Scott Conroy | Graham’s Email Avoidance, in Context

Scott Conroy, Real Clear Politics:

You don’t have to be enamored of technology to be a successful president.

Consider Harry S. Truman, for example.

In his biography of the 33rd president, David McCullough notes that Truman was “a nineteenth-century man,” even while presiding in the White House during the 1950s.

“He never learned to like the telephone or Daylight Saving Time,” McCullough wrote of Truman. “He tried using a typewriter for a while, but gave it up.”

That the commander-in-chief who ushered in the Atomic Age preferred to write in the longhand style familiar to George Washington should dispel any notion that presidents have to be personal adapters of new gadgets in order to keep the country up with the times.

But imagine the resulting puzzlement if Truman had said during his first national campaign in 1944 that he had never once operated a light switch.

That theoretical admission may not be not directly comparable to the jarring revelation that South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham made about his own relationship with technology on “Meet the Press” on Sunday—but it isn’t entirely inconsistent either.

“I don’t email,” Graham told Chuck Todd during a discussion of the controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account when she was secretary of state. “No, you can have every email I’ve ever sent. I’ve never sent one. I don’t know what that makes me.”

What it makes him, to say the least, is unusual.


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