April showers bring May flowers as the saying goes, but one thing they don’t bring is opportunities for the press to ask questions of Hillary Clinton. If you’d asked me only a month or two ago, I’d have guessed that there was no way that the mainstream press would be reaching the point where they would abandon ship and begin criticizing the inevitable Democrat nominee, but ABC seems to have reached the boiling point and wants to know when the drought will end.
Today is the one month anniversary of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. It also marks 21 days since she has answered a question from the press.
During this “ramp up” phase of her candidacy, Clinton has kept her distance from the media, answering only a handful of questions from the reporters following her on the campaign trail.
As the days go by, Clinton’s opponents have begun to take notice and Clinton’s limited engagement with reporters is becoming an issue.
This is turning into a productive line of attack for GOP candidates, including Carly Fiorina.
Last weekend, Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina rolled out a fresh attack line.
“Like Hillary Clinton, I’m also running for president, but unlike her, I’m not afraid to answer questions about my record,” Fiorina noted at the South Carolina Freedom Summit. “She’s answered seven on-the-record questions since April 12th; I’ve answered over 200 on the record since Monday.”
Fiorina seems to be enjoying the free running room she has to attack Clinton with abandon, possibly more so than the rest of the field who are burdened with War on Women fears. But to their credit, her male counterparts in the race are at least taking questions of their own and facing up to the media slings and arrows which follow.
As for Hillary, this appears to be a strategy we predicted here earlier this year. She has opened the door to all sorts of probing between her email server and suggestions of pay for play involving Clinton Foundation donations from foreign governments. Further, there are some dicey topics making the rounds out there right now and the public is sending mixed signals as to where they will come down on them. Free trade deals, Russia, ISIS… each holds pitfalls for candidates who stake out a strong position which might wind up looking less than prescient with the next turn of the news cycle.
The advantage that Clinton has in this particular arena of battle is obvious. The Republicans are up to their respective necks in competition. If they fail to take a stand on anything they risk falling behind in a pitched horse race. As far as the GOP goes, the victory will go to whoever is both bold and correct. But for Hillary, who does she have to worry about? Bernie Sanders? She can let him blather all day long and she’ll still win the nomination in a walk. Why take the risk of putting her views and plans on display for public criticism? And if you don’t talk to any reporters, they can’t ask you about your email server. In this case, the wall of silence may look bad to reporters and political junkies, but Hillary’s supporters aren’t going to abandon her over anything and she might be banking on those numbers being enough to get her over the last finish line.
I don’t want to leave you with the impression that she never answers any questions from reporters, though. She was willing to talk about when she’ll be willing to talk.
As reporters swarmed during her first official campaign stop last month in Iowa, Clinton dodged their questions but offered this: “They’ll be plenty of time to talk later.”
So you’re saying we’ll have to elect the first female president to find out what’s in the first female president’s platform? You may have been spending too much time with Nancy Pelosi. Sadly for the country, though, you may just get away with it.