The planted question

Is the Teflon wearing off the Hillary Clinton campaign?

Is the Teflon wearing off the Hillary Clinton campaign? The planted-question scandal seems to be developing some legs. So far, the Clintonites have done an excellent job of media manipulation and intimidation, but they seem to be losing their touch.

Clinton’s Iowa spokesman, Mark Daley, said the campaign did not plant questions, but didn’t deny general prodding.

“It’s not a practice of our campaign to ask people to ask specific questions,” he said.

Daley said that when an event is planned around a specific topic, “people are encouraged to ask questions in these regards,” but denied that they are given specific questions.

“[Planting] is not something that is encouraged in our campaign,” he said.

“It’s not a practice of our campaign to ask people to ask specific questions”? I’m not sure I can stand another eight years of hearing that sort of not-quite-a-lie-but-a-long-way-from-the-truth b.s. from the White House spokesman. And of course given that the story was significant only insofar as it stirred latent concerns about the somewhat strained relationship between the Clintons and the truth, giving a transparently dishonest answer when questioned about it was like trying to douse a fire with gasoline.

John Dickerson in Slate challenges the candidate’s personal veracity:

Did Clinton know what her staff was doing? She says she didn’t. Can that be so? She answered only a handful of questions at the event, and she somehow found her way to the person in the crowd who’d been put up to the task. Either her luck is smashing, or she’s fibbing. Any staffer who prints up audience questions and carries them in a neat little binder doesn’t then leave it to chance whether the candidate finds the one plant in a room of 300.

All in all, not a great couple of weeks for Her Inevitability. And the moment she stops being inevitable, we have a whole new ballgame.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: