The Campaign Spot

No Pictures Allowed at Hillary Clinton’s $200K Speech

From the final Morning Jolt of the week:

No Pictures, Please, She’s Just Hillary Clinton.

There’s a certain authoritarianism that seems to circulate in the air around certain political figures. From the Miami Herald:

Hillary Clinton quietly slipped into Miami on Thursday to address a travel agents convention in a speech where the former secretary of state said little about troubles abroad or the future ambitions of the likely presidential-race frontrunner.

Clinton slipped a question about what it would take for the United States to elect its first female leader, Clinton was quick with a joke. 

“Well, it’ll take a crazy person,” she said, drawing laughs from the crowd at the American Society of Travel Agents’ global convention. 

Though ostensibly not political, Clinton’s address had the makings of an introductory campaign speech. Campaigns are often highly controlled events, but the ASTA conference at Hyatt Regency Miami kicked it up a notch.

At one point, a member of the audience, Andrew Rothberg, had his Galaxy Note II smartphone taken from him by security, which removed his picture of Clinton onstage and then gave his device back in front of a Miami Herald reporter in the auditorium stands.

“It’s crazy,” Rothberg said.

“That’s American politics,” said a docent, one of a handful of hotel security and volunteers who roamed the aisles looking for people taking pictures or making recordings. None was allowed.

“I wanted to take pictures for my girls; I have four girls,” Rothberg, who was writing a piece about the conference for Boca Raton-based Grey Matters Magazine, told the Miami Herald. “I think Hillary Clinton who is probably running for president in 2016 would want all the publicity she could get and I think it’s kind of ironic they would take the camera away.”

When an organization spends a lot of money to bring in a speaker, they usually enjoy a great deal of power about how the event proceeds — on the record, off the record, etc. I can understand their insistence that no one else record the event; they’re paying for the performance, so to speak, and they tend to see the speech and the rest of the program as their material. (It’s like the guys who used to sneak their camcorders into movie theaters.)

Hillary Clinton’s speeches, of course, earn her $200,000 each.

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