Hillary Clinton’s 40,150 minutes

Among the questions percolating in the lead-up to Hillary Clinton’s April 12 campaign kickoff was how the Democratic hopeful would try to reboot a historically frosty relationship with the press. Journalists have hounded Clinton for decades, and a hair-trigger PR outfit alienated the media as her 2008 presidential campaign lost steam. But few guessed Clintonworld’s gameplan over her first two months back on the trail.

The candidate answered just 25 questions from journalists between April 12 and June 14, a span that included a 28-day period of radio silence starting on April 21. Journalists have made various attempts to shame Clinton into acknowledging the media exists, such as The Washington Post’s ongoing tally of the minutes between her taking questions—the Clinton clock peaked at 40,150 minutes on May 19. Campaigns often shut out the press in the interest of their broader PR strategies, and the former Secretary of State needs the media even less than past and present counterparts, given that she’s a household name. Though her press availability will presumably increase as the campaign continues—a journalist can dream, at least—political reporters may very well continue watching the Clinton clock tick upward.

The questions Clinton fielded between April 12 and June 14 veered toward her personal life, scandals, and campaign strategy—not her platform

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Unable to ask Clinton questions, empty-handed publications began publishing questions they would have asked her, given the chance. The number of questions they each proposed:

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Current events reporters might have asked Clinton about had she taken questions April 21 – May 19

*Clinton eventually answered questions on some of these topics, though not as they happened

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David Uberti is a CJR staff writer and senior Delacorte fellow. Follow him on Twitter @DavidUberti. A version of this article appeared in the July/August issue of CJR under the headline, "Off the record."