Saturday, November 10, 2007

One-Sided Conversation? The Politics of Planting Questions

Via Ann Althouse, check out this YouTube of Hillary Clinton announcing a "consversation with America":

Clinton's national conversation has taken a decidedly scripted turn, with the revelations of a planted question at a campaign stop on Tuesday.

Here's what Michelle Malkin had to say about it:

Remember when Hillary launched her presidential campaign by touting her folksy bid to start a “conversation–with you, with America?” We knew it was phony baloney...
Captain Ed raises some interesting possibilities as well:

One might understand the reasons the campaign would "throw" a supposedly impromptu Q&A session after Hillary's disastrous debate appearance a fortnight ago. She clearly had not prepared to speak about Eliot Spitzer's plan to issue drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. Nor had she formulated any kind of coherent response to the demands to open her White House records while she insisted on running on her experience as First Lady as a reason to win the nomination. She could hardly afford any more hardballs.

However, this incident certainly calls into question whether Hillary has fixed previous sessions. So far, no one has come forward to allege any other question-planting in earlier appearances, but Grinnell [Iowa] seems a strange place to start. Just the fact that we know it happened once makes it reasonable to question whether it has happened before, and Hillary's credibility has been damaged enough to start investigating it. Once someone throws away their integrity, it is difficult to get it back.
It might be difficult for Clinton to get the big momentum back after another round of campaign goofs. Keep your eyes peeled for a tightening in the polls. Will Hillary Clinton be next year's Howard Dean?