That Time Hillary Clinton Discovered Emojis

"Can I get smiley faces?"

Remember Hillary Clinton's big email debacle from earlier this year? (Of course you do, because they're still talking about it at the debates for some reason. But if not, you can peruse the highlights herehere, and here.) Hidden within the 7,000+ pages of messages released from Clinton's personal account lies this gem: the time she discovered emojis.

The Hill reporter Julian Hattem brought the email to Twitter's attention on Friday, revealing the democratic frontrunner's first encounter with "smiley faces."

In an exchange with her former senior advisor Philippe Reines, Clinton asks the pressing question: "On this new berry can I get smiley faces?" Considering it's 2012 and she's using a Blackberry (or "berry" as she so coolly abbrevs), we have to give Clinton credit for being an early adopter of the now prolific emoticon.

Reines promptly replies with a breakdown by method of correspondence. "For email, no, I don't think so - you need to type them out manually like :) for happy, or :|| if you want to express anger at my tardiness. For text messaging, the chart might be there in the lower right, next to where you type the message."

So endearing! And so impressive for the then 64-year-old Secretary of State. (My mom still hasn't figured out how to undo autocorrected words in her texts, let alone make effective use of a second keyboard full of smileys and symbols.) Three years later and Clinton is a text aficionado on par with any iPhone-savvy millennial: she takes selfies with celebrities, summarizes her political plans with just a few cleverly chosen emojis, she's inspired an entire Tumblr of imagined texts she might send, and even earned her own "Hillmoji" keyboard of Hillary-themed icons, stickers, slogans and gifs. 


Sarah Lindig

I am an experienced editor, writer, and creative strategist, specializing in fashion, beauty, and lifestyle content for digital media outlets, as well as video and social platforms. While I currently operate as a freelance contributor/consultant, with such clients as The Zoe Report, my 10+-year background in the industry was cultivated at the dot-coms of elite publications, including Harper’s BAZAAR, ELLE, and Marie Claire.