POTENTIAL Q&A SETUP GUIDELINES
[Mother holding cute baby (baby available from props if woman does not have her own baby)]: I see on the news a lot of stories about lead-filled Chinese toys and date-rape fun beads. How will your administration approach this problem with America’s manufacturer? Will you cave in and let them poison our children, like Bush has done, or will you stand up to them?
[Hillary will furrow her brow and look concerned] I get this question a lot from young mothers, and let me tell you, the only answer is to bring those jobs back to America, where they can be done in controlled circumstances by union labor, because union-approved products are quality products. As a matter of fact, I’d like to see a union factory right here in (insert name of town) turning out low-cost, high-quality, SAFE toys for the boys and girls of America. By the way, that’s a beautiful baby.
[Black person]: It’s well-known that you have your hand on the pulse of black America, and have represented our concerns for almost two decades. Do you think that you could advance our causes better in the White House than Barack Obama, who has practically sold out the black community and is essentially white anyways, since his father was a Kenyan and not an African-American?
(Note to staffer: ensure questioner DOES NOT ask for specifics of how Hillary has advanced African-American interests)
[Hillary will smile and use “the accent”] Thank you very much for that compliment, but I don’t think it’s appropriate to question the parentage of the other candidates. And I will certainly continue to advance the interests of the black community in this country, which has always found support from the Democratic Party.
[Sickly-looking elderly person]: I can’t afford my medicine or my pills, not on the pittance I get from Social Security. What kind of aid and comfort can you offer to the elderly who are hoping to see their grandchildren turn 5 before the ravages of time and an uncaring government send us to an early grave?
[Hillary will look very concerned]: This is an important issue, because it’s your generation who has made this country so great, and it is our greatest moral shame that we do not have a better system for retirement and health care to provide for your needs. And using our social security money to line the pockets of Wall Street fat cats is not the answer! We need a comprehensive health-care reform, focusing on the elderly, and the needs of families, and single people, and children. Anything less is a betrayal of the people of this nation.
(Soft piping of patriotic music from SFX truck is encouraged during this speech, which will run longer)
[Wild-eyed middle-aged woman of the gasbag Code Pink style; these will be plentiful at every campaign appearance and eager to ask questions - no prompting is necessary; they always have the same rant.]: I’m concerned about the children. Aren’t you a warmonger preparing to draft my little boy in the service and send him off to die for oil? Aren’t you a hate-monger! Down with tyranny! No blood for oil! (she will continue chant until security removes her)
[Hillary will shake her head ruefully]: You know, people like that have a lot of valid concerns, and I want to address them. But the discourse has to be kept civil. We can’t just shout at each other. That kind of behavior belongs to Republicans, not progressives.
[Person with nose ring and purple eye shadow (available from props if necessary)]: How will you support the advancement of the GLBT community in your administration? Will you continue the Taliban-style approach of the current administration?
[Hillary should laugh] I love that eye shadow! Of course I won’t continue the barbaric stone-age practices of people named Bush and Hussein. I’ll bring a new age of enlightenment and equality to all the peoples of the United States.
THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS SHOULD NOT BE USED BACK-TO-BACK
[Man over 60 wearing VFW cap and visibly scarred (if none present get hat, eye patch and crutch from props)]: I was tortured in Vietnam, and the experience has totally ruined my life. I’ve been an alcoholic, divorced six times, and out of work for ten years. I’m concerned that the current administration is torturing and brutalizing ordinary Americans like it’s the Spanish Inquisition. How will you change this practice of rendition and torture to make America a light of liberty and justice in the world again?
[Hillary wipes away a tear] First of all, sir, let me tell you that my heart is breaking for the difficulties you’ve encountered because of America’s foreign adventures, and I honor your sacrifices. It is my fear that this current war in Iraq is creating veterans as scarred as you at a pace unseen in recent memory… (she will continue on this thread for some time) Under my administration, torture will never be used in any circumstances. I am not some renegade former prosecutor who likes to beat suspects or a Mormon weirdo whose faith permits who-knows-what. I will once again give America moral standing with Europe and other nations in the world.
[Average-looking 18 to 45 year-old man without wedding ring]: The biggest concern I have today is the upswing of terrorism and attacks on our country, both at home and abroad. In the past it has been said that Democrats are ‘softer’ on terrorism than Republicans, but I’m not sure that’s correct. Can you please expand on your exemplary record with some specific ideas on how you might continue to safeguard this country from future terrorist attacks?
[Hillary will nod sagely] I get this question a lot, particularly from people your age, who are wondering about an unsettled future. I can assure you that my administration will use any means necessary, and I mean any, in order to find, interrogate, and stop any and all threats against us and our allies. No option will be taken off the table, ever, when it comes to thwarting those who would strike against innocents and children. Of that you can be sure!
(Hillary will pump fists to enthusiastic applause; SFX can produce applause from noise truck if necessary)
IF BILL IS PRESENT DO NOT USE NEXT QUESTION
[Blue-eyed pot-bellied man with trucker cap and big nose]: Some time ago, I cheated on my wife with a woman of low repute. She ended up divorcing me. Do you think that was wrong?
[Hillary will take a moment, pain etched on her face to portray her agony at this piercing and out-of-bounds personal question] I really think it’s offensive to bring that sort of thing up. You must be a John Edwards plant, because I’ve received that exact same question at three other town hall meetings.
- Flags must NOT be present behind Mrs. Clinton
- Seat monitors and row captains must ensure that Mrs. Clinton knows who to call on and that there is no “switching” to replace the above questions
- Unauthorized photographers should be “neutralized” in a threatening but legal manner, as well as all non-approved reporters (reporter list available from Minister of Informational Tyranny)
- Bloggers (a.k.a. electronic cockroaches) will not be permitted to live-blog any of these events. If you see a blogger with a computer notify the Electronic Jamming Officer immediately.
- Failure to adhere to regulations may be hazardous to your job security and personal future, so do not lose this list or be caught during this operation.