Monday, July 14, 2014

Democrats Desperately Scouring Republican transcripts & statements, hoping to find extreme, fringe language to spook voters

Democratic candidates, lacking their own merits to defeat their Republican opponents, are now scouring every last transcript of their opponents in search of a comment that can be twisted and portrayed as extreme and fringe, in an effort to spook voters into supporting their candidacies, the AP reported on Monday.
As the nation's midsection has grown more conservative and Republican, Democrats have sometimes had to rest their hopes on well-positioned GOP contenders imploding with their own politically off-key statements.

It worked like a charm for Democrats in 2012 when Republican candidates in Indiana and Missouri blew winnable Senate races after provocative comments on rape...

But with less than four months until the 2014 election, Democrats are still waiting for new bombshells and growing more anxious about the lack of incendiary material as they try to hold enough Senate seats to keep control of the chamber. Party researchers are diligently scrubbing every transcript and public comment for a hint of fringe language that might spook moderate or independent voters...

The best Democrats have come up with so far is Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst's avowed belief in a possible threat to American property rights posed by an obscure global development concept known as Agenda 21. Some... see the concept as the harbinger of a United Nations takeover...

The Iowa Democratic Party has been citing [Ernst's remarks on the matter]... in press releases in hopes of building a case that Ernst's views are outside the mainstream...

For Democrats, the search continues for words that suggest fringe views...

"If it sticks they're delighted and if it doesn't they move on to the next thing," North Carolina Republican Wrenn said.
In the same vein, the AP reported in July of 2012 that that the Obama campaign had been running negative ads against Republican Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, in order "to deflect attention" from the president's failed policies.

From the AP - July 2012:
There was never any doubt that Obama would run hard-hitting ads.

For one, he's proven to be a cut-throat campaigner, having assailed Sen. John McCain on TV four years ago even as he cultivated an image as someone who always played above-board politics.

Democrats long have said Obama's best hopes for re-election may lie with disqualifying Romney...

The president seemed to acknowledge his campaign's gamble in one of his newest TV ads.

"Sometimes politics can seem very small," Obama says, as he speaks reassuringly into the camera.

Obama advisers say they have little choice but to assail Romney in ads, both to raise questions about the former Massachusetts governor... and to deflect attention from the president's stewardship... The campaign's ad spending has totaled about $100 million so far, most of it on negative ads. Democratic independent groups... have kicked in another $20 million for advertising, almost all of it trashing Romney.

To that end, the Obama campaign has sought to make Romney an unacceptable alternative...
I noted at the time that Obama's "tactic of disqualifying his opponents, goes as far back as 1996, albeit Obama, at the time, was able to accomplish this feat without the negative ads."
While running for the Illinois State Senate in 1996, Obama, who had no record to run on, invalidated the voting petition signatures of three of his challengers [because of mere technicalities], which enabled him to run unopposed and to cruise to victory.

Chicago Tribune columnist, John Kass, noted about Obama's 1996 tactic: "That was Chicago politics. Knock out your opposition, challenge their petitions, destroy your enemy, right?... In that first race, [Obama] made sure voters had just one choice."
In October of 2010, ABC News reported:
The Democratic National Committee formally has asked the Pentagon for reams of correspondence between military agencies and nine potential Republican presidential candidates, a clear indication that Democrats are building opposition-research files on specific 2012 contenders even before the midterm elections.

An internal Army e-mail obtained by ABC News indicates that the DNC has filed Freedom of Information Act requests for "any and all records of communication" between Army departments and agencies and each of the nine Republicans -- all of whom are widely mentioned as possible challengers to President Obama. [Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Haley Barbour, Tim Pawlenty, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, John Thune, Mitch Daniels and Bobby Jindal.]

The agencies are asked to respond to the request by this Friday, just four days before Election Day...

The DNC's request is intriguing for its timing as well as for the singling out of nine particular Republicans who are expected to vie for the GOP presidential nomination.

In addition, the FOIA request provides a window into how deeply into potential candidates' pasts opposition researchers are looking, even at this early stage...

According to the memo, the DNC's request asks for "Any and all records of communication (including but not limited to letters, written requests, reports, telephone records, electronic communication, complaints, investigations, violation and memos) between your department (and all divisions and agencies under your jurisdiction)."...
In February of 2009, in a blog post entitled, "'Dirt Digger' Joins Obama's Legal Team", I noted via the Washington Times:
Shauna Daly, a 29-year-old Democratic operative, was named last month to the new job of White House counsel research director. Though she is inside one of the most powerful legal offices in the land, Miss Daly holds no law degree and doesn't list any legal training on her resume.

Her sole experience has been as an opposition researcher for Democratic political campaigns: She helped dig up dirt on rivals, or on her own nominee to prepare for attacks.

Miss Daly has been doing opposition research for Democratic politicians since just after graduation in 2001 from Smith College. ... Before joining the Obama campaign, she was the deputy research director at the Democratic National Committee.
I went on to note:
In 2005, while working as opposition researcher for the DNC, Miss Daily, requested public records from state agencies on at least 11 potential candidates for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, including Mitt Romney, George Allen, Haley Barbour, Sam Brownback, William Frist, Newt Gingrich, Rudy Guiliani, Chuck Hagel, Mike Huckabee, John McCain and George Pataki.

During Sara Palin's run for governor of Alaska in 2006, Miss Daly requested copies of financial disclosure reports and ordinances for Palin's years as mayor.
Bottom line: If you're running for elected office and you don't have any merits to run on, scour the records and transcripts of your opponent and find something that you can twist and portray as being extreme; run negative ads and try to disqualify your opponent; try and spook the voters - and you might ultimately defeat your opponent.

This strategy has worked for Barack Obama in the past, and it might work for you too.

Good luck, enjoy the spook technique, and Happy Halloween...........

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