The kick-off of Hillary Clinton's Hard Choices tour at the Union Square Barnes & Noble caused a big scene on Tuesday. Over a thousand people waited in line to get their books signed by the author and very likely presidential candidate, and hundreds of journalists gathered inside the bookstore to cover the event.
Things got off to a bad start almost right away, when Barnes & Noble staffers told the press that they were only allowed to stay for the first 20 minutes of Clinton's appearance. And, according to Barnes & Noble corporate communications director Carolyn Brown, "No questions: She's not taking any questions."
Twitter was soon filled with complaints:
Media mutiny about to ensue at Barnes and Noble as one store official for store says all media only allowed to watch 20 mins of 2-hour event— Maggie Haberman (@maggiepolitico) June 10, 2014
This Barnes & Noble sucks, they closed down the entire bio section for Bob Saget once and it didn't disrupt event. http://t.co/kN2km1PHSd— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) June 10, 2014
Secret Service: "Anyone in this press pen ... you need to leave to go to the bathroom or something you're not going to be allowed back in."— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) June 10, 2014
Meanwhile, outside, the civilians stood around patiently. (Someone even did some chalk art!)
And Clinton's bus demonstrated that her campaign — or publicists, whatever — continues to understand the value of a decent meme:
In the end, Clinton stuck around for three hours (an hour longer than planned) and, true to the Barnes & Noble people's word, declined to answer any questions from reporters. But don't worry, there will be plenty of time for that over the course of the next (long) year-and-a-half.