If you happen to be receiving emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign, then you undoubtedly received an email last night with the subject line "We need wonks, [Your Name]." After some mild confusion, you might be wondering: What is Wonks for Hillary?
First, a little bit of clarification for those of you who were scratching your heads with me — yes, the word "wonky" typically means crooked, off-center, or askew, but Hillary's campaign is using the word in an entirely different context here. But the word wonk, which you hear much less often, actually means a studious or hardworking person, or a person who takes an excessive interest in minor details of political policy — and that latter definition is exactly what Hillary's campaign is honing in on. Jacob Leibenluft, the campaign's senior policy adviser, explained in a Hillary for America email:
In an election that has often seemed like it’s about anything but policy -- Donald Trump seems to prefer name-calling and empty slogans -- I’m proud that Hillary is a bona fide policy buff. Earlier this week, she even proudly declared the policies on our campaign's website to be “a little wonky,” and then she told us why that’s important to her:
“I actually sweat the specifics because they matter,” she said. “Whether one more kid gets health care may just be a detail in Washington -- but it’s all that matters to that family worrying about their child.”
Hillary thinks carefully about how best to solve the problems facing American families, and she’s not afraid to get in the weeds to figure out which policies will really make a difference.
[Name], if you’re a policy nerd like Hillary, we’d love to invite you to a special new group: Wonks for Hillary. Add your name now to be one of the first to join, and we’ll keep you updated on key policy rollouts throughout the campaign -- and even invite you to join exclusive calls with policy advisors like me.
The email then prompts supporters to join the group "Wonks For Hillary" to stay in the loop on updates and specific policy issues.
In a sense, Clinton's campaign reclaims the word "wonky" — rather than using it in its widely-known use to describe something unusual or out of place (which one could argue Clinton is, being the first woman to run for president), they are instead capitalizing on the idea of "wonks" being methodical, studious, and thorough. The "Wonks For Hillary" is a way for voters to be even more connected to the campaign and know exactly what to expect if Hillary is elected into office.
The Wonks for Hillary group is already in effect, so if you want to call yourself a wonk, full speed ahead!