Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

September 14, 2003

by J

More Kerry Campaign Clumsiness

To follow up on an earlier post from today, the Boston Globe gossips some more about internal Kerry campaign messiness.
In a telling moment, Kerry was asked on Aug. 31 on NBC-TV's "Meet The Press" about a statement by his campaign manager, Jordan, that "Howard Dean is a very crafty, very calculating politician." "I wish my campaign were not making characterizations of people publicly, and I don't like that," Kerry responded.

Kerry's comment helped ignite the mini-storm that followed, with some interpreting it as a signal to take aim at Jordan. Kerry furthered the controversy by saying he "reserved the right" to make staff changes. This prompted some of Jordan's loyalists to threaten to quit if Jordan was sacked or demoted, a senior aide said. Then, as reporters asked whether the campaign was in disarray on launch day, Kerry put out a statement saying there would be "no changes." The to-and-fro caused some top aides to cringe at how the campaign had violated the most basic rule of political campaigns, which is never to step on your own message.

Asked on Friday whether he stood by his statement that there would be "no changes," Kerry said he has "great confidence" in his team but then added a significant addendum: "Those weren't precisely my words. They were the words of the press release sent out." Kerry said he would add people to "plug holes," but declined to be more specific.
Those weren't my words but the words of the press release? And he wants to misparse Dean in order to attack him? Good job there, buddy. And then there was this goodie:
Kerry himself said that "I fingered the Internet early on as very important, but unfortunately some things moved too slowly and didn't get in place as fast I'd wanted it to."
John, John, John, I could have set up a weblog for you in less than 48 hours and it would be better than the one you've got now. I bet my consulting rates are cheap compared to what you're paying that brilliant tactician Jim Jordan, too.
Posted by J at September 14, 2003 03:27 PM

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