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Off limits? Don’t count on it!

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In a political campaign should there be limits as to what should and should not be asked of surrogates for the people running for public office? The question arises out of appearances by former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton who is campaigning on behalf of her mother, Hillary Clinton, who is running for President.

We’ll apply this to Missouri in just a moment. But for those who don’t eat, drink, and breathe politics … here’s a brief summary of the Chelsea issue. This young woman has, by her own estimation, appeared at about 70 locations on behalf of her mom. Recently, in Pennsylvania, a student asked Chelsea whether her mother’s reputation was tarnished during the Monica Lewinsky scandal … and Chelsea refused to answer.

Last year, Chelsea informed a 9-year-old Scholastic News reporter that no questions from reporters – even child reporters – would be answered.

Enter Washington Post reporter Sally Quinn who, during a CBS "The Early Show" interview, expressed her view that anyone who steps out from behind the curtain and becomes a part of the campaign must expect to be asked questions by the news media.

Alright … back to Missouri. In our race for the Governor’s Office we see Sarah Steelman’s husband, David, working on behalf of his wife. Renee Hulshof has been making appearances on behalf of Kenny Hulshof. And, Georganne Nixon has campaigned alongside Jay Nixon. Are these potential first spouses off limits or are they now fair game if they choose to join the campaigning?

Granted, David Steelman is a former state lawmaker who is already a public figure. But what about Renee Hulshof or Georganne Nixon? Renee has been making solo appearances on the campaign trail. And, Oren Shur with the Nixon campaign tells me Georganne will be playing a more active role in the coming weeks and months … as will Jay’s son Jer, a student at MU.

Missourinet News Director Bob Priddy sums up our policy this way, "In most cases, a husband or wife who simply waves while standing beside his or her spouse is off limits. But once that surrogate becomes a campaigner, he or she is fair game."

– Steve Walsh

Written by learfield

March 28, 2008 at 3:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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