Republican Mary Fallin's campaign for the governorship of Oklahoma has taken the Palin model of no independent press interaction, and speeches only to supporters, one step further:
[On September 21] the Jim Thorpe Museum was host to the annual President’s Forum, a gathering of University and College Presidents, the Board of Regents, and a handful of other dignitaries and invited guests. Speaking before this distinguished audience were the two candidates for governor, Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins, and Congresswoman Mary Fallin. The format for the event was that Fallin would first deliver remarks, then take questions, and then Askins would do the same.
However, just before she was to begin, Fallin made a strange request of the event organizers; she didn’t want the Lieutenant Governor in the room while she spoke. Nor did she want any of Jari’s staff in the room.
In fact, she even scanned the room for faces that might be unfriendly, to see who else she should have ejected. Apparently she didn’t like the look on [retired] State Senator Mike Morgan’s face, because she told the event organizers she would not take the podium until he had left the room. Senator Morgan was a guest of the event. He was seated at a table enjoying his lunch, until he was unceremoniously asked to gather up his things and leave the room until it became Jari’s turn to address the crowd, at which point he was welcome to re-take his seat.
Are you as creeped out by this as much as I am? Not just the request - the fact that anyone, including a state senator! - would comply. Fallin, meanwhile, has a 26 point lead in the Rasmussen poll. (Hat tip: The Lost Ogle.)