Need more ‘compassion’: How 11-strong Clinton team composed just 1 tweet

U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton © Lucy Nicholson
How many people does it take to compose one tweet for Hillary Clinton? The answer is a modest 11, all things considered. The latest WikiLeaks dump reveals how a tweet about committing to helping Puerto Rico was forged.

The revelation comes from the publication of a cache of emails circulated between Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta, and various advisers and staff, some of which address concerns about how to best word a tweet arguing that Puerto Rico’s debt crisis is everyone’s problem.

“HRC wants to do a tweet on Puerto Rico regarding the debt crisis,” Clinton’s advisor, Ann O’Leary, said in an email with nine other people copied in.

“Puerto Rico’s debt crisis is not theirs alone. We must partner to find > smart solutions to stabilize & grow PR’s economy and help people thrive,” she suggested.

“Our goal,” she explains, “is to be empathetic to Puerto Ricans, make clear we are in this together b/c [because] their health and well-being is our and b/c many Americans hold PR municipal bonds as part of their retirement portfolios. We don’t want to suggest a bailout, but we do want to suggest that we should partner to solve the problem.”

She then adds her suggested tweet, “in need of Lauren’s magic and 3 characters over,” referring to another staffer. This is what it looked like: “Puerto Rico’s debt crisis is not theirs alone. We must partner to find smart solutions to stabilize & grow PR’s economy and help people thrive.”

The tweet then went to Amanda Renteria, who suggested that Clinton should upstage the other candidates, including Jeb Bush by putting more emphasis on “compassion.”“Just make sure we consult with our PR people,” replies Jake Sullivan. Renteria then adds that “One thing missing is that there’s a sense of the ‘underlying problems.’” Another staffer, Robbie Mook, then chimes in, before Podesta himself offers a version.

“How about: Puerto Rico debt crisis affects all Americans. We must...”

A dozen emails later, the campaign staff finally dedides on the following 134-symbol tweet (without Clinton’s signature). 

Given that Hillary has already been widely accused of being too distant from everyday Americans, this newest WikiLeaks revelation is likely to prompt even more speculation as to how much of what she says publicly actually comes from her.