Over the last several months, the presidential candidates in both parties have staked out claims on the issues that matter to ordinary Americans. Ted Cruz is the candidate for evangelical conservatives. Bernie Sanders is the candidate for liberals who want the Democratic Party to move to the left. Donald Trump is the candidate for angry Americans who like men who lie about the size of their hands. And Hillary Clinton is the candidate for people who want the government to tell us more about UFOs.
Clinton's campaign manager, John Podesta, underscored that fact earlier this week when he went on local TV in Las Vegas and said that he wants to declassify documents related to UFOs. He's "talked to Hillary about that," he says. "I think I've convinced her that we need an effort to declassify as much as we can so people have their legitimate questions answered."
This is not a joke: Podesta has long advocated the declassification of documents on principal. When he was White House chief of staff for Bill Clinton, he helped set "hundreds of millions" of such documents free, according to the KLAS-TV report, and when he left his gig as an advisor to Barack Obama, he said that his "biggest regret" was not doing more to disclose UFO-related files.
Hillary Clinton once joked to a New Hampshire paper that we might have been visited by aliens before, but her husband Bill might have been a little more serious about the subject—he apparently once asked around to see if the government knew anything about aliens.
Little green men aside, a lot of people believe that the US government classifies too many documents; it's a cause Clinton would naturally be sympathetic to given that she's been accused of storing classified info on her private email server. Podesta, though, with his long-running personal campaign that's focused on UFOs in particular, isn't appealing to government transparency geeks so much as people who think the truth is out there.
There's basically no chance that this gets discussed seriously during the campaign, but if Sanders or the GOP made UFOs an issue, it's worth nothing that like any good political pro, Podesta has his finger on the public's pulse: According to one poll, 54 percent of Americans believe in extraterrestrials, and 30 percent of those people believe that the government has covered up evidence of an alien visit.
John Podesta in 2010. Photo via the Center for American Progress's Flickr account