Thursday, November 04, 2004

Campaign Dirt Alert!

Newsweek is doing a heck of a PR job for their "inside the campaign" expose articles as I mentioned in the previous two posts where Evan "15%" Thomas was flogging them on the Today Show and Imus with Teresa gossip. Portions are online now at the Newsweek web site, but the NY Daily News has a selection of anecdotes in Dish on campaign trail follies. Excerpts:
"I can't believe I'm losing to this idiot," the Massachusetts Democrat sighed to a staffer when President Bush's poll numbers surged in April.

"Why the f--- didn't he take it?" he wondered when Republican Sen. John McCain refused to be his running mate a half-dozen times.

"It's a pack of f---ing lies, what they're saying about me," he shouted at an adviser as a group of Swift boat veterans stepped up attacks on his Vietnam War record while his team refused to let him respond.

Those are some of the behind-the-scenes stories from the year-long race for the White House revealed in a special Newsweek report out today.
Who's the idiot now, 'Effin? And how was the weather in Cambodia?

Supposedly the Newsweek team had "special access" to the Kerry team and if they can be believed, something similar with the President's team:
Meanwhile, in the Bush camp, chief strategist Karl Rove was baffled that Kerry managed to snag the Democratic nomination.

By the fall of 2003, he was focused on the threat posed by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, saying Kerry had "pissed away every advantage of the front-runner."
Rove started betting hamburgers with other White House staffers that Dean would win - and stuck to his guns even when the campaign flamed out after his screaming Iowa concession.

"Want to double your bets?" Bush needled his adviser, who insisted Dean still had the money to pull out a primary victory.
Also cool:
After it was clear Kerry would be Bush's challenger, the Republicans set about attacking him, hoping he would overreact - and got their wish.

An ad mocking Kerry for voting against the $87 billion appropriation was prepared as the Democrat headed to West Virginia to speak to a veterans' group.

That led a heckler to start hammering at Kerry's vote during his speech, and the candidate fell for the bait, infamously explaining he voted for the funds before voting against them.

"The second we saw it, we knew we had a new ad," Bush ad man Mark McKinnon gloated.
Since it's Newsweek, who knows how much is true, but think of it as similar to looking at the front page of the Enquirer in the checkout line. It's good for a laugh.