Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post writes:
Donald Trump said lots (and lots) of things during an hour-long town hall meeting with Fox News’s Sean Hannity. This one – Trump talking about Hillary Clinton – stood out to me:
“She is so protected. They are so protecting her. She hasn’t had a news conference in, like, 250 days.”
It couldn’t be that long since Clinton has talked to the press, I thought. So, I went to the handy-dandy tool that some guy named Philip Bump built to track how long it’s been since Clinton faced the press. And this is what I found: 257.9 days.
Trump and Clinton are such opposites.
He may do half a dozen interviews a day and Clinton hasn’t done a press conference in nine months.
Clinton is guarded to the point of paranoia.
Trump says what he thinks. Sadly what he thinks is generally pretty bad.
Almost 258 days! Trump undersold something!
Jokes aside, it’s beyond ridiculous that one of the two people who will be elected president in 80 or so days continues to refuse to engage with the press in this way.
But she does sit-down interviews! And she did a “press conference” with a moderator, um, moderating the questions!
Not good enough. Not when you are running to be president of the United States. One of the most important things when someone is offering themselves up to represent all of us is that we get the best sense we can about how that person thinks on his or her feet, how they deal with unwanted or adversarial questions. Those two traits are big parts of doing the job of president in the modern world.
There’s nothing like a press conference to put a candidate for president through their paces. If you don’t believe me, just watch how Clinton handled a presser – not well! – when she tried to put the email server controversy to rest.
In NZ the Prime Minister does one formal press conference a week and often five to seven additional informal press standups.
Put all of that aside, and think of this: The last time Clinton held a press conference was December 5, 2015. That was before:
1. A single state had cast a vote in either a presidential primary or caucus
2. Major terrorist attacks in Nice, Brussels and Orlando
3. FBI Director James Comey issued his scathing report on Clinton’s email practices while at the State Department
4. The Bernie Sanders phenomenon
5. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was run out of the Democratic National Committee in the wake of a massive email hack/leak
6. This whole Ryan Lochte international gas station incident
The temperature in Washington on December 5, 2015, was 6 degrees Celsius. It’s 28 on Thursday. A woman who conceived on December 5, 2015, would be 8 1/2 months pregnant now. On December 5, 2015, the Golden State Warriors were NBA champs. On December 5, 2015, I was still in my 30s.
You get the idea. It’s been a long time. Lots of important things – Lochte and my 40th birthday being at the top of the list – have happened. Clinton is now the unquestioned favourite to be the 45th president of the United States – if you believe polling. The fact that she continues to avoid questions from the press is simply unacceptable given the office she is seeking and the stakes in this election.
She’ll probably now do one, and then that’s it until after the election!