This article was first published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, April 17, 2015:
Astroturfing is defined simply as a more sophisticated branch of blatant propaganda where incidents are conjured to appear as something they are not. According to Public Relations Wiki, “The goal of such a campaign is to disguise the efforts of a political … entity as an independent public reaction….”
Hillary Clinton’s new low-key run for the presidency in Iowa is designed to neutralize what remains of Iowans’ cavernous distrust of her when she tried to win the caucus back in 2008. Her efforts, punctuated by a condescending attitude and an imperial presence, blew up in her face. She not only finished behind an unknown senator from Illinois, but behind that paragon of virtue himself, then-Senator from North Carolina, John Edwards.
Nearly all of the kept media in the US fell for it. CNN fawned over the “new” Hillary, claiming that her new “no-frills” campaign revealed the new softer, gentler, more likeable Hillary:
Instead, Clinton is taking her first official steps on what she hopes is the road to the White House surrounded by starter motors and tools in a tiny auto repair shop and a low slung community college building in far eastern Iowa.
When she just happened to wander into a coffee shop, she engaged some students who just happened to be sitting there, allowing them to hear the latest theme of her campaign:
I’m running for president because I think that Americans and their families need a champion, and I want to be this champion.
I want to stand up and fight for people so that they cannot just get by, but they [can] get ahead and they can stay ahead.
Every step of which was carefully planned in advance. A reporter for the London tabloid, the Daily Mail, talked to one of those “students,” Austin Bird, who blew the whistle on the whole business. Bird, an intern who served with Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign in Iowa, got a call from Troy Price, Bill Clinton’s former Iowa political director, asking him if he would like to sit down for coffee and discuss political strategy. When Bird arrived for the meeting, he was joined by Carter Bell, president of the University of Iowa’s College Democrats, and Sara Sedlacek who works for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.
Bird told the reporter from the Daily Mail:
What happened is, we were just asked to be there by Troy. We were asked to come to a meeting with Troy, the three of us, at the Village Inn.
It was supposed to be a strategy meeting, to get our thoughts about issues. But then, all of a sudden, he says, “Hey, we have Secretary Clinton coming in. Would you like to meet her?”
Troy then drove the three over to a coffee house where Clinton was going to be visiting with some regular Iowa common folk. Said Bird:
We got in a car – Troy’s car – and we went up to the coffee house, and we sat at a table, and then Hillary just came up and talked with us.
So much for spontaneous. So much for transparency. So much for being forthright and disingenuous.
CNN went along with the charade and quoted Clinton as she “conversed” with the “students,” practicing on them her new campaign theme: “Everyday Americans.”
All were vacuous words, signifying nothing, but giving the impression of someone truly interested in the challenges of students trying to pay for college, working mothers trying to make ends meet while raising their kids, etc., etc.
One Clinton campaign advisor explained that it was all for show:
[Her Iowa visits are] a far cry from the 112-nation odyssey which encompassed some of the world’s most exotic spots when Clinton was secretary of state. It’s also a million miles away from the plush lifestyle of corporate jets [she arrived at the coffee shop in a van] and presidential suites that cushioned her on the corporate speaking circuit.
The real campaign will start after her image has been softened in Iowa, according to the Clinton insider: “There will be time later for bigger events … in this first period we are focused on allowing Hillary to have these one-on-one conversations and hear from Iowans from all parts of the state.”
Provided, of course, that those Iowans are carefully chosen, pre-selected, die-hard, committed activists already in the Clinton camp.
If the propaganda is to be believed, Hillary, for the first time in her life, truly has the best interests of American citizens and their families at heart. She has changed her spots. She is no longer the obsessively power-hungry, self-seeking politician that she has portrayed for years.
Thanks to that reporter from the Daily Mail, however, many are asking the obvious question: Is there anything she touches that isn’t manipulated for effect?