June 18, 2004

PLOY UNCOVERED

Hugh Hewitt wonders at the possibilities of political backstab blogging:

Get it started and growing as a pro candidate X blog. Build an audience via tried and true techniques --including the purchase of blog-ads-- and then, late in a campaign, have the blog turn on candidate X. If any of the high profile lefties at work today--the Daily Kos or Atrios, for example--were to suddenly turn on Kerry, citing implausibility fatigue, for example--that would be news and a blow to Kerry. Could Kos really be working for Rove? The costs of starting a blog are so low that the mischief potential is quite high.

The ideal time to start would be about one month after the next election; a ploy like this would only work if you played a long game. Speaking of turnarounds:

Popular Republican Sen. John McCain is hitting the campaign trail to boost President Bush tomorrow just days after spurning a personal plea from Democrat John Kerry to be his vice presidential running mate.

What a disgrace is John McCain! Why, his Bush-like defiance of pollsters convinces me that John Kerry is the only man fit to lead the US. Vote for Kerry! Down with the Bush/McCain machine of deception!

Posted by Tim Blair at June 18, 2004 01:52 AM
Comments

the manchurian blogger, eh?

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at June 18, 2004 at 01:58 AM

McCain spent something like 5 years in the Hanoi Hilton while John-boy was in Paris talking to the nice North Vietnamese and telling the US Congress how terrible atrocities were being committed every day by US soldiers.

Can't understand why the one despises the other, eh?

Posted by: mojo at June 18, 2004 at 02:04 AM

Actually, mojo, Kerry and McCain are friends. Or at least friendly. Check out this WaPo article.

Odd but true. This is evidence that America is not polarized.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at June 18, 2004 at 02:38 AM

"Get it started and growing as a pro candidate X blog. Build an audience via tried and true techniques --including the purchase of blog-ads-- and then, late in a campaign, have the blog turn on candidate X."

None of the leftie bloggers will do such a thing. However, we can confidently expect a number of nominally "pro-Bush" bloggers to pull this trick, all claiming higher principle.
Sullivan is only the first. Except that he was outed couple of months too soon.

Posted by: Katherine at June 18, 2004 at 02:47 AM

For a couple days there it seemed conceivable that there could be a Kerry-McCain ticket or a Bush-McCain ticket, and I was hoping for both. Simultaneously.

Posted by: Bob71 at June 18, 2004 at 03:06 AM

McCain has actually become somewhat reliably clueless on things he should know something about -- military affairs. He was among the first to panic in Afghanistan, these days dispenses the same brain-dead "fixes" for Iraq as most of the dim political/journalism class (more troops!), and recently penned an egregiously confused and inverted op-ed for the WSJ ostensibly defending the self-discredited ICRC from the depredations of (implicitly) the evil Bushies. Add in his bumbling "campaign finance reform" performance and his camera-craziness, and it's an ugly picture.

Not painfully dumb like Chuck Hagel, but just as bereft of serious alternatives to go with his critiques, and just as ardent to sew up that Noble Dissenting Former Military Guy With Standing slot.

Tremendous war-time hero, but an equally tremendous flop as a political leader. One often sees people pining for his name atop a ticket, and you wonder if these people actually know what McCain has been saying and doing.

Posted by: IceCold at June 18, 2004 at 05:26 AM

I don't think it would be all that hard for someone to pull off a "black op" a week before the upcoming election. If a Wonkette or other such blog built up a following of readers with credible gossip and suddenly dropped a phony bombshell a few days before the election the damage could be fairly high.

Just imagine a Washingtonienne scandal where a pretty young staffer pops up claiming to be John Kerry's girl Friday? We already saw evidence of this during the primary when rumors of a tryst between Kerry and a staffer ran through the blogsphere. It took weeks for that story to settle out. The same with the Bush drunk driving claims of 2000.

And hey, if the L.A. Times can do it to Arnold Schwarzenegger why can't a blogger?

Posted by: Duane at June 18, 2004 at 07:48 AM

I still reckon it would have been a masterstoke if after all the Kerry-McCain speculation, Bush announced his new VP candidate as - John McCain.

Heh.

Posted by: Quentin George at June 18, 2004 at 09:05 AM

Quentin:

There is no way that Bush will dump Cheney. He recently said something to the effect that that Cheney is the Very Model of a Modern VP. If Cheney wants to be on the ticket, he will be on the ticket. Second in line is Giuliani.


Posted by: Katherine at June 18, 2004 at 11:41 AM

And if Giuliani isn't the VP, he could always run for Senator when Hillary comes up for re-election. That would be an interesting election.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at June 18, 2004 at 11:46 AM

Yeah, I knew that, I was just being silly.

Posted by: Quentin George at June 18, 2004 at 12:06 PM

"Manchurian Blogger" - I like :) (the term, that is).

They'd have to be really dedicated to bring that one off - also better at getting into another's mindset than lefties tend to be. Sullivan has been blogging for ages, and even he wasn't exactly doing a great job of hiding his recent political proclivities; he's been sounding "off" for quite a while now. The man cannot bring himself to give Bush a fair shake, which a real pro-Bush blogger would of course do. This makes his defection something less than shocking, and that would likely hold true for other, similar blogs.

Posted by: Sonetka at June 18, 2004 at 01:02 PM

Get it started and growing as a pro candidate X blog. Build an audience via tried and true techniques --including the purchase of blog-ads-- and then, late in a campaign, have the blog turn on candidate X. If any of the high profile lefties at work today--the Daily Kos or Atrios, for example--were to suddenly turn on Kerry, citing implausibility fatigue, for example--that would be news and a blow to Kerry. Could Kos really be working for Rove? The costs of starting a blog are so low that the mischief potential is quite high.

The description here sounds awfully like Andrew Sullivan.

Posted by: john marzan at June 19, 2004 at 12:02 AM