Don’t Clinton staffers watch the news?2007-11-12
I lauded the Hillary Clinton campaign recently for the launch of The Fact Hub, a blog-based website designed to provide rapid response to rumors, inaccuracies, and factual misstatements. It’s only fair, then, that I call the campaign out for a communications gaffe made all the more egregious by the the fact that FEMA was all over the news recently for making a similar move. FEMA, you may recall, came under fire for putting on a fake news conference, with members of the FEMA staff posing as reporters and tossing softball questions. Now it turns out the Clinton campaign was planting questions for the candidate among members of various audiences.
Clinton claims to be unaware of the practice and has condemned it. Whether that’s true or not, you have to wonder, in the wake of the FEMA debacle, what those staff members were thinking. As Clinton’s lead over her nearest rival, Barak Obama, continues to shrink, a bonehead move like this can’t help. Both stories—Clinton and FEMA—should be lessons to anyone seeking to sway public opinion. Candor and transparency must guide your efforts.