September 3, 2016

Hillary Clinton's campaign announced Thursday their candidate would begin flying on a larger plane with room for media to tag along starting on Labor Day. That's newsworthy because it has been nine months since Clinton held a press conference, and what interactions she does have with the media are notoriously well-controlled by her staff.

In New Hampshire last year, Clinton's aides actually used a rope to hold reporters away from her, an experience that is more the rule than the exception. In that vein, Politico has compiled a fascinating list of other times the campaign made covering Clinton "like a sensory deprivation experience" for print pool journalists. Here are a few of the most bizarre anecdotes:

Drowned Out By a Jet Engine, Aug. 31: Clinton’s plane landed in Cincinnati, from East Hampton, ahead of her speech to the American Legion. On the tarmac, Clinton was greeted by a group of county Democratic party chairs. But, "your pooler was not close enough to hear any conversations over the noise of the plane."

They Paved Paradise and Put up a Parking Lot, Aug. 30: Clinton hit up three big fundraisers in the Hamptons. ... Pool reporters were stationed about 400 yards away from the house, "among the parked cars."

Chocolates > Questions, Aug. 25: Clinton popped into Hub Coffee Roasters after a rally in Reno. There, she ignored questions about Donald Trump lobbed at her from the reporters in the coffee shop. Instead, she encouraged them to sample Dorinda’s Chocolates. "It's really good!" she said.

Magic Johnson’s Driveway, Aug. 22: After a fundraiser at Magic Johnson’s house, pool "was able to see Magic wave goodbye to HRC from the driveway." [Politico]

Read the rest of the list from Politico here. Bonnie Kristian

June 18, 2016

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is a grandmother for the second time with the birth of Aidan Clinton Mezvinsky, whose arrival former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton announced on Twitter Saturday.

Chelsea and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, welcomed their first child, Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky, in 2014. Bonnie Kristian

December 25, 2015

On Christmas Eve, the Obama administration released 16 pages of mostly redacted emails pertaining to the 2012 terrorist attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. Thanks to the heavy editing, the documents offer little in the way of new information about the raid and the ensuing controversy over the actions of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

(Office of the Director of National Intelligence)

The Obama White House has previously released Benghazi-related documents on a holiday, when news coverage is minimal. In May, the administration dropped 296 emails on the Friday before Memorial Day. Bonnie Kristian

October 19, 2015

A compilation of State Department audits finds that the agency's cybersecurity — already sub-par when Hillary Clinton took office as secretary of state in 2009 — declined each successive year Clinton remained in charge.

One audit in particular scored the department 42 out of 100 on a cybersecurity report card, a lower grade than was given to the Office of Personnel Management, which announced this past summer that it had suffered a data breach affecting some 4 million people. Clinton's released emails also suggest that the department's computer system is in bad shape: "State's technology is so antiquated that NO ONE uses a State-issued laptop," wrote one Clinton aide.

The State Department itself says that its cybersecurity is in great shape, with a system that defeats "almost 100 percent" of 4 billion digital attacks each year. Since Clinton was replaced by current Secretary of State John Kerry, audits show the agency's cybersecurity has continued to go downhill. Bonnie Kristian

October 8, 2015

On the campaign trail in Iowa on Wednesday, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton compared the National Rifle Association (NRA), the most prominent gun rights advocacy group in America, to "the Iranians or the communists."

"Now the real answer to [the problem of gun violence] is for gun owners to form a different organization that supports the Second Amendment — that supports their rights to own guns, use guns, go hunting, go target shooting — but stands against the absolutism of the NRA. You know, the NRA's position reminds me of negotiating with the Iranians or the communists. You know, there's no possible discussion."

Clinton also argued in Wednesday's talk that the NRA dupes some gun owners into being "really upset all the time so they can keep collecting their money." Aside from the obvious potential for offense to gun owners, Clinton's comparison is dubious in light of the many compromises made by the Iranian government in the recent nuclear deal.

Clinton's comments begin at the 29:33 mark in the video below. Bonnie Kristian

September 8, 2015

Starting this fall, Hillary Clinton's campaign will begin showcasing the candidate's "humor" and "heart," according to The New York Times, in a bid to combat the perception that she is "wooden and overly cautious." The campaign's shift in focus comes amidst a dip in the polls stemming from Clinton's email scandal and other controversies, as well as the rise of outsider candidates like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

"The same force and energy that is giving a lift to Donald Trump is dooming Hillary Clinton, and that is authenticity. Experience does not matter to [voters]," Eric Fehrnstrom, a former aide to Mitt Romney, told the Times. "What matters is you appear genuine."

But even if the rope lines are coming down and the jokes are coming out, Democratic pollster Anna Greenburg says that Clinton can't escape being Clinton. "At the end of the day, she is the establishment candidate," Greenberg told the Times. "It's something to navigate. You can't shed it." Becca Stanek

July 8, 2015

In a story published last night, the Washington Post details the activities of Correct the Record, a new super PAC dedicated to prepping Hillary Clinton supporters to speak to the press. The PAC is hosting training sessions in early primary states to drill the grassroots on talking points and polish supporters' personal stories of why they like Clinton.

It's common for campaigns to train staff and other candidate surrogates to speak on message, but the Post notes that "the effort to script and train local supporters is unusually ambitious," demonstrating the lengths to which the Clinton camp will go to create a surprise-free echo chamber of support.

For a taste of the talking points Clinton backers are learning, check out Correct the Record's website, which addresses everything from Clinton's travel habits to Vice President Joe Biden's record. Or, if social gatherings are more your style, take a look at the Clinton campaign's eight-page guide to hosting a house party, which includes helpful tips like inviting your friends and charging your cell phone. Bonnie Kristian

June 30, 2015

While some colleges have ponied up more than $200,000 to secure a speech from Hillary Clinton, the University of Missouri at Kansas City wasn't willing to drop quite that much cash. After being quoted $275,000 for an appearance by the former secretary of state herself, the school opted to bring in her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, instead.

At $65,000, Chelsea's own speaking fee is considerably less than her mother's — albeit still well above the national median household income of about $52,000. For this price, the University of Missouri got a 10-minute speech followed by 20 minutes of moderated Q&A time. The Clinton camp also carefully dictated the terms of the event, from the temperature of Chelsea Clinton's on-stage water to the content of the introduction read by a local high school student.

Clinton donated her fee to her family's foundation, which has been criticized in recent months over its alleged use by the Clinton family for personal profit and public corruption. Bonnie Kristian

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