Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hillary seeds the audience? No surprise.

According to various articles on the net (,, among others... but strangely not on, Hillary Clinton has been accused a 2nd time of having her staffers seed the audience of campaign stops with questions. This is hardly a surprise.

Obviously, the point of this would be for her to have issues addressed that she wants to bring up. This is something that all candidates would like to have happen. Anyone who has watched debates or interviews should be able to ascertain that the modus operandi for all political wannabees is to take any given question and, within a few sentences, transition into a pre-prepared talking point. If the question happens to be on one the prepared topics, this process is seamless. However, if the question is out in the middle of nowhere, the process of segueing can look more like a topic-based version of six degrees of separation. This serves to expose the fact that the candidate either hasn't been coached on that particular subject or would rather obfuscate their position on the topic.

Of course, the opposite side of this process is to make sure that you get to use all those delightful pre-prepared orations. But what if people don't ask something that allows you to get to your issue? Well, the way to solve that is to make SURE that they ask the right question. And the way to do that is to send your operatives out amongst the Great Unwashed and, ever so subtly, suggest to them that they should ask a particular question. As we have seen with the case with Mr. Geoffrey Mitchell in this latest Iowa situation, the Great Unwashed actually can manage to think for themselves once in a while and don't appreciate being lead by their proverbial noses.

Hillary has quite a reputation amongst the media on a similar issue to this. She won't let an interviewer ask any questions that are not pre-approved by her staff. That just eliminates the problem entirely, doesn't it? However, while that may work with a single interviewer (who may very well be sympathetic anyway), the odds of pulling that off with a crowd of allegedly random people are fairly thin. Even if the attendees are as stupid as Hillary believes the general public to be, someone is going to say something that you don't want them to. After all, in Hillary's mind, her whole calling is to "save them from themselves".

The irony of all of this is that Hillary (along with other Democrats) alleges to be the "voice of the people," but she is recruiting "the people" to be the voice of Hillary. Maybe, in her eyes, he's claiming to say what The Voice of the people would have said if they were as smart as her.

Too bad that people don't care too much that Hillary and other political candidates only tell us what they want us to hear rather than answer to what we are really concerned with. That makes it awfully tough for most of the "sound-byte voters" to know anything at all about a candidate. To bastardize a forum that is designed to be something led by the people rather than led by the candidates or even the media, is almost criminal. Instead, we are now forced to...

... think between the lines.

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