I Think We Have A Pattern

Bob Kerrey apologizes to Barack Obama for bringing up the whole muslim thing, because of course, we know he didn’t mean any damage.

Personally, I call bullshit.

Let’s look at the pattern.

The setup:  Here, the campaign or surrogate sets the stage with what will rule the Democratic race news cycle for at least a couple of days.  Obama wanted to be a president during kindergarten.  Billy Shaheen bringing up the drug issue.  Bob Kerrey brings up the muslim issue.

The stew:  Here’s where the getting is good.  Clinton can’t put this stuff in an ad, and attach her, “I’m Hillary Clinton and I approve this message” to it, it would be political suicide.  On the other hand, no one can feasibly control surrogates and supporters, right?  So you let it stew.  Despite the fact that the internet pushes information with lightning rapidity, and most campaigns have a slew of “new media” people working for them, Clinton does not immediately go after the Clintonistas.  She has to let the comment float unfettered for a while.  Here, you may see a little expounding of the original point, for instance, with the kindergarten thing, the Clinton camp decided to dig into his third grade as well.  With Bob Kerrey, instead of making the initial statement and shutting up, he kept on putting his foot in it.

The Mea Culpa:  While it is important for the Clinton camp to let the story stew for a news cycle or two, she can’t afford to let it go unanswered for fear of looking as though she endorses the attacks.  Thus a couple of days afterwards, after the initial attack was made, it’s time to start “damage control”.  Apologies.  Mark Penn tried to claim the kindergarten thing was a joke.  Billy Shaheen quit the Clinton campaign, and Bob Kerrey apologizes to Obama.

The really clever part of the Mea Culpa phase of the pattern is that it reinvigorates the original attack against Obama, and then puts Clinton’s face right there as condemning the attack.  It’s the best of both worlds, you get the negative out about your opponent, and you look like the good guy taking the higher road.

Here’s the only problem; I don’t think anyone’s really buying it.

One Response to “I Think We Have A Pattern”

  1. rikyrah says:

    It’s the Southern Strategy, will all of its racist underpinnings. But, instead of being used in Alabama and Florida, it’s being used in Iowa and New Hampshire. No difference as far as purpose is concerned.

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