CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Chatter on the blogosphere today suggests that the woman in the Hillary Clinton cap was a fake Clinton backer who was planted to question Arizona Sen. John McCain at his Xavier University rally in Cincinnati. The hat was a device meant to signal McCain so he could spot her in the audience. But the woman, Rosemary Meinders, really was a Clinton supporter and donated $1,706 to Hillary's unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2008. Meinders is a retired City of Cincinnati worker who is known in the political community. She is registered as a Democrat. So the suggestion of political trickery is an urban legend.
Some of the talk that she was a plant apparently is fueled by skepticism over the McCain camp's efforts to draw in disaffected female voters. The Republican presidential candidate has been making a bid for estranged Clintonistas who can't stand Barack Obama. The existence of that sentiment surfaced in Jamie Farnsworth's CBS News piece about the McCain town hall at Xavier, which noted a poll showing half of Hillary's voters are still shopping for a new candidate. And the claim the woman in the navy blue Hillary cap at Xavier was planted also surfaced in the comment thread under the story:
"The woman was a plant. McCaine (sic) has a 'Hillary supporter' at every rally. All his town halls are a rigged audience and softball questions from his supporters. The reporter really needs to learn how to research a topic. Jamie Farnsworth, you fail."
The 6:31 PM commenter was wrong. Meinders was not a plant. And she is still undecided after hearing McCain. Meinders told the Columbus Dispatch that she remains a voter looking for a candidate.