Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bob Kerrey Deftly Completes Slur Cycle

A few days ago Mike Huckabee made some allegedly "off the record" crack about Mormans believing Jesus and Satan were brothers to a reporter who was writing an otherwise forgettable Huckabee backgrounder. Before the backgrounder was published the "off the record" crack was given wall to wall media coverage. Mitt Romney rightly took the comment as an attempt to mislead the voters and to play the religion card. He cried foul. That got even more media coverage which allowed Huckabee to slyly reinforce his initial slur. After milking it for all it was worth Huckabee put a final twist on the story by publicly apologizing to Romney. A simple slur was turned into a 3 day story reinforcing the initial message that Romney is the member of some kind of kooky cult.

Earlier this week Bob Kerrey, an open Clinton supporter, pulled the same stunt. He made a couple of misleading comments about Barack Obama's family and religious background. He said the comments were to point out Obama's "strengths." The well covered and coordinated slurs were obviously intended to reinforce the mistaken belief that Obama attended a Muslim religious school as a child. The comments were a blatant attempt to play a "religion" card and to tarnish Obama's reputation. They were rightly criticized in the media which kept the story going a few days longer. Today, just as the story is dying down, the now contemptible Bob Kerrey completes the circle and reinforces the initial slur by loudly apologizing to Obama "for any unintentional insult he committed by raising the Democratic presidential candidate's Muslim heritage while endorsing rival candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton." The AP writer says that Kerrey denies Clinton's involvement in either the initial story or the apology. Color me skeptical. Somebody needs to ask AP writer Nedra Pickler who told her Kerrey was apologizing. The whole smear has Clinton campaign finger prints all over it.

Such is the politics of indirect personal destruction. Do we really want to return to the 1990s?