Stop Hating on Graham’s Email Admission

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. Susan Walsh/AP File Photo

Let’s bring back the Spice Girls, frosted hair tips and wide-legged jeans: It feels like 1995.

The Clintons are in the news cycle -- this time, it’s Hillary -- email is at the forefront of relevancy, and we’re again talking about a lack of accountability and transparency from top federal officials.

Let’s bring back the Spice Girls, frosted hair tips and wide-legged jeans: It feels like 1995.

As defenseless – the folks at Slate do a great job pointing this out – as Hillary Clinton’s "home-brew" email system seemed during her tenure as secretary of state, the issue has been seized by Republican opposition and politicized in the 24-hour news cycle.   

The latest twist occurred on Sunday's “Meet the Press” when Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told host Chuck Todd he’s never sent an email.

"I don't email," Graham said. "You can have every email I've ever sent. I've never sent one."

On its face, Graham’s admission is a LOL moment to anyone with a modicum of tech savvy. Graham is a top Senate Republican and holds a position on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on privacy, technology and the law.

Predictably, people freaked out. That’s like a zookeeper saying he’d never had a pet or a fire chief saying she’d never before put out a fire, right? Graham probably still uses a slide rule for math or harvests wheat with his bare hands.

Not exactly. Anyone can use email. Those who troll the comments section of any article, your great uncle Cletus -- email is lowest common denominator in technology. Email addresses are just like opinions -- anyone can have them.

And Graham is neither stupid nor technologically illiterate.

He explained his position to a Bloomberg reporter while on the presidential campaign trail earlier today:

“I've tried not to have a system where I can just say the first dumb thing that comes to my mind," Graham said. “I've always been concerned. I can get texts, and I call you back, if I want. I get a text, and I respond not by sending you a text, but calling you if I think what you asked is worthy enough for me calling you. I'm not being arrogant, but I'm trying to jealously guard myself in terms of being able to think through problems and not engage in chat all day. I've had a chance to kind of carve out some time for myself not responding to every 15-second crisis."

In short, Graham errs on the side of caution. He’d rather talk than text or email, and it’s likely his staffers strategically coordinate his email and active Twitter efforts. Doing so spares him time and likely decreases the risk of a negative knee-jerk reaction via email, text or tweet.

To me, that means Graham is perhaps the opposite of how he’s been portrayed online in the past 24 hours: tech-savvy, not tech-stupid.

Meanwhile, Clinton, portrayed in a tech-savvy meme as someone who “gets it,” is only getting attacked from all sides over her decision-making. Now, who’s really the savvy one after all?