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Hillary Clinton's "don't ask" policy

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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Hillary Clinton is a great candidate. i think we should support her in all she does. We need to start by helping with her online popularity. Take a look at where she's at

Question: Who killed Vince Foster?

Hillary's biggest weakness appears to be her tendency to be a control-freak. She needs to relax and be human again, if that's possible.

Heaven forbid that she slip and answer a question truthfully. I agree that the members of the press are jackals and vultures wearing ties but she asked for the job...

Hillary is such a manipulator. She is trying to micro manage her appearances in a cold calculating way. She has no concern for the voters. It's all about her and Bill.

What a pompous display of damage control and disregard for those who she wants something from ie "votes". If you cant engage your constituency than you should not run for president.

Hillary Clinton? More like Hillary no questions!

What a coward. When there is not anything good to say why say anything?

What do you expect, she hasn't had time to plant the people to ask the questions in the first place!

It's our fault. We caught on to the planted question askers. Everything about Senator Clinton is choreographed for effect. There is no such thing as answering a question (really answering) and there never has been with her.

What should anyone expect from a lying, cheating, deceitful woman like HRC. She's not nearly as seasoned and experienced as she'd like you to believe... Marriage to Bill doesn't give her experience in anything but handling infidelity... She's got one term as a Senator... And nothing... and I mean nothing else. Wake up people. D.

This is news? This is the norm.

It doesn't matter if she takes questions or not. She is obviously the bestest qualified candidate ever to run and should be elected without any questions. When her two terms are over we should re-elect Bill for two more terms until Chelsea is ready for her first two terms. Better yet why don't we just crown her Queen of America and be done with all the lesser beings. Hail Hillary!

I was at the Lebanon High School speech in Lebanon, NH, last week and she spent almost as long afterwards talking to people, answering questions, signing autographs, and posing for pictures, as the actually speech was, as did Chelsea. I've been putting up full video of her speeches at my youtube channel, The Lebanon one will go up as well as most of her other recent appearances in New Hampshire this weekend. She stays after EVERY speech and meets with people personally for 30-60 minutes. Most times longer than the speech itself. So, this story is demonstrable wrong and I've got the video to prove it. The news channels do to, since they video the after the speech meet and greet in its entirety. They just don't show it.

I guess it's getting to hard to keep straight all the sides on the issues she has taken over the last months and she doesn't want to get caught up in a Clintonisum this late in the game.

How dare *she* run her campaign as *she* sees fit. Questioning our prospective leaders is a crucial element to the electoral process, but what can be asked that already hasn't. The female ex-PM of Pakistan is dead - would you expect someone, especially a candidate running for President of the United States, not to be moved by it. Give her a break and go dig up some real news. Blogging is so 2007 anyway!

We need the next president to be honest, genuine, truthful, and posessed of a moral compass. Mrs. Clinton does not fit on any of these criteria. If she wins it will be a national tragedy.

I guess it's getting to hard to keep straight all the sides on the issues she has taken over the last months and she doesn't want to get caught up in a Clintonisum this late in the game.

legal terms! sounds like a commie country to me.


Hillary will sink America..

The demographic winter is coming to the US.

Aging workforce.

Good information on the subject.
Welcome for a visit.

I understand how frustrating it can be. It's pretty hard to shout over the Darth Vader theme song.

When she would not take questions i thought maybe she was running for queen of America.
I have lost my interest in her candidacy.

Just more proof she cares nothing about the people.

What does she show up and go, "I see you!" and then leave? It's ridiculous to think that she can act this way and get elected.

Hillary has Not vowed to end the Iraq war and bring back our troops; only ONE candidate has done so: Ron Paul. Therefore, no matter how much she tries to soften her reptilian image, you just can't change a crocodile by dressing her in a tutu and ballet shoes. Ron Paul RULES!

Of course she won't take questions. She doesn't want average Americans to know what she REALLY stands for.

The best way to do that is to get their vote BEFORE they understand her positions.

Hillary Clinton is a very DANGEROUS candidate. Buyer BEWARE!

What else is new? The Clinton's have always tried to control the media, and with quite a bit of success. This however will not be a positive for her. I'm really surprised by the ineptitude of her campaign. I though she had the best team in politics but apparently not.

Of course she's not going to answer any questions, she doesn't have the answers.

