“I Can Be President”: Fake Signs at the Clinton Campaign?

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


clinton_signs.jpg

You see some weird things on the campaign trail. The other day, I was walking through a Holiday Inn when I stumbled upon Bill Richardson and John Edwards working out in the same exercise room, no more than ten feet apart, staring straight ahead and not speaking. Talk about a “Welcome to Iowa” moment.

Another thing I’ve seen, and this is probably unique to Iowa, not campaign trails everywhere, is roadkill. I don’t mean that in any figurative sense. I don’t mean the best intentions of the Founding Fathers have been turned into roadkill by the vulgarity and corruption of modern American politics. I mean dead animals with their carcasses on the shoulder and their blood splattered all over the highway. Never have I seen so many dead animals, nor dead animals so large, nor so much blood on the road. It’s like someone is playing a game of Grand Theft Auto on Iowa’s highway system.

How’s that for insightful political commentary?

But today at a Hillary Clinton campaign stop (I’ve got an article on my experiences with the Clinton campaign coming out tomorrow), I saw something that might take the cake. The Clinton campaign has pre-made signs that have the words “I Can Be President” written on them in a sloppy, childlike script. The signs are all written with red and blue paint, and all of them appear to be painted in the same hand. At today’s event in a weird fake barn, I saw a staffer holding one, a woman in the audience holding one, and two more sitting along the wall.

My suspicion is that the signs are made by the campaign staff and are intended to be handed out to adorable five-year-old girls who then sit in the crowd or behind the senator during events, to make sure the networks get a camerafull of the hope Clinton’s campaign inspires in young girls across America. The signs may be made to look childlike so it appears supporters brought the signs from home. Except when no young girls show up to your event (as none did today), you’re stuck with pre-made signs sitting along the wall.

Political reporters are so ho-hum about the artifice of campaigns that not one seemed to care or even notice.

The one sign that made it’s way into the hands of an audience member is visible in the photo above. The senator’s head is the white dot in the middle of the shot.

WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

Wow.

And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

About that: It’s unfathomably hard in the news business right now, and we came up about $28,000 short during our recent fall fundraising campaign. We simply have to make that up soon to avoid falling further behind than can be made up for, or needing to somehow trim $1 million from our budget, like happened last year.

If you can, please support the reporting you get from Mother Jones—that exists to make a difference, not a profit—with a donation of any amount today. We need more donations than normal to come in from this specific blurb to help close our funding gap before it gets any bigger.

payment methods

WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

Wow.

And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

About that: It’s unfathomably hard in the news business right now, and we came up about $28,000 short during our recent fall fundraising campaign. We simply have to make that up soon to avoid falling further behind than can be made up for, or needing to somehow trim $1 million from our budget, like happened last year.

If you can, please support the reporting you get from Mother Jones—that exists to make a difference, not a profit—with a donation of any amount today. We need more donations than normal to come in from this specific blurb to help close our funding gap before it gets any bigger.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate