[Guest post by DRJ]
Hillary Clinton’s campaign suffered an embarrassment in Iowa when it was revealed a college student had been given a planted question to ask at a town hall meeting:
“Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s campaign admitted Friday that it planted a global warming question in Newton, Iowa, Tuesday during a town hall meeting to discuss clean energy.
Clinton campaign spokesman Mo Elliethee admitted that the campaign had planted the question and said it would not happen again.”
The incident became public when a college student admitted involvement:
“On Tuesday Nov. 6, the Clinton campaign stopped at a biodiesel plant in Newton as part of a weeklong series of events to introduce her new energy plan. The event was clearly intended to be as much about the press as the Iowa voters in attendance, as a large press core helped fill the small venue….
“After her speech, Clinton accepted questions. But according to Grinnell College student Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff ’10, some of the questions from the audience were planned in advance. ‘They were canned,’ she said. Before the event began, a Clinton staff member approached Gallo-Chasanoff to ask a specific question after Clinton’s speech. ‘One of the senior staffers told me what [to ask],’ she said.
“Clinton called on Gallo-Chasanoff after her speech to ask a question: what Clinton would do to stop the effects of global warming. Clinton began her response by noting that young people often pose this question to her before delving into the benefits of her plan.
“But the source of the question was no coincidence — at this event ‘they wanted a question from a college student,’ Gallo-Chasanoff said.“
Here’s the text of Gallo-Chasanoff’s question and Hillary’s answer:
“Question: “As a young person, I’m worried about the long-term effects of global warming How does your plan combat climate change?
Clinton: “Well, you should be worried. You know, I find as I travel around Iowa that it’s usually young people that ask me about global warming.”
John Edwards’ campaign spokesman responded quickly:
“In light of a weak debate performance, not to mention a persistent inability to answer the tough questions, it appears the Clinton campaign has adopted a new strategy of planting questions,” John Edwards’ Communications Director Chris Kofinis said.
“It’s what the Clinton campaign calls the politics of planting.”
Overall this seems like a minor event but it’s probably not an isolated incident since Hillary said she frequently hears this question from college students. (Now we know why.) Still, I doubt the people of Iowa appreciate it.