Did CNN Plant The Audience, Too?
Actually, there are suggestions at some prominent Democrat sites that CNN didn’t just plant questions, but perhaps in the administration of the debate, they created a situation where Hillary Clinton had a decided advantage. It’s mentioned at DailyKos but the best information is here. Admittedly, it comes from an Obama fan. But if you think about the logistics, it’s hard to imagine Hillary wouldn’t have a home crowd.
I want to comment on a couple of issues relating to the Debate because I feel it is important to speak out about it. I have had some inside information about how this debate was conducted and I think that CNN and those who organized this debate have a responsiblity to answer for the way it was conducted.
Of particular note, if accurate, is that of 1,000 tickets given to UNLV, only a hundred made it into the hands of students. Both Edwards and Obama do better among younger Democrats. And as for dissemination of tickets by the Nevada Democrats, Jill Derby the Democrat Chair is a moderate with some friends close to Hillary. Does the name Begala ring a bell?
Derby has had numerous supporters. CNN political anaylst, as the Reno Gazette-Journal reported, Paul Begala, who helped engineer Bill Clinton’s 1992 win, said he was encouraged by U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to “stump” for Derby.
I’d stop short of calling it a conspiracy, as some Democrats are doing. But if it’s true that each candidate only had 22 tickets out of 2,000, in a state where Hillary is polling 20+ points ahead of everyone else, if no steps were taken to balance the audience, that might explain why she was cheered, while several others were booed.
There were only 2000 available tickets. 1000 of those tickets were given to the Nevada State Democratic Party, of which I was a member in 2005 and 2006. The other 1000 tickets were given to UNLV. Now here is where it gets interesting. The 1000 tickets given to the NSDP were given to people who were in high ranking positions, of which several of my friends are involved with the NSDP. Those friends were able to go to the Debate at Cox Pavilion. Some of my other friends who are not as involved in the Nevada State Democratic Party were excluded. So you have the State Party who pre-selected who they wanted to go. Many of the people in the NSDP are very sympathetic to Sen. Clinton. It’s no secret, its just a fact of the State Party. According to my sources, not only did they pre-select who went to the Debate, they actually based it on the percentage of the various minorities in the state. So 15% of the people had to be Hispanic, 10% had to be African-American, and there were various other groups which were required to be selected by the Nevada State Democratic Party.
So what happened to the UNLV tickets? Didn’t they go to students? Not exactly. About 100 or so tickets did go to the students, and they held a lottery which selected certain students for the Debate. The other 900 or so tickets actually went to UNLV staff and professors and their family members. I am not joking, this is what I have been told by a very reliable source in Las Vegas.