Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Who's doing Kerry's oppo-research, for chrissakes?

Via CJR's Campaign Desk, the Seattle PI has a story focusing on a long-forgotten speach by Dick Cheney in 1991 that is eerily prescient in describing conditions in today's Iraq.

"I would guess if we had gone in there, I would still have forces in Baghdad today, we'd be running the country. We would not have been able to get everybody out and bring everybody home," Cheney said, 18 months after the [Gulf] war ended.

Campaign Desk asks the obvious question, why hasn't the Kerry campaign unearthed this (after all, it was no secret that Cheney aggressively defended the Bush I decision not to go to Baghdad during the Gulf War), and used this remarkable flip-flop against Bucheney?

One germane question neither Pope nor Connelly addresses: Why didn't the Kerry campaign sniff out the speech on its own sometime over the past nine months? And -- even more relevant -- why did we have to wait until September 29 for a reporter with a few minutes of down time to search "Cheney AND Iraq AND [your city here]."

Who knows what might pop up?

With just over a month to go, can the Kerry organization get their game together? I mean, the GOP's oppo-research (benefitting, of course, from a long Kerry career in the Senate and a long list of Yankee defamers to call upon for material) and rapid-response teams have been relentless, brutal, and effective. Kerry's not so.

An example. Listening to AirAmerica radio this afternoon, moments after Franken was talking about Bush's claim yesterday, that the "Taliban were no longer in existence." A Bush supporter was on the phone within minutes, arguing that Franken took the quote out of context, that Bush meant the Taliban were no longer "operationally in existence." A strange claim in itself, but it does what the GOP has been doing so well, muddying the waters.

Do you think Kerry supporters are calling (literally) Rush on his bullshit? I doubt it (yes, yes, I know, Rush would be far less courteous to a liberal caller).

It will be interesting to watch the post-debate, and who fields the loudest spinners.


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