Blogger in Chief?
An odd proposal from Hillary Clinton.
11:00 PM, Jan 16, 2008 • By HOWARD MORTMAN
HERE'S AN ODD LITTLE Hillary Clinton proposal: She wants a government blogging team.
At first blush, the idea could cut either way--nutty or silly. We might even call it ridiculous, if we weren't busy laughing at it.
So let's do what bloggers always do and go contrarian. Yes, let's take Clinton seriously. Let's consider whether her idea of a team of government bloggers has merit.
First, some explanation. Here's what Senator Clinton said just before the New Hampshire primary:
And Clinton repeated the proposal to Tim Russert on Meet the Press on January 13.
Just like John F. Kennedy inspired us to go to the moon, Hillary Clinton would inspire us to, well, blog.
That's fine with me. As a blogger, I enthusiastically welcome more bloggers to our noble craft. Eighty million blogs--give or take, oh, ten million blogs, depending on the time of day--just aren't enough. We always could use more. So why not a blog from, say, the U.S. Bureau of Seed Regulation? Or the Department of Redundancy Department? What harm could that do? Not any more harm than that done by a spam blog advertising nothing but sexual prowess and refinancing opportunities.
Meantime, as a former Federal government official in two administrations, I too want a government that's "accountable" and "transparent."
But that's where Hillary loses me.
See, I also want a government that's something else, something more important. I want a government that's smaller.
Clinton says the bloggers would do a number of things, but advocating cuts in their own agencies doesn't seem to be among the mandates.
Pity. Who better to champion the exposure of not just wasteful spending but ill-advised spending than a blogger, the guy or gal with inside insight and first-hand knowledge of program implementation? Government bloggers who suggest budget cuts--now that would be a bold mandate. And it's a bigger and more daunting mission than staffing up with predictable blogocrats.
That's so true, on so many levels. Heck, if that ain't transparency, I don't know what is.
If it's government accountability she wants, Sen. Clinton might do well to check out what White House press secretary Dana Perino had to say from Abu Dhabi on her Trip Notes blog:
Who knew that our leading government officials are, in their hearts, really repressed food bloggers?
Now just so you don't think I pulled out the one silly line from Perino's blog, consider that she also dishes up this observation: "Conversations ranged from educational student exchanges, renewable energy, foreign investment, sustainable development and . . . Seinfeld. Yes, Seinfeld."