POLITICS
03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Clinton's Planted Question...In 1999

Three days after Hillary Clinton's campaign was forced to admit it had planted a question at an Iowa campaign event, an eagle-eyed tipster noted that this wasn't the first time the former First Lady's camp arranged for a friendly voice to lob a softball question.

In announcing her Senate run in 1999, MSNBC reported that "responding to a planted question at a Teachers Union event [Clinton] made it clear she is in the race for the US Senate."

Clinton's aides reacted to the news of the most recent rigged question by saying "this is not standard policy and will not be repeated again."

Below is the transcript from the 1999 broadcast:

ANNOUNCER: From NBC News, this is THE NEWS WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS.

WILLIAMS: Good evening.

We have a lot to tell you about tonight, beginning with what had become a whisper campaign of late, and it went like this: After what turned into a somewhat disastrous trip to the Middle East and with polls showing she should not run, Hillary Rodham Clinton just might pull out of the race for Senate from New York. Well, today, the first lady, responding to a planted question at a Teachers Union event made it clear she is in the race for the US Senate.

The aggressive Yale-educated lawyer is most certainly in for the fight of her life. But today was about looking ahead to all that she says she plans to do for New York and its residents. Part of today's announcement, however, was somewhat overlooked and that is, the first lady will soon begin living apart from the president. The White House will be without a first lady, while the president's wife moves to New York and runs for office. She does so without the blessing of some New York Democrats. We'll hear from one in just a moment.

First here tonight, NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell on the woman who says she's in it to win it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): Brian, today's events were as carefully choreographed as the New York City Ballet.

(voice-over): Under pressure to either get in or get out, Hillary Clinton finally makes it official by answering a prearranged question from a friendly union leader.

QUESTION: So, is it yes, or is it no?

HILLARY CLINTON, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: I believe that if we work together, we really can make a difference for the children and families of New York. So the answer is yes, I intend to run.

-MSNBC, November 23, 1999, THE NEWS WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS