Clinton’s other hobby seems to be puppeteering

Ted Hamilton

It looks like Hillary Clinton may have some trouble brewing on her campaign stage – the Democrat nomination might be further from her reach than previously thought. Besides Obama beginning to close the gap on the front-runner, people have begun to come forward about being given questions to ask the New York senator at open forums. This proves a problem because it damages her credibility and makes you wonder how much she can be trusted. If staffers are giving people at rallies soft questions, how else is she manipulating the public?

The first to come forward was Geoffrey Mitchell, who attended an event in Iowa. A staffer allegedly approached him to ask a question regarding the Iraq war. The second was Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff, a student attending Grinnell College. After Gallo-Chasanoff asked if she could ask Clinton a question about how her energy plan stacks up against other candidates’, a staffer confessed they were not sure “how familiar (Clinton) is with their (energy plans)” and recommended a question she could ask. After the event, the student claims she overheard another man talking about being approached by a staffer for a similar reason.

What does this mean for Clinton’s campaign? Right now that remains unseen, but it looks as if Bill is not the only slick one in the Clinton marriage. Creating puppets out of audience members makes the impression that any question the candidate is asked, she will already have the answer prepared for and ready to feed to the public. Of course, Clinton denies having any knowledge of her staffers (puppeteers) doing this – which is comedic in itself.

If Clinton has no idea of what is going on in her own campaign (which is another laughing matter), how does she know which puppets to call upon? What miracle took place that made her call on the same people her staffers had approached with questions without her knowing? If more people begin coming forward, this could be the infamous Howard Dean scream or the coldness of Al Gore that could ruin her campaign.

It has long been thought that Clinton is almost guaranteed the nod for the Democrat primary and will crush the Republican candidate because of the public’s hatred for the political party that gave us George W. Bush.

I am not so sure. Although much has not come up yet, after the primaries we will see more and more of both the Clintons’ past brought to light. From allegedly giving China nuclear secrets to the Whitewater scandal, the amount of skeletons hanging in their shared closet – maybe hanging next to a couple marionettes – is astounding. Albeit some of the issues are conspiratorial in nature, a couple of them might be believable enough to sink her campaign. Some people believe the Republicans want Clinton to win for this reason – an endless arsenal of mud to unload onto Clinton’s already dingy record.

Will planting puppets sink Clinton’s lead? Probably not. From here, however, it could very well be an uphill battle for our beloved Hill-dog.

Ted Hamilton is a senior magazine journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater.Contact him at [email protected]