Thursday, December 16, 2004
Maybe I missed it: Harvard's Kennedy School of Government held a forum with 2004 presidential campaign managers Mary Beth Cahill (Kerry) and Ken Mehlman (Bush) that contained this interesting tidbit.
Mary Beth Cahill, who spoke at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government with Ken Mehlman, President Bush's campaign manager, said the Massachusetts senator's campaign initially thought there would be "no reach" to the ad from Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
Instead, the ad, which initially aired in just three states, became a central issue of the campaign, eventually forcing Kerry to personally deny the group's allegations that he did not deserve his combat medals.
"This is the best $40,000 investment made by any political group, but it was only because of the news coverage that it got where it did," she said.
"In hindsight, maybe we should have put Senator Kerry out earlier, perhaps we could have cut it off earlier."
I remember the Kerry campaign putting out a few of his "Band of Brothers" several weeks (more than a month?) after the first Swift Boat Vet ads ran. I don't actually remember the campaign ever putting Kerry out there and answering direct questions on the subject from the media.
Kerry could've done a lot to diminish the effect of the Swift Boat Vet ads if he had actually gotten out front and answered questions rather than just repeatedly dismissing them.