Hillary Clinton vs. the White House Phone Operator

Carolyn Kaster / AP
Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

The latest tranche of Hillary Clinton emails is out, and this is the early leader for most entertaining:

Check out that writerly voice! All those “ands”! Clinton would have fit right in during the early blogosphere. Maybe this is the sort of relatability her campaign needs to show on the stump.

It’s been reported before that Clinton sometimes battled with the White House, which she felt kept her on too tight a leash. But you’ve got to sympathize with the operator here: Think about how many fake calls the switchboard must get from people purporting to be cabinet secretaries and world leaders. You don’t ever want to be the operator who lets the prank caller through to the Oval Office. (Just imagine how bad Elton John’s assistant probably feels.)

But if you were trying, I’d suggest you claim to be somebody less prominent. Maybe Vilsack.

(Hat tip: Emily Schultheis)