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Yesterday, in the Eye-Opener, I wrote, in part:

A story emerged out of one of the Sunday news shows yesterday that I think teaches a strong business lesson. Now, to repeat something that I wrote last week when I took shots at Hillary Clinton for not using an official State Department email address when she served as Secretary of State, therefore keeping all her emails on a personal account less vulnerable to prying eyes, let me just say for the record that I want to wade in a little carefully here, because the context is political ... but to be absolutely clear, I am not choosing political sides. But the example is too juicy to resist. Last week, when writing about Clinton, I wrote that she is just the latest example of a person who, believing that they can control the narrative, actually behaves in a way that subverts their best interests and hands control of the narrative over to others."

...Yesterday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), who has said that he is considering a run for the presidency, said on "Meet The Press:" that there never will be a problem about looking at his email ... because he has never sent one.

Not officially. Nor privately. Never.

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

Referring to his lack of email experience, Graham said, "“I don’t know what that makes me."

Well, I do. The word Luddite comes to mind.

And the question I would ask is whether there is a board of directors anywhere in America that would hire a CEO that never had sent an email. (This isn't a generational issue...Graham is younger than I am.)

I remember that when I started MNB more than 13 years ago, I'd occasionally run into a CEO who did not read the site online, but rather would depend on an assistant or secretary to print it out. (One of them actually suggested to me that as much as he liked MNB, he thought it would be a lot more compelling if it were in color. I had to gently tell him that maybe he should ask his secretary to use a color printer. True story.)

I'm glad to say that this hasn't happened for a long time. And as outrageous as I find Clinton's actions to be, I find Graham's admission also to be remarkable ... and in its own way, an Eye-Opener.


MNB user John Ruocco responded:

Maybe he actually talked to people. Why do you also join in to include a conservative to balance out any issues a liberal may have. Sorry you could not find a way to add in Bush.

First of all, email is a great way to talk to people. And listening to people. And I really get tired of people who think that ignoring such basic tools of communication - even seeming to boast of their ignorance, like it is a good thing.

But let me be clear. I was not looking for a story about a conservative to counter-weight the Clinton story. If Graham hadn't said it, I would not have written about it.

Though I will concede that I felt more at ease writing about Graham's admission than I might have had the Clinton story not preceded it ... simply because I felt that in some way, it might inoculate me from being accused of being one-sided.

Which, of course, it didn't. Go figure.

Another MNB user wrote about the business lesson:

If you don’t manage and lead your brand…your competitor will!

Funny email story…working for a giant athletic shoe company in Beaverton (which will remain anonymous) the owner, leader & visionary of the company sent a memo around to all employees…beginning immediately (sometime around 1995) everyone was to begin using emails and not memos.

I remember walking down VP row (VPs had offices with windows over-looking the lake & their admins. had cubicles outside their offices across the hallway) as I walked down the hallway and passed a particular VPs office, he hollered for his admin to come in and take an email…the VP was actually dictating his emails to his admin who in turn would then send out via email…


And MNB reader Margaret M. Bigley chimed in:

I watched MTP yesterday, and was amazed at Mr. Lindsey’s remarks.  He was proud as a peacock that he didn’t use email.  OMG  I thought back to Pres. Bush the first,  when he saw a POS scanner for the first time….  AMAZING.

I'm with you. Not a great way to prove one is in touch.

And by the way ... if one wants to prove that one is relevant to consumers ... or voters ... it probably does not make sense to say that one has not ever used a form of communication that the vast majority of people under 50 use on a regular basis. Would a politician be so cavalier to have said in the thirties or forties or fifties that he had never used a telephone? Because to my mind, that's exactly what he did here.
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