Any doubts about how Hillary Clinton feels about the press were dispatched yesterday in New Hampshire where Clinton aides created a “moving rope line” that trapped reporters trying to cover the candidate as she marched in a parade, and dragged them along — willing or not.
At the Fourth of July parade Hillary Clinton marched in Saturday in Gorham, New Hampshire, reporters following the candidate were kept — and at moments, dragged — behind an actual moving rope line.
The rope, which two Clinton staffers held on to on either side, was meant to give Clinton space as she walked down the parade route, but photos of reporters being dragged behind the rope as she marched have gone viral on Twitter.
The New Hampshire GOP released a statement critiquing Clinton, saying her use of the rope “insults the traditions of our First-in-the-Nation primary” and touted the Republican presidential candidates for marching in parades without “obstruction from their staff.”
Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said in a statement: “While the GOP may want to spin a good yarn on this, let’s not get tied up in knots. We wanted to accommodate the press, allow her to greet voters, and allow the press to be right there in the parade with her as opposed to preset locations. And that’s what we did.”
Clinton, meanwhile, seemed to enjoy the parade herself, as she waved to and greeted voters — ignoring a group of loud protesters that trailed right behind her.
“Where were you at 3am when the phone rang? Name one accomplishment! Tell us about when you were poor!” shouted one man, holding up a sign that read “BENGHAZI.”
But Clinton didn’t let that rattle her.
“I’m just having a good time meeting everybody,” Clinton said when asked whether she had anything to say to them.
WaPo’s Philip Rucker reported that at first, reporters could get close enough to Hillary to hear what she was saying to voters. But then aides stretched the rope across the street and kept the press at least 15 feet from the candidate.
Clinton’s manic desire to manage the press and her message has gotten her into trouble this time. Jay Caruso, writing at Legal Insurrection, points out how truly bad the optics of these photos are. Indeed, they infantilize reporters, while giving off a whiff of Clinton authoritarianism.
I doubt very much if there will be any more “moving rope lines” during a Clinton campaign event.