Thursday :: Jan 8, 2004

Dirty Tricks!

by CA Pol Junkie

by CA Pol Junkie

We've got 11 days until the Iowa Caucus, 19 days until the New Hampshire primary, and boy will it be a long wait. There aren't alot of undecided voters left, and the campaigns are desperate to scrape together some momentum to carry over until the polls close. The campaigns have entered the hyperbolic phase, trying to draw attention to themselves and tarnish the opposition. The poor voters of Iowa and New Hampshire better duck, because the tomatoes are flying:

The Dean campaign accuses Kerry and Gephardt of a "dirty trick", harrassing Iowa Dean supporters with automated phone calls to disrupt campaign organizing.

The Clark campaign cries foul over fliers from Dean at a Clark event highlighting Clark's past support of Republicans and pro-war quotes.

Steve Murphy, Gephardt's campaign manager, accuses the Dean campaign of bringing in fake Iowans from out of state to participate in the caucuses. Joe Trippi fires back in rapid response, saying the Gephardt campaign is insulting thousands of idealistic volunteers inspired to participate in politics.

John Norris, Iowa director for Kerry, says that "two out-of-state Dean supporters posing as undecided Iowans had tried to get information about campaign voter calling scripts from a Kerry office in the southeastern town of Creston."

Of course, the media laps it up, but none of the campaign operatives truly takes their own accusations seriously. They want the media coverage, and if one campaign gets it, the rest want attention too. The fliers in the second case and moles in the last are truly tame campaign tactics no doubt used by all the campaigns. The Murphy charge appears serious, but is based not on an actual plot to stack the caucus but rather on the theoretical possibility. Even if all 3,500 out-of-state Dean volunteers crashed the caucus posing as Iowans, it would skew the results by about 3%. Any significant attempt would surely be caught with very negative consequences.

Nixon would scoff at such amateurs, but the campaign managers are having alot of fun with each other and using the media to do it. When the campaign is over, they're going to laugh together over a few beers - to them it's all just a really high stakes game.

CA Pol Junkie :: 9:24 PM :: Comments (8) :: Digg It!