Bloggers on Hillary Clinton's planted-question scandal.

Bloggers on Hillary Clinton's planted-question scandal.

Bloggers on Hillary Clinton's planted-question scandal.

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
Nov. 13 2007 4:42 PM

Plants Are Sprouting

More accounts of planted questions by Hillary Clinton's staffers keep popping up, the National Right to Life Committee endorses Fred Thompson, and the New Oxford American Dictionary picks a word of the year. Bloggers respond.

Plants are sprouting: Campaign staffers for Hillary Clinton asked a college student and a minister to feed the presidential candidate specific questions at two Iowa events. The senator insists she doesn't condone question-planting, and claims she didn't know what her staffers were up to, but not everyone buys her story.

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"The Clinton campaign has admitted planting the question. Why would they bother if they weren't going to ensure that Hillary called on the plant?" asks Mark Finkelstein at conservative NewsBusters. James Joyner from Outside the Beltway assumes that the college student, Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff, and the minister, Geoff Mitchell, are just the tip of the iceberg: "The campaign acknowledges the practice and, given that it's happened at least twice, it's not unreasonable to presume they've done this as a matter of course."

Over at Hot Air, Bryan has déjà vu: "This reminds me of something I observed during the first Clinton run for the White House. I was a radio news reporter in East Texas, and Clinton's bus tour came through. There wasn't a lot of support for him in the area, so they resorted to busing crowds in from elsewhere to make it look like a groundswell was building for him in Bush country. The main difference between then and now, I guess, is that what they did then wasn't so much planting questions as planting whole crowds."

Left-leaning Mersman also has déjà vu, but draws a comparison to a different politician:  the current president: "This series of incidences by the Clinton campaign just shows that she is more of the same and does not represent real change for Democrats over the current administration. While dodging positions for political gain throughout the campaign, she is now practicing the same tactics of President Bush."

Writing for The Nation's Campaign 08, Ari Melber wonders how the controversy stacks up against "the big issues." "As a 'process' complaint, sure, it ranks lower than public policy. But how candidates relate to voters -- just like how they deal with the press or disclose information -- affects the electorate's ability to appraise them." He also posits that "primary voters may not feel completely assured until they see her take more tough questions on the road."

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Read more about the scandal.

Thompson gets life: Presidential hopeful Fred Thompson, who touts himself as a "consistent conservative," scored the National Right to Life Committee's official endorsement Tuesday. As Thompson is on the record opposing a constitutional amendment to ban abortion, bloggers find the NRLC's choice rather confusing.

Politico's Jonathan Martin points out Thompson's inconsistencies: "While his voting record is pure, Thompson indicated he supported abortion rights when he ran for the Senate in 1994." And at Captain's Quarters, Ed Morrissey posits that "the NRLC's selection may be even odder than Pat Robertson's endorsement of Rudy Giuliani."

Over at the National Review's water-cooler blog, the Corner, Kathryn Jean Lopez wonders if the NRLC endorsement could boost support for Giuliani: "Pro-lifers listen to Thompson and respond, 'If this is the best pro-lifer the GOP has to offer, why don't I just vote for the pro-choice guy.' "

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Writing for the Los Angeles Times' Top of the Ticket, Andrew Malcolm notes that some pro-lifers are miffed and speculates that "heightened concerns over terrorism and national security may be trumping the traditional party litmus test of abortion opposition." Brennan at American Pundit concurs: "Here's what's most interesting: Major players in the social conservative movement are all split, supporting different candidates. Just in the last week we've seen Pat Robertson go to Rudy and now NRLC go to Fred."

Michelle Malkin has a poll: 33 percent say "woo hoo," 15 percent chose the "What the …?!" option, and 52 percent couldn't care less.

Read more about the NRLC's endorsement.

What's in a word? Oxford University Press has announced its 2007 word of the year. It's locavore—a term coined two years ago by four San Franciscans who "proposed that local residents should try to eat only food grown or produced within a 100-mile radius."

Mike Nizza at the New York Times' The Lede notes that the word may be new, but the "movement has been building for years, from Chef Alice Waters's pioneering work in the 1970's to the opening of a Whole Foods grocery store in the middle of Manhattan."

Some bloggers aren't impressed. At the Sundries Shack, Jimmie breaks down the etymology of the neologism and complains: "That's the best the folks at Oxford could find for a Word of the Year? ... I don't think 'Creature that eats lots of places' is exactly what our well-meaning friends intended for us to get from that word since it is likely to remind people more of The Blob than it will how desirable it might be to shop for your food at friendly local markets." And at SF Weekly's All Shook Down, Brian Bernbaum offers a snarky history lesson: "Back in the 90's we also had a word for people like this: incorrigible yuppie scum."

Read more about Oxford University Press' word of the year.

Juliet Lapidos is a staff editor at the New York Times.