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Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Bush's War Room

Jim Rutenberg has a sympathetic look at the BC04 staffers whose job is to slime Kerry in the press. The Times got to observe the slimers in action from their Arlington office on Monday, and somehow the Bushies got access to Kerry's remarks at an event that day:

None of the networks were carrying Mr. Kerry's entire speech to a group of financial donors, mostly women, in Boston that day. But Mr. Bush's operatives had somehow arranged for their own audio feed, they refused to say how, and were listening intently, ready to pounce on any opening for attack.

How did they manage this? Do they have some sort of unauthorized listening device in the venue where Kerry was speaking? This sounds quite fishy.

The critique that comes out of the event is that the Bushies claimed Kerry said he was "proud" of voting against the $87 billion Iraq war appropriation. Rutenberg notes how the slime staff managed to push this story effectively enough to get the line mentioned in lots of print and TV reports, but he never gives the full context of the quote from Kerry so that we can effectively judge what Kerry was actually talking about. I'm guessing the reporters mostly ran with the BC04 line on it too, which is rather problematic.

My displeasure at this was somewhat mitigated by the humor in that Bush's campaign is modeling itself after Bill Clinton's.