Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Questiongate Keeps Growing

The controversy surrounding the Clinton campaign and Questiongate expands, as college student Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff has given an interview about the circumstances surrounding the Clinton campaign assigning her a question to ask Senator Clinton.

Ms. Gallo-Chasanoff says she was approached by a staffer who had a sheet of typewritten questions in a notebook, and the question given to her was specifically notated to be asked by a "college student."

Although Senator Clinton has said that planted questions were "news to me," Ms. Gallo-Chasanoff isn't so sure, given that she was only one of four people out of roughly 200 that Mrs. Clinton called on. She says, "It seemed like she knew to call on me."

Gallo-Chasanoff believes at least one other question at the event was planted.

Let's face it, if Clinton staffers have notebooks with typewritten questions at these townhall-style events, planting questions has probably been going on for a long time, although if that's the case the campaign seems to be taking a real risk denying it's been standard practice.

In fact, Mrs. Clinton has been answering planted questions dating back to her Senate campaign in 1999.

With the coverup often being worse than the crime, wouldn't the campaign be better off simply acknowledging that they believe such questions are an effective way to get out the candidate's message, rather than denying they took place?

Perhaps even more interesting is that the campaign waved the student off from asking the question she wanted to ask -- a fairly simple question asking Senator Clinton to contrast her energy policy with those of the other candidates. Gallo-Chasanoff quotes the staffer as saying, "I don't think that's a good idea, because I don't know how familiar she is with their plans."

Why isn't she familiar with their plans at this late date?

The incident serves to highlight the Clinton campaign's obsession with maintaining control over Mrs. Clinton's events to the greatest extent possible, protecting her from being confronted with questions she's unable to answer.

Meanwhile the Senator is warning Wolf Blitzer not to ask tough questions at the next debate.

As Jonah Goldberg writes: "...can someone please explain to me, how asking the junior Senator from New York state whether she agrees with the governor of the state (and a close political ally) on the question of drivers licenses for illegals is even remotely wrong, never mind some sort of vicious, Nazi-like, personal assault on truth, decency, and Hillary Clinton's integrity? I really, really, don't get it."

That makes two of us.

The question is, will the media and the rest of the nation buy into Senator Clinton's victim strategy and let the Senator skate by over the next year without close examination, or -- unlike when she ran for the Senate -- will she be expected to answer the tough questions with direct answers?


Blogger windycorner said...

I agree with you that the campaign should be honest and admit the plants. Their arrogance shows when they think they can deny it away. If Hillary is having a tough time answering simple policy questions honestly, she obviously doesn't have the leadership skills to be president. Or the intelligence for that matter.

11:07 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

I've heard the 'but everyone does it' defense floating around but I think, okay, if you're going to be deceptive, at least do it with some finesse and skill.

At this point in time, every question asked at rallies now becomes suspect. The law of unintended consequences in action.

5:12 PM  

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