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Hillary Clinton answers rapid-fire questions on Birkenstocks, bitcoin, and dogs vs. cats

US Former First Lady and Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at BookExpo 2017 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, in New York, New York, USA, 01 June 2017.
EPA/Andrew Gombert
Oh you know she has opinions.
  • Leah Fessler
By Leah Fessler

Reporter, Quartz at Work

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Hillary Clinton loves pantsuits. She loves swimming. She doesn’t love Russian bots, or creepy dudes during debates. That, we knew.

Her other likes and dislikes? Well, we learned a few new ones today at the Lesbians Who Tech Summit in New York City. Clinton was a surprise keynote speaker, and when she entered, the crowd—hundreds of LGBTQ women and their allies within the tech industry—erupted.

After sharing her perspective on Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US election, the importance of the 2018 primaries, and the absurdity of Pizzagate (“There wasn’t even a basement in the pizzeria,” said Clinton), the former US first lady, secretary of State, and presidential candidate a series of rapid-fire questions from Leanne Pittsford, founder and CEO of Lesbians Who Tech + Allies, a community for queer women in and around tech, and their supporters.

Somewhat caught off guard at first, Clinton quickly leaned into the questions, sharing some of her favorite things. Pittsford’s questions are in bold, followed by Clinton’s responses:

“Team dog or team cat?”

“Dog.”

“Do you own bitcoin?”

“No.”

“Is Facebook a utility?”

“As I remember from Kara [Swisher’s]last long interview, originally Mark [Zuckerberg] thought it was. And I don’t know the best way to work with tech companies to figure out how to deal with all of these second- and third-order effects [of Facebook] on our democracy, on our social lives, and on our brains, but we need to, whether it’s a utility or not.”

“Pantsuit or tracksuit?”

“Pantsuit, duh.”

“Crocs or Birkenstocks?”

“Birkenstocks.”

“Favorite character on TV?”

“Right now I’m gonna have to go with Madame Secretary.”

“Most used app on your phone?”

“Oh, all the news sites. I know, I can’t help myself.”

“What’s the next show or film on your Netflix queue coming up?”

“Coming up, I don’t know, I’m so far behind. I’m so far behind. I haven’t even seen the second year of Handmaid’s Tale, or The Crown, to show my viewing range.”

“What is your biggest tech challenge? And by that I mean, I’m the same around the same generation as Chelsea, and my dad calls me a lot—probably every couple weeks—with problems on his computer, his phone. He saves a list for when he sees me. What are you calling Chelsea for, on tech problems?”

“Yeah, you know my daughter, my son-in-law, my staff are extremely patient with me. You know, look, I was not an early adapter,” said Clinton (adapter, adopter, don’t matter when you’re Hill).

“And I’ve come a long way. I like to think I’ve become more of a tech appreciator, and so, yeah, they have to help me all the time because I’m always asking questions. Like just this week—I’m a little paranoid to be honest now—so when they call, I can sort of hear their eyes rolling when I’m like, ‘Ah, some of my messages are disappearing, what’s going on?'”

“What’s that one thing that, if it happened, you would know your work is done? For me, it’s having a black lesbian president. For you, what is your moonshot?”

“Wow, well can I have two moonshots?”

“You can have whatever you want.”

“Obviously one of them is having a woman president, which I think would make such a difference. And the other is once and for all getting to universal healthcare coverage that covers everything. So you know, I’m going to keep trying to make the first one happen, and keep working to make the second happen eventually.”

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

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