1. It’s Tuesday, May 3, 2016.
2. On this day 30 years ago, Ferdinand won the Kentucky Derby.
I know this because I watched it in the back of a gray limousine in lower Manhattan, en route to my wedding reception.
So the Ferdinand mention buries the lead. It was also on this day 30 years ago that I married the love of my life and lived happily ever after.
3. President Obama knocked ‘em dead, as they say in the comedy business, at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday.
We have no video of Lincoln, but he’s the only one I can imagine having the same sense of comic timing as this Hawaiian kid does. And, as good as he was on Saturday, he wasn’t nearly as funny as he was on the Jerry Seinfeld “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” segment.
4. One of Obama’s riffs focused on Hillary Clinton’s inability to reach younger voters, losing them overwhelmingly to a guy who’s older than she is. He joked about how awkward Clinton seems on Facebook.
“Hillary trying to appeal to young voters is a little bit like your relative who just signed up for Facebook,” the president said.
Then he mimicked how he thinks she sounds: “‘Dear America, did you get my poke? Is it appearing on your wall? I’m not sure I’m using this right. Love, Aunt Hillary.’”
For her part, Clinton laughed along wherever she was; she wasn’t at the event.
“@potus Nice job last night. Aunt Hillary approves. #WHCD -H,” she tweeted on Sunday, the “-H” indicating that she tweeted it herself.
5. This reprise of Saturday’s laughfest is my way to get to the point I’ve been trying to make ever since people started discussing who will be Hillary Clinton’s running mate.
She’s running against Donald Trump. There are not a lot of groups in the Democratic base with whom she’s going to need help.
But younger voters are one of them. There’s no way she’s going to improve her own standing with them unless she picks a running mate who can reach them.
And that’s why I like Sheryl Sandberg.
Those asking who she is are in my generation. Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook. She is 46 years old and she turned Mark Zuckerberg’s idea into a money-making machine.
But Sandberg is no novice. She was chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers in the Clinton administration. She was an executive at Google in its early growth years before jumping over to Facebook.
6. What would Sheryl Sandberg bring to a Democratic ticket with Hillary Clinton?
— Relative youth. She’s more than 20 years younger than Clinton.
— An ability to reach younger voters. She’s in a different league than Clinton or anyone the Republicans can throw up against her. She understands technology and how younger people use it. And she knows the issues that affect them better than older politicians can. These are people that Trump and the Republicans have no idea how to talk to.
— Business acumen. Sandberg knows how to make money. Frankly, she’s better at it than Trump; companies she’s helped run have never sniffed the word “bankruptcy.” That will resonate with those who think the ability to handle economics is important.
— Doubling down on women. Sandberg is also known for her strong stance on women becoming leaders in the workplace. Her book “Lean In” was a manifesto for women’s rights and equality. Clinton gets an opportunity to play further to her strength in the campaign – and to Trump’s biggest weakness.
— A real change. Bernie Sanders supporters, you say you want a revolution? Sheryl Sandberg would be it.
What are the negatives?
— Does she want it? Sandberg is probably a pretty content billionaire in Silicon Valley. Why give that up for the mess that is Washington?
— Family considerations. That would normally be sexist to say. But Sandberg’s husband died suddenly last year, leaving her a widow with two children. If you think about the sudden death of Beau Biden affected his father, the vice president, you can imagine that Sandberg might be feeling the same sad pull. She would have to consider if she and her kids are ready for the stress of a national campaign.
— Dealing with Trump. The circumstances of her husband’s death, a treadmill accident at a Mexican resort, are probably not beyond the caustic touch of a creep like Donald Trump and others of his ilk. Would she be willing to endure that?
Hillary Clinton has about a month or so to determine her running mate. Sheryl Sandberg is not on any lists. Floating a trial balloon on Facebook might be a way for Aunt Hillary whether a Clinton-Sandberg ticket excites people.
I think it would.