Clinton not taking questions is akin to her evasive answers during her Whitewater trial: "I can't recall." The more you look the more she appears to be serpent-like: scales, forked tongue and very slithery.

Could it be that she doesn't want to let anyone know where she stands on the issues because once they find out they tend to be a little bit scared of where she would take our country?

Fridiculous! These events should be giving us voters an "up close & personal" view of presidential candidates. How could Hillary Clinton take NO QUESTIONS?? She might as well be a talking robot presenting a canned audio book of her views. Can she not interact on the fly? Does she not have "gut" feelings or opinions about ANYTHING without having to consult others as to the way she should reply??

When you have no new ideas and a socialist agenda, questions from the public can be dangerous at revealing your true colors.

Ask me no questions and I'll tell you no lies.

Questions? Who are these peasents questioning me. Just trust me she says. I know better then everyone.

Hill just keep answering no questions keep your mouth shut and just go away and let someone with qualifications run the most powerful country in the world. Maybe people will finally see you for the shallow righteous uppity pompous person you are.

Good luck Hillary
James Strup

Pretty typical Hillary really. Stay on topic, hit all the scripted talking points, and can't handle an unexpected curveball. Not caring what the voters think.

Anybody but........

Who is she kidding? There no planted questions, so she does not know what to say. everything with Klintons is prearranged and scripted.
As in a theater play.

Questions? Who are these peasents questioning me. Just trust me she says. I know better then everyone.

Hill just keep answering no questions keep your mouth shut and just go away and let someone with qualifications run the most powerful country in the world. Maybe people will finally see you for the shallow righteous uppity pompous person you are.

Good luck Hillary
James Strup

Why is this shocking to anyone? Her puppeteer Bill was nowhere to be found. Why would you think she would answer questions? If she got caught in a snag Bill wasn't readly accessible with the "what she meant was" response. Hillary isn't so bad on her own, but she is not a President. Most people who would vote for her do so thinking that they get Bill back in the White House. Okay, but what happens when the notorious fan of fast food's heart gives out during a Happy Meal or a romp in the hay with some overweight and young staffer??? Then we are stuck with Ms. Deer-in-the-Headlights for President. What a nightmare scenario...

Not a good move at this stage in the campaign. She needs to be open to people and questions or she will start losing support. Plus she misses good photo opps of conversing with people which always looks good and shows she is not an elitist.

How dare anyone ask questions of this person. Everyone knows she is superior in every way to all other candidates. Just like Global Warming "Concesus" she is the Inevitable candidate, no more questions need to be asked or answered. She has more experience than all others combined and needs to be treated this way. What kind of questions can these people in Iowa ask anyway? Stupid, uninformed folks that they are would just waste Hillary's time. I say caucus today, why wait.

Don't ask, don't know.

So what is new Hillary has only had one , token, question asked of her by Russert which had a serious consequence on the answer. The Liberal Media is giving her a free pass, and we think we have an open unbiased objective free media. If a Republican was doing the same thing they would be criticized daily about it, it would be a drum beat on every tv/radio news story.
She might answer some questions later, is she the Queen of England how gracious of her to give the riff-raff some time later.
Hillary is given a free ride surrounding all of the mounting finacial scandals tied to her campaign, the Whitehouse FBI files and IRS investigations of opponents in the 1990s.
"The two worst things that can happen in a democracy/republic, is, for the media to become a political party and lying to be an encouraged form of speech. We have both." John W

(No free ride here, John.)

What's she afraid of? Maybe having to tell people how she really feels? That's not a good sign.

And you thought Nixon was a self-absorbed paranoid...

Don't ask, and I won't tell.

I'm not sure why asking Hillary any questions is important to anyone. Have you ever heard her answer any questions, without somehow blaming Bush for everything?

Kind of sums things up doesn't it? Hillary is out there to "tell" people. Obama is out there listening to real people and their concerns and is willing to answer tough questions.

Why ask? She doesn't know the answers.

Hillary can't answer any questions because she is totally fake. She is totally void of substance and character.

This is the same thing Hillary did in NY when she first ran for Senate. Her people roped off the press at every single public appearance and you couldn't ask her a question, and if you got to ask a question you got no reply; or an "I can't hear you". She is her own worst enemy.

Wow, If America falls for this woman, It will be a sad day.

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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