Reporters outside a Colorado fundraiser for Hillary Clinton were unable to listen in on her remarks because staffers sent static noise their way. Judges use static noise machines at times during trials when they want to keep the jury from hearing their conversations with the lawyers. However, I’ve never before heard of such devices being employed by political candidates.
The event in question was, to be sure, a private fundraising effort. I sympathize with candidates who want to address donors privately.
Clinton could have done so by speaking inside the house of the host, Gov. John Hickenlooper, and excluding the press. She chose, however, to speak outside where, apparently, her remarks could be overheard without crashing the event.
Having made that choice, it was foolish of Team Clinton to use a static noise machine. It just fuels the perception that (1) she talks one way to rich people and another way to ordinary folk, (2) she’s secretive, and (3) she’s ridiculous. All three perceptions, by the way, are accurate, as her unwillingness to release transcripts of her speeches to fat cats and her use of private email to conduct official State Department business attest.
With Clinton once again vulnerable to the question “what is she hiding?” Bernie Sanders’ campaign naturally seized upon this story. It promptly sent an email to supporters the subject line of which was “Wild story from Clinton fundraiser last night.” Sanders holds private fundraisers but his campaign says it permits some press coverage.
I don’t know how much Clinton raised at her Colorado fundraiser, the top donation level for which was $27,000 in bundled contributions. Whatever the amount, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sanders raises as much or more off of his email deriding the Countess of Chappaqua’s use of static.