Thursday, December 16, 2004

Cahill Speaks, Listeners Chuckle

I'm only an amused observer when it comes to politics and today I'm amused by this account of Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill's appearance at Harvard. Cahill spoke with regret of the Swift Boat Vet ads and claimed, "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. As I remember, most major papers and broadcast news ignored the Vets. Only the Washington Post addressed the Vets and their claims. Maybe the Vets story "got where it did" because -- for voters -- the Vets' claims helped fill gaps in the Kerry bio that the campaign itself left open when they sought to highlight his Vietnam service without releasing Kerry's complete military files or seriously addressing the "Genghis Khan" testimony.

As for Cahill, I will always remember her for her shockingly inept response to those NASA photos of Kerry in a bunny suit. Instead of deploying self-deprecation and humor to earn her candidate some likeability, Cahill accused NASA of a conspiracy to embarrass Kerry. Smart. Knock the one government agency every American has good feelings about.

UPDATE: I think this Powerline post states the case much more accurately than I did (big surprise, I know.) Particularly this description of how the whole issue was at first ignored then reluctantly covered by most media: "the SwiftVet story didn't obtain reach because the MSM covered it; rather the MSM covered it because it had reach."