Thursday, March 18, 2004

United They'll Stand

Hesiod has a few comments about the Kerry campaign. But, let me add some additional points.

The Democrats have about 250 members of Congress. They have numerous official and non-official allies. They need to figure out how to use them to run this campaign in the 24/7 news cycle in a media landscape which is much more fractured than it was back in 1992. At any point in time, they need to have dozens of people ready to fan out to every possible media outlet and perform the inverse judo flip any time the Bush machine turns on the slime. There should be a small army, including a couple top generals, ready to lend their voice on any subject at any time. They should be briefed and prepped with the latest talking points, and they should be out there screaming them at every opportunity.

Richard Holbrooke shows us how it's done:

BLITZER: Ambassador Holbrooke, thanks very much for joining us. A little revised version of what John Kerry said. He said, "I've met more leaders who can't go out and say it all publicly, but boy, they look at you and say, you got to win. This you got to beat this guy, we need a new policy, things like that." So there is enormous energy out there. The president today said, if he makes an accusation, he has a responsibility to back it up. What do you say?

RICHARD HOLBROOKE, FRM. U.S. AMB. TO U.N.: John Kerry committed an unpardonable crime in Washington: he spoketh the truth. What he said is self-evidently true. There's a new poll out today by the Pew Institute, a worldwide pool, which shows massive and growing anti-Americanism around the world. Now American voters need to make up their own mind who they prefer, George W. Bush or John Kerry. But they also ought to know this administration is isolating us in the world, weakening us. Recent events in Spain, this election are another example.

John Kerry said something everybody knows is true. And, Wolf, you know it's true. And why don't I say just one other thing. Why don't you, instead of staging a silly he said/he said between the White House, which is throwing all this mud at John Kerry after he said something true. Why don't you poll your foreign correspondents on CNN. And ask them who the population and leaderships in the world would prefer to see elected? Very simple."

Kerry's "foreign leader" comment, which he may not have even made, is in the universe inhabited by sane people about as controversial as claiming water is wet. Everybody knows it. Every journalist who has pushed this story knows it. Every person in government knows it. It's only a story because the media keeps reporting it as if it were scandalous. People hear "Kerry...controversy..." over and over again and they asssume that where there's smoke there must be fire, even though there is no story at all.

But, if the Dems can't get their media operation in place they're going to have big troubles. This nonstory shouldn't have played over multiple news cycles. Learn to throw it back in their faces.