Behind the Scenes
A college student describes how she was discouraged from asking a question about energy policy and handed a question on Climate Change instead.
He brought me to one of the senior staffers. And he asked me if there was any question I wanted to ask. And I thought about it and said, "Yeah, can I ask how her energy plan compares to other candidate's energy plan. And he said ... well ... I don't think that's a good idea, because I don't know how familiar she is with their plans.
And then he showed me in his binder, he had a piece of paper that had typed-out questions on it. And the top one was planned specifically for a college student. ...
The college student was then instructed to raise her hand during the Q&A period and found to her amazement that she was only one of four raised hands out of 200 to be entertained.
It's the level of detail in the planting of questions that is fascinating. The staffer had a binder which apparently contained a list of questions to be received in a specific order, each of which was matched against the preferred profile of the questioner. All of it presumably calculated to play for maximum political impact. It was as scripted as a stage play, except that certain parts were reserved for unpaid actors.
They say politics is theater. But when attending a play you know you are watching fiction.
And then there's this ugly moment at a Republican political event. But I don't think McCain planted the question.