Tuesday, October 10, 2006
The Foley Pushback?
One of the stories going around Democrat Party circles is that party operatives like Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and American Family Voices weren't quite ready for primetime with the opposition research materials they had gathered for the 2006 election cycle.
According to one political consultant with ties to the DNC and other party organizations, "I'm hearing the Foley story wasn't supposed to drop until about ten days out of the election. It was supposed the coup de grace, not the first shot."
So why the rush? According to another DNC operative: bad polling numbers across the country. "Bush's national security speeches were getting traction beyond the base, gas prices were dropping, economic outlook surveys were positive. We were seeing bad Democratic numbers in Missouri, Michigan, Washington, Arizona, Florida Pennsylvania, even parts of New York," says the operative. "A month before, we were looking at launching an offensive against Republicans who according to polling barely held a five-seat majority if the election were to be held at the end of August. That was doable for Democrats from September 1 to November 7. But by mid-September, Republicans were back to having held seats for a 15-seat majority. In the Senate, it looked like a wash. We held seats in Florida, Nebraska, picked up seats in Pennsylvania, but that that was about it. They were holding in Missouri and possibly within reach of Maryland and Washington. We were looking at a disaster in the making."
So how to remedy? "You pull out the bright shiny things that distract the average American voter away from the issues we all know they care about -- national security, anti-terrorism -- and focus on the ugly: Foley and Iraq."
Sorry, call me cynical when I say that I just can't buy this story (aside from the fact that it begins with the annoying conceit of some conservatives to call the opposition the "Democrat Party")
For one thing, it doesn't "sound" right, i.e., the "voice" of the alleged Democrat activists "quoted" off the record doesn't sound like any Democrat that I've ever met (and you meet quite a few in New York). I can't imagine any "DNC operative" who would feel so relaxed to say that the entire Democratic campaign strategy was falling apart in mid-September and the Democrats had to "go nuclear" with the Foley stuff prematurely. If anything, that sounds like a Republican spinning the way the GOP strategy was supposedly going before the Foley mess stopped any "momentum."
Secondly, this phrase -- "You pull out the bright shiny things that distract the average American voter away from the issues we all know they care about -- national security, anti-terrorism -- and focus on the ugly: Foley and Iraq" -- also sounds completely phony. Seriously, can anyone imagine a partisan Democrat "consultant" saying about the "average American voter" that the issues that "we all know they care about" are "national security, "anti-terrorism"? Again, we're talking about a Democrat analyzing the electorate from his perspective.
The Foley matter? Yeah, they might call it "ugly." But Iraq? That's only been the major talking point for Democrats all year long; a Democrat isn't going to say bringing that up is "ugly."
Besides, dumping this on the CREW people seems odd, given that a The Hill newspaper last week reported that a Republican was the source of the e-mails back in July.
The Spectator's piece reads exactly like the strategy Republicans want to use to fight back on Foley, turn it away from the facts of the case and into a convoluted Democratic dirty trick. As today's Washington Post said: "GOP officials are urging lawmakers to focus exclusively on local issues and leave it to party leaders to mitigate the Foley controversy by accusing Democrats of trying to politicize it." (Emphasis added).
We are in the final four weeks of a major off-year election. One should take just about every political story coming out with at least a pound of salt. And Allah Pundit agrees with me -- and reminds folks of an earlier Prowler "exclusive."
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