Campaigning on the Cutting Edge
Chelsea greets mom and hosts electronic town hall via satellite
At Senator Hillary Clinton's "Virtual Town Hall" in Hartford, Connecticut, host Chelsea Clinton made a special point to pose with Scholastic Kid Reporter Jack Greenberg. (Photo: Courtesy of Jack Greenberg)
A new form of campaigning is here. On February 4, 2008, in a final effort to get her message out to undecided primary voters, Hillary Clinton held a “Virtual Town Hall meeting.” The campaign event was aired on the Hallmark channel and could be viewed online.
The Democratic front-runner fielded questions live, via satellite, from 21 locations around the nation. Questions ranged from the economy and education, to the Iraq war and rail transportation.
This Scholastic Reporter experienced this new form of campaigning firsthand at the Hartford, Connecticut, venue, and the event was hosted by Chelsea Clinton. Former President Bill Clinton hosted a similar event in San Francisco. Former classmates of Sen. Clinton hosted the town hall event in her hometown of Park Ridge, Illinois. Scholastic News was there, too.
Some 50,000 questions were submitted via the Internet and entered into a contest. The contest winner was 11-year-old Leah from West Hartford, Connecticut. Her question, asked live from the New York City audience, was: “What type of country do you want my generation to inherit?”
“That is the most important question I can be asked because sometimes politicians only think about the next election,” Clinton said. "But we really need to be thinking about the next generation."
Considering Chelsea’s political heritage, Scholastic News asked Philippe Reines, spokesman and senior Adviser to the Clinton campaign, if the Clintons' daughter was likely to follow in her parents’ footsteps and enter politics.
“She has said that is not in her future,” Reines said. “She’s been taught by her parents to be a good citizen, serving now by participating and speaking to people about the election, the most important election of her lifetime. That’s the extent of it (her career in politics) now.”
As hostess for the Connecticut event, Chelsea was both poised and emotional. She teared up as she greeted her mother by satellite before introducing Leah to ask her question. She probably hasn’t seen her mother lately since she and father Bill have been campaigning across country at different events. At least they can connect electronically during the height of the campaign!
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Scholastic Kid Reporters are on the campaign trail. Keep up with the latest election news in this special report.
Jack Greenberg is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.