There she is! (Via YouTube).
The era of coy Hillary Clinton is over. After nearly two years of hinting that she plans to run for president of the United States, the former senator, first lady, and secretary of state officially declared her candidacy on Sunday afternoon. It was the least surprising thing to happen since Taco Bell discontinued its “waffle taco.”
Despite the endless buildup, Clinton opted for a much more low-key reveal than the presidential hopefuls who preceded her. Unlike Ted Cruz or Rand Paul, she skipped the fanfare of a live, onstage speech, releasing a casual two-minute YouTube video to do the job instead. As almost every media outlet has noted, her approach is deliberately understated. It appears she’s also extended that strategy to her campaign website. Below, we review the pros and cons of its bare-bones features in the latest installment of Yahoo Politics’ RevURL series.
Look and Feel
There’s nothing remarkable about the design of Clinton’s website. And that’s probably because, like most candidates early in their campaigns, she doesn’t have much to offer up, aside from a YouTube video, a glowing biography and a donation button.
A screenshot from Clinton’s site.
The top of the page is bannered with a large photo of Clinton looking a little too excited to speak to some elderly folk. Her image is framed by two red sign-up buttons: On the left, an option to sign away your contact information for what is sure to be an overly persistent newsletter; at the top right, in classic “Gimme your money” red, an avenue to donate.
A friendly font!
Scroll down, and there’s proof that Clinton’s font game, more than any other candidate, is on point. The sans-serif block letters she uses to capture your attention are large, but in regular case, achieving a boldness without seeming harsh — something Paul is guilty of with his all-caps lettering. She also signs her name under a quote, as if we needed real-life confirmation that she did, in fact, have something to do with the making of this webpage. I appreciate the gesture, since it at least mixes up the look of the page, and gives the eyes a break.
Even if you tried, you can’t really get lost on Clinton’s site. It’s modestly filled with a section for videos (containing only the one I mentioned above), a news hub called “The Feed,” and opportunities to connect via social media or volunteer in person. You can also choose to “Log in,” a portal that’s likely intended to track volunteers and donors. It’s all very sparse. Nothing to see here, just a woman who wants to be the leader of the free world.
Clinton’s logo is by far the most modern of the presidential candidates’ thus far. It displays a blue block-lettered, uppercase H, whose center is overlaid with a red arrow. Presumably this symbolizes that Clinton will move the nation forward. But, of course, if we were using that same logic for the logos of her fellow candidates — both variations of the famous fireball emoji — then that would mean that both Cruz and Rand plan to set the nation aflame.
Anyway, it’s a pretty cool H, especially when it’s displayed with different transparencies, like the one in the image below, up at the top of the page.
It’s also symbolic of the type of campaign she’s going to run: It assumes that people already know her name, and says she’s above this whole desperate ritual of campaigns, anyway.
There’s almost nothing on Clinton’s website to suggest a political vision or original policy ideas. Compare this to Paul’s digital hub — which features both small summaries and YouTube videos of his views on 17 whopping topics — and you can’t help but feel a little disappointed. It would’ve been nice for her to give us something, anything, that felt new or personal.
That being said, there’s one major thing to set her website apart: It displays an option, quite prominently at the top of her website, to switch to Spanish. ¡Que inteligente, Señora Clinton!
Clinton, who still faces scrutiny for deleting a hefty portion of emails she sent while serving as secretary of state, probably doesn’t have much desire to bring attention to her relationship to her phone. Thus, she’s avoided using buzzy mediums like Snapchat, Periscope, Meerkat, unlike Paul or Jeb Bush. Her campaign instead focuses on sharing options limited mainly to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and email (honestly I’m surprised that Clinton’s strategists allowed the word to be used at all on the website).
Clinton’s Twitter presence, in the meantime, is very calm. And that’s probably because she doesn’t actually need to dive into a social media frenzy to get massive amounts of attention. Her original announcement tweet was viewed over 3 million times in just one hour. Since then her account has been tweeting every hour to 30 minutes, sometimes even in Spanish. Without overhyping her announcement, the hashtag #Hillary2016 became the No. 1 global trend on Twitter. Within the first 2.5 hours of her announcement, there were over 420,000 Tweets mentioning her name.
Four out of five diagonal arrows, to represent the impressive lack of conviction or detail represented on the site. Really, who knows where this is going?