It doesn’t really count as “standard policy” until it’s been used for 10 years:

Three days after Hillary Clinton’s campaign was forced to admit it had planted a question at an Iowa campaign event, an eagle-eyed tipster noted that this wasn’t the first time the former First Lady’s camp arranged for a friendly voice to lob a softball question.

In announcing her Senate run in 1999, MSNBC reported that “responding to a planted question at a Teachers Union event [Clinton] made it clear she is in the race for the US Senate.”

Follow the link to see what the question was. In her defense, this is a more benign example than the recent two: the question didn’t touch on substantive issues and was planted with one of the hosts of the event, making it more a case of engineering political drama than giving her softballs to field. Even so, those goldarn “boys” who’ve been so ungentlemanly to such a shy, retiring lady of late ought to be mining this for gold. It plays right into their image of her as an establishment phony so out of touch with common people from her years in Washington that she can’t handle their questions anymore. How about it, Silky? Your gloves are already off. Let’s see how that pony kicks.

Update: Pathetic. It’s the campaign equivalent of “I smoked but I didn’t inhale.” Like Finkelstein says, what would be the point of planting questions unless Hillary was planning to make use of them?