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Hillary, can you work nights?

June 10, 2008|Rob Long | Rob Long is a contributing editor to Opinion. His weekly commentary, "Martini Shot," airs on KCRW-FM (89.9).

'Barack Obama, in his first day as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, named Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, Jim Johnson and Eric Holder to lead the search for a running mate." -- Bloomberg News

Job Interview Transcript, 6/7/08

Interviewer: C. Kennedy

Interviewee: H. Clinton

K: "It's 4 in the afternoon. I'm here with Hillary Rodham Clinton, senator from New York, and I'm beginning the interview now. Um, do you mind if I tape this?"

C: "Is it really necessary?"

K: "Well, sort of. I mean, we taped Richardson, and that turns out to have been a good idea. For a lot of reasons."

C: "It's just that this is sort of ... I'm Hillary Clinton."

K: "Well, you know, honestly, I don't know how to handle this. I've never done this before."

C: "Hired a vice president?"

K: "No. Had an actual job. I've co-written a book or two, and I put out a collection of my mom's poems, but as far as any serious human resources experience, you know, not so much."

C: "Then why on Earth did he ... you know what? Forget it. Let's just get this over with."

K: "OK, then. Um, first question: ┬┐Alguna vez han sido detenidos por la policia?"

C: "Excuse me?"

K: "Oops. Sorry. That's the form I used when I hired my kids' nanny. Let me just flip this over. OK. OK. Got it. OK. Here goes. What is your career objective?"

C: "Are you kidding me?"

K: "It's for the form I need to fill out. I'll just put down, 'To secure a challenging and meaningful position in the dynamic vice president of the United States industry.' "

C: "Well, I guess that's the nutshell version."

K: "How are you with Excel and PowerPoint?"

C: "Am I being punked? 'Cause that's what this sounds like."

K: "Oh God. I'm sorry. I know I'm screwing this up. It's just that, you know, I've never done anything like this before. So I got a copy of 'HR for Dummies,' and it says to tape everything and try to make the applicant feel comfortable and pay attention to their shoes."

C: "Their shoes?"

K: "I didn't get it either. But apparently people who take care of their shoes are trustworthy and detail-oriented. So could you just

C: "I am so out of here."

K: "Wait! I'm sorry! OK, look, I'm sorry. Please stay. We're almost done, I promise. I'm just trying to do a good job here. Trying to be thorough. OK, next question. What would you say are your greatest strengths?"

C: "I guess my greatest strength is that I never give up, Caroline. I'm a fighter. For the issues and the causes that I believe in, for the people of this great country whom I wish to serve. I'll fight to make life better for all of us, for our children and for the future. You know, I've spent most of my life working on issues and caring about people. And I've got a record of accomplishment that I can be proud of. But I'm not done by any means.

Caroline, there are still many things we need to change, so many things we need to fix, so many people we need to reach out to, to help, to lend a hand to. And I'm eager to roll up my sleeves and get to it. I'm raring to go, Caroline. And even better, I'm prepared from Day One to get things done."

K: "Well, that's ... um ... see, the form only gives me this little space here. So can I just put down 'Interfaces well with co-workers?' "

C: "That's fine."

K: "Great. And what about your biggest weaknesses?"

C: "Well, Caroline, it's that I care too much. You can't have spent so much time touching people's lives and fighting for change as I have without getting deeply attached to the people and the voices I've heard across this great country. And deeply committed to working toward making life ... "

K: "Um, again, I've only got this little box here to write in ... cool, thanks."

C: "Is that it?"

K: "Yeah, I think that's pretty much it for this part. We've got your Social, and I'm assuming you're a U.S. citizen, so that's all cool. And I see that you're already an employee of the federal government, so that should make the bennies easy to transfer. Now, do you have any questions for me?"

C: "How was Biden's interview?"

K: "Gosh, I'm just not authorized to discuss the other applicants."

C: "OK."

K: "Oh, one last question. In the event that we do fill this particular spot with another candidate, would you be willing to allow us to keep your name and application on file, and contact you about other opportunities that might arise?"

C: "Let me think about that."

K: "I'll just check the 'Yes' box. Because you never know."

C: "You can say that again."

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