September 15, 2004


Michael Caputo, an assistant in the 1992 bid to re-elect George H. W. Bush, reveals George W. Bush’s zipperless campaign strategy:

In the last days of that doomed 1992 Bush reelection effort, we knew we were losing. James Baker and other close Bush friends and family moved in to keep a close eye on all our work. In particular, they were looking for mistakes that would embarrass the family. At the time, dubious documents about the Arkansas governor's alleged "zipper problem" were floating temptingly around campaign headquarters. Wrong-headed whispers among junior staff about "saving the campaign" could be heard if you listened closely.

Finally, we were called into a meeting and given a simple instruction: Anyone caught trafficking in this information would be summarily fired. The Bush family did not want to "win this way." Because we were almost sure to lose anyway, they made a further promise that violators would never work in Washington again. Any doubts were laid to rest when we were told who sent this message: the president's son, George W. Bush.

Belief in this will likely divide along party lines. Nice to think it was true, however.

Posted by Tim Blair at September 15, 2004 03:26 AM

I'm inclined to believe it was true. It is possible that 43 was acting on orders from 41, however, who was an upright and decent man, especially when compared with the sleazy crook who replaced him.

Posted by: PJ at September 15, 2004 at 06:28 AM

Can we see a PDF of the original memo?

Posted by: Guy from Ohio at September 15, 2004 at 07:33 AM

Dems are not properly vetted by Dem-slanted news media. Republicans are over-vetted by the Dem-slanted news media. This has been going on for many years. Bad Republicans have been getting caught at local & state levels, as in Illinois.

Also, as the media favor the Dems, so the Dems play to the media & the showier, unbusinesslike, even cartoonish ones garner the attention & even the power & the votes. Combine that with the double standard in ethics vetting.

It goes once again to show, if further showing were needed, that interpretation is feeling-driven & that the media in the long run disserves those whom it seeks to favor, disserves them by cutting off their oxygen supply of confirmatory/disconfirmatory evidence-based reporting.

Posted by: ForNow at September 15, 2004 at 07:42 AM

That's a double confirmatory for ForNow!!!! Rather/memogate got a lift from CNBC today. They ran a poll on the memo's. Authentic-26%. Fake-58%. Don't care-16%. That's a pretty big majority, based upon the history of these daily polls. Especially when you consider that a large majority of the 16% is probably saying that they are fake but lets MOVEON.

Posted by: YoJimbo at September 15, 2004 at 08:23 AM

Tim said:

Belief in this will likely divide along party lines.
Democrats will just spin it something like "He knew the documents were false and revealing them would make the campaign look bad. No high-minded reason, just being practical."

Posted by: Jim C. at September 15, 2004 at 10:25 AM

The differences in the attitudes of the two parties is better demonstrated by the state in which they leave the White House and its offices for the new regime during a change of parties. Does anyone ever recall the Republicans leaving behind trashed offices, equipment and files? Compare that to the Carter and Clinton administrations.

Posted by: Thomas J. Jackson at September 15, 2004 at 01:47 PM

W probably - sniff - hoped no-one - sniff, snort - would dig into his background when he - snort snort - went into public office. Hey, get that buffalo off my banana patch!

Posted by: Communist pinko-head at September 16, 2004 at 01:24 AM