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Hillary Clinton's "don't ask" policy

December 28, 2007 |  2:21 am

As she races through Iowa in the days before next week's caucuses, Hillary Clinton is taking few chances. She tells crowds that it’s their turn to “pick a president,’’ but over the last two days she has not invited them to ask her any questions.

Before the brief Christmas break, the New York senator had been setting aside time after campaign speeches to hear from the audience. Now when she’s done speaking, her theme songs blare from loudspeakers, preventing any kind of public Q&A.

She was no more inviting when a television reporter approached her after a rally on Thursday and asked if she was “moved’’ by Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. Clinton turned away without answering.

Her daughter, Chelsea, had the same reaction when a reporter approached her with a question.

Hillary Clinton’s no-question policy didn’t sit well with some of the Iowans who came to see her speak.

“I was a little bit underwhelmed,’’ said Doug Rohde, 46, as he left a rally at a fire station in Denison. “The message was very generic -- and no questions.’’

Clinton campaign officials said that she may take questions in the coming days. But her focus is on seeing as many voters as possible before the caucuses next Thursday -- and spotlighting the messages she wants to deliver.

Spokespeople for her two main rivals in the Hawkeye State -– John Edwards and Barack Obama -– said the candidates would continue fielding questions as they troll for support.

(UPDATE: For an amusing update, click here.)

-- Peter Nicholas

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