whatever State Department addresses end with). Maybe your only choices for communicating with those folks was either to use your personal account or to have subject lines that read “Re: B E * G ha Z i”.
I know what the Republicans are saying, HRC (if I may use your initials). They’d have us believe that your motive for using your personal email was to keep certain things out of the public record. But that’s just silly. Nothing is out of the public record anymore. Every communication and transaction is kept somewhere in Utah by Mormon NSA agents. The only way to convey information in secret anymore is verbally. In person. In code. In the middle of the forest. With the water running. After the other person has been checked for wires.
And then you’d have to kill the guy.
So I totally get why you conducted business the way you did. But if you like, maybe my daughter can come over and set up a new account for you like she’s always offering to do for me, when she’s not sending me cute puppy videos. We’re practically neighbors,** so it would be no trouble for her at all.
If you’re interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, although I have to tell you, if you use the gmail address, it might be awhile before I get back to you.
See you soon, Hillary. And you, too, readers.
*In case you’re too young to remember this, phone numbers used to start with “exchanges,” like “Murray Hill” or “Pennsylvania.” For instance, my phone number, even though I grew up in Queens, NY, was Michigan 1-4598 (or MI 1-4598). Phone numbers had character back then.
**Click the link for a map.