THE BLOG

Now That Hillary Clinton Is Announcing, Here's What I'd Ask Her

04/10/2015 11:38 am ET | Updated Jun 10, 2015
Andrew Burton via Getty Images

I was wrong. I didn't think Secretary Clinton would run for president in 2016. I looked at it through my eyes and I think, "why would anyone want that job?" I sure don't. The only answer I can come up with is that candidates in both parties believe they can help people more; that they can try to make the world better as president. I suspected Secretary Clinton would decide not to run because she is in a unique position in that, without being president, she has a global platform to do so many things and she can avoid the headaches of running for office and even holding office. You can accomplish a great deal even if you are not president. But alas... I was wrong.

So now "interview season" starts and I want to interview her for an hour. Those ten-minute (or so) sit-down interviews campaigns offer are not very helpful to the American people. In ten minutes an interviewer cannot go into the depth needed to discuss real issues, real problems. How do you learn what a candidate really thinks about and how the candidate would go about solving issues like jobs, the economy, ISIS, etc. in ten minutes? You can't. Short interviews regrettably tend to be more show business than information business.

It is not the journalist who wants the short interviews, it is the campaigns. I am surprised campaigns and candidates want short interviews. I don't think they have thought it through and may only do short interviews because "that's the way it has always been done -- limited interviews." I think it is foolish. Maybe campaigns think it protects a candidate to have short interviews but I think it endangers them. Short interviews only supply gotcha type soundbites that the media grabs and then discusses ad nauseam until the next soundbite ten-minute interview surfaces. Yes, ten minutes is better than nothing, but candidates would do better for themselves to give us real time (an hour?) so that they can fully explain their thoughts, their views, their plans, their visions.

I assume at some point during campaign season I will get an interview with Secretary Clinton. I am tempted to suggest that it be a single topic so that it can get around the sound bite stuff. I would like to dig into one or two topics (go deep!) -- not slap the surface of many topics.

If I were offered an interview today... I would offer the campaign the topics of ISIS, Iran, jobs, the structure of the economy, or her email system. (The jobs issue is serious in that the economy in the last 25 years has changed from a manufacturing economy to a service economy and I think one of the big problems has been that solutions attempted have been directed at solving a manufacturing economy problem. We need a fresh approach to address our new economy.)

I know many want to hear more about Benghazi but Chairman Trey Gowdy the House Committee are interviewing her soon on that topic so I will let them do their job.

Finally... the disclosure (and you have heard it before!). I expect to be making this disclosure often (not always, as I don't want to sound like a broken record). My husband (from Maryland) is a close friend and supporter of Governor Martin O'Malley (from Maryland).

Gov. O'Malley is expected by all to announce he is likewise seeking the Democratic nomination for president. He may be the one candidate who I may not ask to interview as I don't know how I would do it. I will have to think about that and maybe there is a good way, but he hasn't even announced so I won't bother thinking about it now.

I disclose this relationship now and often, just so, as we travel through the months leading up to 2016 election, you have the full opportunity to consider whether you think I am fair or not to all the candidates. My goal is to be fair to BOTH REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS. And frankly? I think that is my history... not perfect, but trying to do my best.

P.S. Here is a fun insider tip to whether a media outlet or journalist wants to be fair: If they deliberately post or show a lousy or unflattering picture of any candidate, Democrat or Republican, the news organization or journalist is sending you their message on fairness. Lots of times you need to read beyond their words.