Hillary Clinton, who is not an elected official or otherwise a representative of the government, has not yet issued any sort of public opinion on President Obama's plan to attack Syria. But she is a potential candidate for office in the future, as are many other people. And, therefore, we demand some answers.
We are not alone! BuzzFeed has been adamant on the issue. First, reporter Ruby Cramer noted that the former Secretary of State's views on the plan to get Congressional sign-off on an attack "remains unclear" because she "has yet to weigh in" on the topic. When Clinton did tweet on Monday, about Diana Nyad's historic swim, BuzzFeed's Lisa Tozzi noticed that the message didn't include any statement on Syria. So BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith went to the source, tweeting the question to Clinton directly.
.@HillaryClinton what’s your view on military action in Syria?— Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) September 2, 2013
She has not yet tweeted a response. So we're jumping in.
Seriously, Clinton: What would you do in Syria?
First, we'll note that BuzzFeed and us aren't the only ones asking. Slate's Dave Weigel wanted to know, too, but he might have been joking.
The nice thing is that we can probably guess the response. It would be either: "I will not answer because that would undermine John Kerry, the perfectly able man who replaced me as head of the State Department" or "I stand in support of John Kerry, the perfectly able etc. etc." Even if Clinton isn't running in 2016, she'd answer the same way, because that's what political actors do. If she answered, which she won't.
Unless more people ask her to on Twitter, maybe. So ask her! Tweet this: @HillaryClinton Come on, tell us what you think we should do in Syria.
Update, 5:45 p.m.: It worked! We got our answer, according to Politico. Specifically, an aide said, "Secretary Clinton supports the President’s effort to enlist the Congress in pursuing a strong and targeted response to the Assad regime’s horrific use of chemical weapons." So, option B above, except switching in Obama for Kerry. But the moral is: Asking works! Please see below.
Joe Biden: How would you fix the economy?
Granted, Biden is in a similar sort of predicament as Hillary: not declared for 2016 and still with some ties to the administration. But that doesn't mean he can't be asked simple questions.
So, Mr. Vice President, what would you do, if elected to replace the current administration, to reverse the ongoing struggles with unemployment and wage stagnation? If thrust into a position to make a difference, what would Joe Biden do?
Chris Christie: Were you cool in high school?
One of the more important considerations in selecting a president is the extent to which he or she was "cool" in high school, usually measured by whether or not the candidate "did drugs." We know that Christie played baseball and was class president for three years which, depending on the school, could be perceived as either cool or dorky.
But the question of whether or not he smoked marijuana (like Clinton and Obama) or drank a lot (like Bush) or did other drugs (like Obama and, according to rumor, others) has not yet been answered. We know that he approves of the medicinal use of marijuana for kids. Did he approve of its recreational use by teens in the late 1970s?
Chelsea Clinton: What would you do in Syria, in a different, future war, if you ran for president?
It has long been rumored that Chelsea Clinton, like her father and perhaps her mother, might someday run for president. (She recently indicated her desire to become "purposefully public.") There is no reason, then, for us to wait for an official announcement before trying to pin her down on policy issues.
Even theoretical ones. Let's say that the current Syrian conflict is resolved, but in about 20 years, another one arises. Would Chelsea Clinton support the use of military force in that circumstance? Granted, this is somewhat speculative, but there's no reason not to try and get answers.
Royal Baby: If you become American and run for Senate, what will you do about the robot uprising of 2062?
Prince George of Cambridge, third in the line to the British throne, is not yet on Twitter and also cannot yet speak, but if we wait to ask these questions, we're not doing our journalistic duty.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.