Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Plants are supposed to be watered, not show uop at Clinton campaign stops

So, will Hillary play the victim card over this incident, too?

For the second time in as many days, Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign has had to deal with accusations of planting questions during public appearances, FOX News has learned.

In a telephone interview Saturday, Geoffrey Mitchell, 32, said he was approached by
Clinton campaign worker Chris Hayler to ask a question about how she was standing up to President Bush on the question on funding the Iraq war and a troop withdrawal timeline.

The encounter happened before an event hosted by Iowa State Sen. Gene Frais on a farm outside Fort Madison, Iowa.

Clinton's Iowa campaign confirmed that one of its staff discussed questions with Mitchell before her April 2 event, but denied attempting to plant a pro-Clinton question.

Mo Elliethee, spokesman for Clinton's campaign in Iowa, told FOX News that Hayler and Mitchell "had a previous relationship" and that a discussion about Clinton arose out of a normal conversation between two people who knew each other well.

"They had a previous relationship and were talking before the event and the topic of the senator's position on Iraq came up and Geoffrey said he had some questions," Elliethee said. "Chris suggested Geoffrey ask a question."

Mitchell, however, said that he and Hayler did not know each other personally before the event.

"I had no previous relationship with him," said Mitchell. "I knew his name and by name only as someone who worked for Senator
Evan Bayh. But we didn't know each other and I had never met him before this event."

Mitchell said the Clinton campaign wanted to contrast Clinton to Sen. Barack Obama who had recently said the president would probably prevail in the Iraq funding battle with Congress.

Mithell said he refused to ask the question.

"I told Chris I had other issues I wanted to raise with Senator Clinton," Mitchell said.

He wanted to ask her why she voted for the Iraq war. He may be another of the fringe people that just haven't picked up on the fact that Saddam was still a threat to the region , and to our interests. Fine, play dumb, and play like you don't have a clue about this war.

But the fact remains that her campaign got caught planting audience members and questions. This makes you have to wonder why would Hillary allow her campaign to do such a thing. The moment I saw this story I immediate recalled Ruth Marcus piece from Wednesday where both the Clinton and Obama campaigns were rightly browbeat for their lack of pressers. I posited the notion then that the reason behind this was likely due to the fact that they didn't want to get caught in a "gotcha" moment that could hurt their campaigns. At least in the case of Senator Clinton, this now appears to be true.

If she thought the gaffe was bad (and it was bad based on the primary numbers in Iowa and New Hampshire) then this could be worse for her. She could, very easily, start slipping further back in those two states, and in the other primary states as well. Granted, we shouldn't get too giddy over this. She can lose points in the primaries and win them back just as easily. So while this is going to hurt her a bit, it's not going to take her candidacy down. That is, unless she continues to pull these stunts, and then who knows what will happen? Her fawning press just might turn on her, which would be rich irony in and of itself.

Publius II


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