January 7, 2007

Kerry's '04 campaign "political malpractice"

I have to admit a bit of guilty amusement when I read that former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe described John Kerry's failed 2004 presidential campaign as, "one of the biggest acts of political malpractice in the history of American politics."

In his memoir, McAuliffe also described the Kerry campaign as, "...gun-shy, distracted and incompetent." Can't say as I'd disagree too much.

In "What a Party! My Life Among Democrats: Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators and Other Wild Animals," McAuliffe says he feels that the Kerry campaign's biggest mistakes was sitting back and allowing Bush to smear his war record and everything about him without firing back.
McAuliffe said Kerry's camp was so afraid of offending swing voters that it didn't defend his record or criticize Bush. He said he was muzzled by Kerry's aides from assailing Bush's military record.

He said the campaign also ordered speeches at the Democratic National Convention to be scrubbed of any mention of Bush's name or his record -- although McAuliffe privately encouraged firebrand Al Sharpton to go ahead with his attacks on the president in his crowd-pleasing speech.

"I thought the decision of the Kerry campaign to back off any real criticism of Bush was one of the biggest acts of political malpractice in the history of American politics," he said.
Meanwhile, Republicans went on a sharp tirade against Kerry at their convention. But when Bush said in an interview on the first day that he didn't think the U.S. could win the war on terror, Kerry did not respond. The Massachusetts senator was windsurfing off Nantucket, unaware of the president's comments.

McAuliffe said Kerry later told him that was one of the biggest mistakes of his campaign. "I should have gotten off the island," McAuliffe quotes Kerry as saying.

McAuliffe said he was "flabbergasted" to learn after the election that Kerry had $15 million left that he could have spent in the final push. "It was gross incompetence to hoard that money when the race was bound to be so close," McAuliffe said.

McAuliffe said Republicans told him they were shocked that Kerry just took the attacks on his military record, but also overjoyed. He said Bush called President Clinton while he was recovering from his heart attack in September 2004 and said, "The Kerry campaign is the most inept group I have ever seen in politics. Don't let them ruin your reputation."

He said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., asked him why Kerry wasn't fighting back more. "My guy (Bush) is no great shakes, but your guy (Kerry) looks like a wimp," McAuliffe quotes McCain as saying.

Kerry's former running mate, John Edwards, also was frustrated with the campaign, according to McAuliffe. McAuliffe said Edwards was angered that the campaign wouldn't let him go after Bush, but Kerry disputed Edwards' claim and said he was frustrated his vice presidential pick wasn't campaigning harder.
I agree 100% with McAuliffe and expressed my frustration with the Kerry campaign for the exact thing at the time.

It's tough to win an election against the likes of Karl Rove when you don't even know how to fight.


At 1/07/2007 6:16 PM, Blogger diehard said...

I guess that the mid-term congressinal and gurbernertorial races were proof of that.
Sleazy attacks on Chet Culver and Bruce Braley were not as effective because the Democrats fought back.
That cheap cowardly Karl Rove stuff didn't work this time!
A good sign!

At 1/08/2007 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the Republicans were right about Kerry's war record - and aggressively debating the issue would have only brought more light on the subject...

I believe that not responding aggressively kept Kerry in the game. As the man has shown in comments from the 1970's, 2004 and recently - he has contempt for the military , and I suspect that the claims of the Swift-boat Veterans were likely quite accurate.

At 1/08/2007 8:18 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

You're obviously one of the Kool-aid drinkers.

How can you cling to notions that have been so thorougly debunked and shown to be lies? There's a mountain of evidence that the swiftboat liars were nothing but lies, starting with the fact that most of the creeps coming out with accusations never even SERVED with Kerry on his boat and were no where around the incident in question.
Every single guy on Kerry's crew with the exception of one clearly and 100% vouched that all of Kerry's record was factual and that things happened exactly as it was reported.

The rest was pure, unadultrated bullshit, and has been proven so long ago. Yet you STILL cling to it? Amazing.

There couldn't possibly be anything about Kerry's war record that could even approach the "contempt" for the military shown by the cowardly rich boy George W. Bush, who was put in the "Champagne Squadron" through daddy's connnections and got to have thousands of tax dollars spent to allow him to play around learing how to fly obsolete jets so he could try to be like his Dad.

But he was a drunken coke-head who bailed out before his duty was over, refused to show up for a required physical,and just decided to blow off a year of his committment to work on a Republican's campaign and party instead.

Tens of thousands of dollars of reward money has been offered to anyone who can come forward and say that they saw Bush serve during the time he was obligated to be serving. No one has.

And you think Kerry had some "contempt" for the military?

You're just amazing! I guess sending over 3000 of them to their needless deaths shows great respect for the military?

Or would a guy who VOLUNTEERED for combat, served honorably and heroically, then returned to do his patriotic duty to oppose a policy he felt was resulting in needless deaths, a views which has long since been verified by history, is somehow a traitor who has "contempt" for the military?

