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Audience Plants

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Hillary Camp Accused of Cruelly Putting a Gay in a Room Full of Republicans


If you watched last night's Republican CNN/YouTube debate, you were probably struck by the awkwardness of the exchange between retired Brigadier General Keith Kerr, who is gay, and the candidates. Kerr's YouTube submission asked about why gays can't openly serve in the military, and after a few answers (including one where Mitt Romney assholicly contradicted his previous statements once again), debate moderator Anderson Cooper brought Kerr out from the audience to see whether he felt satisfied. He didn't (though seeing Romney get booed and look so uncomfortable must have made him a little happy), and combined with audience boos and applause, the whole thing made for some strange political theater. Almost instantaneously, a whole slew of blogs researched Kerr and discovered that he is on the gay-rights steering committee of Hillary Clinton's campaign. Many accused Clinton of inserting a plant into the audience (a common charge these days), which the Clinton camp denies. But it seems to be the viral story of the morning, which has got to make Rudy and Mitt feel better, as their early-debate bickering has been universally panned in the papers. Click above to watch the awkwardness unfold, and be sure to pay close attention to the untold disaster of last night's broadcast: the size of Anderson Cooper's collar. Gay YouTube General a Hillary Plant – So What? [Outside the Beltway]

Totally Impartial Politics Fan to Giuliani: ‘Why Are You So Awesome?’

Remember how much mileage the right got out of Hillary Clinton’s “planted question” flap, when a college student was asked to bring up the candidate’s environment record at a campaign event? Well, it appears Rudy Giuliani has got his own Jeff Gannon–esque superfan in one Richard Florino. The Rudy volunteer (and a co-chairman of his campaign in Windham County, New Hampshire), was called upon to lob the first questions in two back-to-back stops on Giuliani’s bus tour. The first one: “What makes the liberal Democrats so wrong about the threats that this country faces?” Good one! (Or, as Rudy put it: “Very, very interesting analysis.”) The second question, a day later, was a trenchant two-parter about both Democrats’ tax policies and Romney’s flip-flopping. Florino, of course, says he’s not a plant: “Basically,” he told the Daily News, “I just love politics.” Or maybe he just hates hard questions: He is likely the same Richard Florino whose ornery letter to New Hampshire’s Nashua Telegraph shames Hillary for being tough on General Petraeus. He works a Rudy plug into that one, too.