Friday, September 03, 2004
Illegal coordination: Democrats went ape the other day when presidential adviser Karl Rove echoed attacks by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth on John Kerry's actions as part of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Former Georgia Sen. Max Cleland went so far as to accuse Rove of illegally collaborating with the Swift Boat Vets because Rove and the group touched on the same subject.
Kerry aides, ordered by their boss to respond to virtually every attack on his military record, hastily arranged a conference call with two prominent veterans, former Sens. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., and Max Cleland, D-Ga., who accused Rove of coordinating with a GOP-leaning group of veterans that has been attacking Kerry's combat record and later anti-war activities.
Cleland noted that two Bush campaign aides resigned when their ties to the group were revealed. He said Rove should, too.
Cleland is being ridiculous. The Club for Growth has run an ad that accuses John Kerry of being a flip-flopper. Does that bar the Bush/Cheney campaign from making the same charge? Of course not.
The standard is surely higher. But how much higher? Tony Snow may have missed something of significance in his interview yesterday with DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe. [Audio can found on the site under the "From the airwaves" heading.]
Near the end of the interview, Snow cited a poll that suggested California might actually be in play, with Kerry leading by only 3 points in the Golden State. [I say, don't bet on it.] But if you listen carefully you might find evidence of illegal collaboration between the DNC and MoveOn.org PAC.
McAuliffe: But I don't see it anywhere near that close. I've seen double-digit leads. I can only tell you that I am presently advertising in 21 states. I have staff in 21 battleground states and I have nothing in California today because it's a base state. So, I can only tell you that we don't look at it the same way. But if I get a poll that shows it's three points, I've got to watch California. Got Arnold Schwarzenegger and all those issues. I got to watch it very closely, but today we don't have it. But you're right. I can't win this electoral college without California.
Snow: So as far as you know it's not in play right now?
McAuliffe: We don't have a penny in the state. My only point to you is watch where we spend our money.
Snow: Does MoveOn.org have any pennies in California?
McAuliffe: No. No. Un-huh. Nope.
How does the chairman of the DNC know where MoveOn.org is spending its money? His answer wasn't "I don't know." Or "You'll have to ask them." It was "no." Without even a hesitation.
McAuliffe's answer is much more suggestive of possible illegal collaboration between the DNC and MoveOn.org than anything The New York Times has dug up on the GOP and Swift Boat Vets.