Is There A Good Reason Why Kerry Hasn't Directly Counterattacked Smears?
Former Democratic strategist Phillip James says what needs to be said about the Kerry campaign's lame quick response operation: when you get hit with a negative and false ad by the White House or any of their surrogates, you need to hit back immediately and hard. His Guardian piece points out that threatening lawsuits against the alleged Swift Boat Veterans For Justice group won't cut it. You need to run ads in the same battleground states where they are running their ads.
I agree. The ads need to point out that this group is funded by George W. Bush's campaign backers and funders using the same people who smeared John McCain and his family in 2000, and showing a clip of McCain denouncing the ad and asking the White House to condemn it. And the ad needs to show that the White House has refused. While your at it, point out that none of these guys served with Kerry, and then find a way to slyly point out that George W. Bush wouldn't know about such things from his abandoned National Guard assignment in Alabama.
And then close with the fact that Bush has shown that when you can't win on the issues, you smear your way to victory.
I suspect and hope that the reason Team Kerry isn't responding in force is because they don't want to spend precious money during August swinging at every pitch in the dirt until Bush is using the same $75 million that Kerry is. It makes fiscal sense for Kerry to not fall into the trap of spending his $75 million this early responding to these ads, which I am sure is part of Bush's strategy of having his 527 groups smear Kerry this month. But that doesn't mean that the DNC and our own 527s can't fire back and kneecap these GOP smear groups and call them for what they are.