Friday, January 22, 2016

"Correct The Record" Doesn't Want to Be Quoted When Offering Anti-Sanders Oppo Research


David Brock, founder of Correct the Record, which is transforming itself into a super PAC that plans to work with Hillary Clinton's campaign. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston / source)

by Gaius Publius

A small thing perhaps, but I found it noteworthy. I also think this points to something considerably larger. It seems the David Brock-led Clinton-allied Super PAC Correct the Record (CTR) does oppo research for the Clinton campaign. Normal enough in politics. And CTR offers oppo-generated "tips" to news outlets and other media. Again, normal enough in politics.

It also seems that if the "tips" involve Republicans, CTR is happy to be named as the source, yet if the "tips" involve, say, Bernie Sanders, CTR wants to hide its hand and remain unnamed.

This almost accidental revelation turned up in a Burlington Free Press story:
Clinton super PAC offers ‘off the record’ news tips

Hillary Clinton’s super PAC has tried to “flag” stories about Bernie Sanders, but the group does not want its name attached.

Daniel Wessel, Correct the Record press secretary, contacted the Burlington Free Press by email and phone to offer "off the record" story pitches.

The Free Press first attempted to contact Correct the Record officials while writing about the super PAC paying for a poll that named Clinton winner of the Nov. 14 Democratic debate in Des Moines, Iowa.
The Free Press did not receive a response from CTR, but later Mr. Wessel contacted the Free Press with an oppo "tip" about Sanders and guns. When CTR indicated it wanted not to be named as the source of the story, the Free Press asked Wessel for an explanation. Here's the reply, according to the Free Press (my emphasis):
Wessel said that his organization prefers to be named only when speaking about Republican candidates. He offered to have his organization named in certain cases if the Free Press requested permission. The Free Press declined to agree to Wessel's terms.
Shorter CTR: "Don't name us as a source for anti-Democratic oppo unless you get permission first. (And who knows, in 'certain cases' you may get it.)"

What to make of this? That the Clinton campaign wants to play rough is not news. But that the campaign wants to rough up its Democratic opposition and not be seen to — I think that's interesting, noteworthy. First, because they're walking a line that's very narrow, razor-thin. If they look like they're roughing up Sanders in the primary, especially unfairly, they risk losing Sanders voters in November, should Clinton advance to the general election. How do Democrats win with Clinton but without substantial numbers of Sanders voters?

Second, they've taken on an impossible job; frankly, that ship has sailed. The surge of Sanders money stimulated by the week of roughing up that Sanders took leading up to the recent debate — the week, remember, when Chelsea Clinton made this accusation (quoted and discussed here)...
“Sen. Sanders wants to dismantle Obamacare, dismantle the CHIP program, dismantle Medicare, and dismantle private insurance,” she said during a campaign stop in New Hampshire. “I worry if we give Republicans Democratic permission to do that, we’ll go back to an era – before we had the Affordable Care Act – that would strip millions and millions and millions of people off their health insurance.”
...that surge in contributions means the Sanders crowd has already noticed. About that surge in contributions, The Hill reported (my emphasis):
“Thanks, Team Clinton,” Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said Wednesday, The Washington Post reported.

“As of now, we are at about $1.4 million raised since yesterday when the panic attacks by the Clinton campaign began,” he continued.
See what I mean? When I say "they've taken on an impossible job," I mean it literally. The Clinton camp already played a little rough and loose with the facts, and they've already been seen to. If they continue this — and I can't imagine they play this game any other way — what are their choices?

To have their oppo team work over Sanders' statements, not take credit and be thought responsible anyway — then watch the Sanders cash roll in each time? Or to have their oppo team work over Sanders' statements, take public credit — then watch the Sanders cash roll in each time?

An impossible job — damned if they do and damned if they do without seeming to. There's not a good choice in the set. Given that, if I were the Clinton campaign, what would I do? I'd probably not-do, but I don't think that's where their instincts are.

Which means that even anti-Sanders oppo work stimulates Sanders support. As I said before, this is a fascinating year.

(Blue America has endorsed Bernie Sanders for president. If you'd like to help out, go here; you can adjust the split any way you like at the link. If you'd like to "phone-bank for Bernie," go here. You can volunteer in other ways by going here. And thanks!)


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At 8:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just the beginning of the money's D sect eating its own in order to prevent a real D from being nominated and elected.

It's been pretty clear to me since bill advocated for the movement of capital (jobs and so on) overseas via xxFTAs, WTO and GATT, that the money was fully in charge of electing and retaining Ds as well as Rs. My own Senator ran as an everyperson and immediately became a disciple of harriet reid... and cashed in.

As Bernie excites and animates irregular lefty voters, we're going to see and hear more and more of the titular lefty orgs align with their true origins (money) and against the one guy who could lead that AFU party back to fairly permanent prominence, especially as the R sect fragments into the old money subsect and the various hate and ignorance and delusion subsects.

But the money cannot abide a Bernie win, not just because they would have to override a bunch of vetos to get their favors, but because they'd need to lift the thin veil in order to do so... and even americans aren't THAT stupid... are they???

The money is horrified of a Bernie win because of what it means for the next and next and next cycles... it means the real possibility that non-money folks can now run and win... and they likely will.

And then the money will have to start over again. It took the money almost 50 years to overcome their crash of '29 and great depression and the betrayal of FDR to their primacy.

However, if the money can somehow derail Bernie, they will certainly create another crash that could be used by the 99.99% to do FDR all over again... We had that opportunity in 2008 but we ended up with the black hoover instead of the next FDR.


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