The Top 3 Things We Learned From the New Hillary Clinton Podcast

'With Her' Is Obviously Meant to Humanize Sec. Clinton. Does It Succeed?

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The iTunes description of "With Her," a new podcast launched today by Hillary Clinton's campaign, reads, "What's it like to be on the road to history? Running for president is a big deal, but on 'With Her,' you'll hear from Hillary Clinton, Tim Kaine, their supporters, and staff about the little details from the campaign trail they'll never forget."

Possibly interesting, right? Intimate, insidery conversations with a famously distant candidate and the people around her?

Well, I've listened to the first episode, which features just Sec. Clinton in conversation with podcaster Max Linsky, and here's what I learned:

1. Not much at all.

2. Absolutely nothing newsworthy.

3. Everybody -- even the most diehard shut-in Hillary Clinton fan you know -- probably has something better to do than listen to "With Her."

It's such a lost opportunity! Mainly because Linsky, who, to his credit, has a soothing, NPR-ready voice that vaguely calls to mind Jim Halpert from "The Office," is a self-described Hillary Clinton supporter whose fanboyishness in posing softball questions prompts nothing but a series of rote answers from the candidate.

He asks her about a moment on stage at the Democratic National Convention when she closed her eyes and seemed to take it all in, which gets Clinton saying exactly what you'd expect her to say: "Oh, gosh, Max. There was such a rush of emotion."

He asks her how she gets it all done. "Oh, I have such a long to-do list," she says. "It's really depressing."

He asks her if there are any days she'd rather just stay in bed. "Yes. The short answer is yes," she says, rambling on a bit before adding, "I think it happens to everybody" -- because, you know, she's relatable!

More rote answers follow -- "I am someone who is very committed to solving problems," "I have learned a lot by listening over the course of my life, particularly my public career" -- in response to Linsky's adoring queries. And then Linsky somehow manages to top himself: "You seem like all here right now to me. But how do you do that? Like, how do you stay present when you've got a thousand things to do and a thousand things on your mind...?"

Which prompts Clinton's "That's a really perceptive question" -- at which point you may rip the earbuds out of your ears and throw them across the room if you haven't already.

Hillary! Please! Listen to me! (I know you've learned a lot by listening over the course of your life, particularly in your public career.) Grab Max by the shoulders and shake him! Shake him hard! Tell him to ask you a real goddamn question! Tell him you want to recite mean tweets by Donald Trump! Tell him you want to sing show tunes! Tell him you want to read the ingredients off a can of chili! Anything -- anything but another episode like this!

Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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