Wow! Any tin-horn dictator in history would just LOVE folks like you. You'll believe ANYTHING.

At 1/08/2007 11:57 AM, Blogger Carl Nyberg said...

Wasn't McAuliffe sorta a mamsy-pamsy centrist who deferred to the opinions of big donors when he chaired the Dems?

I see there being an institutional problem where the people in power in the Dem Party play-it-safe to a fault.

At 1/08/2007 2:36 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I agree Carl. As a rule, people follow leaders, not followers.

The Dems have been hamstrung and paralyzed by both the over-influence of consultants and putting power ahead of principle.

The right wing minority didn't take over the government by being wish-washy in their views.

The seized power and in doing so, got a lot of otherwise moderate people convinced that they too, shared their extreme views.

It's a testiment to the fact that many people, especially those prone to sucking up to authoritarian style leaders, gravitate towards people who have strong beliefs and show some spine in sticking to them.

I've had long running battles here with those who advocate a more concilliatory right leaning agenda as the way to go for the Dems for the same reason.

I maintain that even what might seem at the moment like a sharp move to the left would in actuality only bring the country back to the traditional center.

At 1/08/2007 2:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea, Dope, you have got all the answers.

Kerry LOVES the military, has never said anything but praises for the military...and George Bush created 9-11. I understand.

my apologies for ever having doubted your truth.

At 1/08/2007 4:37 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Typical idiot... nothing to refute what I say, just moronic comments and straw man arguments which no one ever said.

Some people just ain't too snappy.

At 1/09/2007 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on Dope, you believe that Kerry was a heroic soldier -= how on earth is one to refute that nonsense?

You say that the Swiftboat Veterans never served with Kerry. I say that this is a lie.

We can play 'he said, she said' forever and get no where. I stated my case, you stated yours - why do you wish to argue endlessly?

Come on, Kerry's latest remarks, when put together with all his other remarks (over 30+ years) shows that the man is anti-military. He joined the service because that is what he had to do, given his political aspirations back then (and he got out as quickly as he could).

Again, I am sorry...I am wrong, you are right. Taking purple hearts for scrapes is indeed heroic. Yes, you play the apologist for Kerry (a choice every bit as solid as the internet-inventing Gore)!

At 1/09/2007 6:29 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Evidently some people aren't concerned with established facts and choose to believe lies told to them by discredited hacks. That's your choice.

But I'd challenge you to produce ONE instance which shows in any way, shape, or form, that Kerry has "contempt" (nice right wing spin) for the military, or ever has.

The idea is beyond stupid, contradicted by obvious facts, and only a completely ignorant and uninformed wing-nut would still cling to the long-discredited bullshit you apparently do.

Sad, really.

I suppose Clinton has a black love child and John McCain is insane too? After all, he himself condemned the swift-lies as just that, disgusting lies.

It's not, you say, I say. It's fact vs. manufactured lies and dishonest spin. Learn the difference.

At 1/10/2007 8:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on, just last month, Kerry stated that men and women in the military are stupid.

I know, I know...he said that it was a joke. And if you believe that, I understand why you believe as you do.

At 1/10/2007 8:23 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

You're simply too stupid for discussion.

If you seriously believe that someone like Kerry, who's as stiff and controlled as any human on earth, would publically call the military stupid, then you're too stupid for discussion.

The fact is, as everyone but the most gullible realize, that Kerry meant nothing of the sort. He meant to take a shot at Bush, and screwed up.
His original printed remarks were distributed immediately afterwards and they clearly show that he simply omitted two words, "like Bush."

He probably felt at the time that his meaning was clear and he didn't need to say those two words. The audience likely knew exactly what he meant.

But the right wing lie machine quickly saw a chance to take things out of context and suggest Kerry was insulting troops who are serving in Iraq. (the very idea is too far-fetched for any smart person to even consider, but for dumb-asses, I guess they'll buy anything)

Kerry served in combat, unlike Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, 99% of this administration who never served at all.

If you are using something that even Republicans recognized was a cheap smear attempt as your "proof" that Kerry has "contempt" for the military, then seriously, you're too stupid and gulilble to talk to.

No one can rationally debate someone who believes in fairy tales.

The era when right wing lies were widely reported so that chumps and rubes like yourself could soak them up uncritically is over. Reality is making a comeback and you'll be left behind with holocast deniers and those who think the moon landing was shot on a Hollywood set.

Wake up and pull your head out.

NO rational person who stops to think would ever believe that John Kerry, combat vet with presidential ambitions, stood on a stage and said that all active duty soldiers in Iraq were "stupid".

No one with a brain would swallow that. Yet apparently you not only did at the time, but you still cling to it, as you do every other long debunked stupid idea that has been put out.

I'm sure there's sites out there where you can find other's like yourself. Try a holocast denier site or something. Or maybe you can get on to how the Mexicans or Muslims or your favorite boogie-man are on the verge of taking over America.

You'll fit right in.


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