SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO -– In what has become a well-known election day routine, Hillary Clinton made a local retail stop in hopes of ginning up press coverage as voters head to the polls. But unlike previous Election Day visits, there was no press conference and her visit lasted less than 10 minutes.
Early this morning, the press assembled at a local bakery to await Clinton, who was already running late. When she arrived, she breezed into the shop greeting customers in her usual fashion. The press was kept a good distance away from Clinton, constantly asked by her advance staff to give her "another 10 or 15 feet."
Clinton's visit was so quick, in fact, that she neglected to shake hands with several people seated at tables that were positioned behind the press.
Election Day visits are meant, mainly, for the press as it offers us an opportunity to have fresh pictures of the candidate that day. But it also offers the candidate an opportunity to speak to the press in hopes of getting even more press coverage. But today's hurried visit struck some reporters as interesting, causing many to wonder if Clinton was trying to avoid the press in order to not have to answer questions on the Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee ruling on the disputed delegates of Michigan and Florida.
Many in the press were perched ready to ask Clinton whether she plans to challenge the committee's ruling. No such luck. The press was caught between the awkward fine line of allowing the candidate to shake hands with voters or yelling questions at her from afar. But just as the press geared up to toss Clinton a question, a staffer told Clinton she was late for an interview. And just like that, she was gone.
Clinton will likely spend most of the day doing TV and radio interviews before hosting an election night celebration when the polls close later this evening. But anyone who thinks the close of the polls in Puerto Rico and the unfavorable ruling by the Rules and Bylaws Committee for Clinton brings a close her candidacy, ought to think again. The candidate and the traveling press will board an airplane for an almost 7 hour flight from Puerto Rico to South Dakota in advance of the Tuesday primary there.
The campaign continues.