Didn’t Expect Smear to Matter

Kerry Campaign Head Admits Miscalculations:

The campaign manager for Sen. John Kerry’s failed presidential bid said Wednesday she regrets underestimating the impact of an attack advertisement that questioned Kerry’s Vietnam War record.

Mary Beth Cahill … said the Massachusetts senator’s campaign initially thought there would be “no reach” to the ad from Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

[. . .] Cahill said the Swift boat ads show the power of news coverage, particularly cable news stations, which she said amplified the ads by running them repeatedly.

She said it was frustrating that the first ad continued to eat up so much air time even after the central allegations were debunked.

“For me, this was a very big change. The fact that it was disproved and it was still shown every day as part of the (campaign) coverage,” she said.

She – and the Kerry campaign — didn’t and still don’t “get it.” They STILL don’t even have a clue what Bush and the Right are about. The “blogosphere” knew the minute that smear came out what was up, and the course it would run! We knew it would come. We knew who would spread it. We even knew what the “movement” ground troops would say to the talk-show hosts and in the forum comments, helping the momentum — they would understand it was untrue but would also wink and nod and understand the “use” of it and pretend to believe it. We knew that the smear would have professionally-framed, carefully-worded, focus-group-tested tag-lines. We knew that it would come in phases. We knew that “new information’ would overwhelm anyone trying to refute any single lie with facts and details. … In fact, we bloggers had been talking about “the smear” that would come for TWO YEARS before this specific Swift Boat smear even came out.

If focus groups and polls and neuromarketing scans showed that the right percentage of the public would swing away from Kerry if they were told he was born in a lab from an experiemtn that made him secretly half woman and half insect, that is what they would have been told.

Why were the people even in the Kerry campaign if they didn’t understand how the Right works now, who is running it, who is funding it, their goals and their strategies and methods?

THIS is what all the talk about “reform” of the Democratic Party is about. The people in charge now don’t understand the nature of the fight they are in.