Hillary’s question

Clever that Hillary Clinton has gone to Yahoo Answers to ask us our experience with health insurance. More than 37,000 answers at last count. Of course, she could have done this on her own site. But by going elsewhere — by being a distributed candidate — she gets more people, more attention. [Hat tip, Janice]

  • One wonders if such a move, while clever, stymies the “conversation” needed for real policy solutions to come about. Is it possible that in our age where the politics of celebrity count far more than talking to each other, that what Mrs. Clinton did was necessarily a PR ploy?

    You see what I’m asking – I’m not asking if she meant to just get publicity or not. Of course she did, and she probably also meant to get some sensible ideas. The question is whether her celebrity creates a pandering or does something else to the “conversation” which skews it too much to be politically practicable.

    We say “if she gets a sensible idea from Yahoo Answers, then wasn’t it worth it?” But policy isn’t really about ideas. We all know why universal coverage is and isn’t feasible. The question is whether we’re ready to make the compromises needed to instantiate it, or whether we would be best – for the health of our polity more than our economy – leaving well-enough alone. The purpose of conversation is not to talk to her campaign, perhaps, but to each other, and not just to “debate,” either.

    This comment, of course, will be utterly neglected, because I don’t understand politics in the way everyone on the Internet does, I have realized.

  • Verna

    In politics, the goal is to broaden your base use every opportunity to be heard. Strategy and tactics are key in my view in wiining elections.

    She has been in those smoke- filled rooms and is playing to win and plans to embrace whatever medium available– She has learned well from the PR consultants out there.

    So far, for game plan, I give her “A” for strategy.

  • this is a very good move but the “dialogue” is still one-way and i have yet to see the answers from hillary

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  • She sure got some airplay on the yahoo-thing, but her campaign have other interesting initiatives, more oriented towards conversation – for example her answering questions in what was the first of three live streamed session in her ‘Let the Conversation begin’ initiative [watch video here http://www.hillaryclinton.com/video/6.aspx%5D. Registered users of hillaryclinton.com could submit questions online, some were selected and answered – I am not sure how well it worked (I’ve written a bit about that on http://participations.wordpress.com/2007/01/27/clinton-20/), but the initiative is interesting.

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