by Paul Goldman
As Lowell and I have said on more than one occasion, relying on Politifact to be the neutral arbitrator of the truth or falsity of campaign charges is a huge mistake for Democrats. Unfortunately, Tim Kaine just learned this the hard way. Plato’s Guardians didn’t work either. The fact is, the only way for Politifact to “prove” it is non-partisan is for it to smack down both sides a sufficient number of times. Just saying it has won awards and the like doesn’t prove anything in this current climate. They must show by example. This ironically makes it harder for those campaigns trying to stay on the highest possible road, since they get dragged into the mud anyway.
But the Kaine campaign should see their being unfairly treated by Politifact as a blessing: it will hopefully convince them to avoid the mistake being made by the DPVA and others with their 24/7 anti-McDonnell mantra.
As has been written in this space for months, the attack strategy has only helped to make the Governor more popular with middle-of-the-road independents, which helped the GOP end Democratic control of the State Senate. Indeed, it has so helped boost the Governor’s ratings that Senator Mark Warner is showing the first signs of worry about 2014, when McDonnell may be stepping down as possibly the most popular GOP Governor in state history. Building up McDonnell isn’t helping Tim Kaine, or Terry Mac in 2013, either.
A BETTER STRATEGY.
Tim needs to go positive. That is his strong suit anyway, as he is widely seen as decent guy — which he is.
So stay positive.
For example, play off the Newt Gingrich stuff now surfacing big time. The Tea Party Hero turns out to have feet of clay, costly clay I might add, as he took over a $1 million from Freddie Mac over the years to do….what exactly? Newt claimed at the GOP debate that the money – he only owned up to $300K – had been given to because of his stupendous intellect and ideas. He also claimed that he took the money and blasted them anyway (privately of course) for helping to cause the housing bubble which produced the debt bubble which gave us the Great Recession.
Gosh: Too bad they didn’t listen to the Newt Man considering they paid him all that money to tell them this truth. A shame those great lectures from the Professor aren’t on tape so we can see his brilliance in warning years before the crash. Darn, they are lost to history!
Too bad the Newt Man didn’t mention this publicly all these years, how he had been earning those huge fees by trying to save the country. It must have so hard on him, telling the truth, the only man on the planet able to save the country, but they just wouldn’t listen. Of course, Newt has claimed that he had a confidentially agreement.
First Cain, not the able Mr. Gingrich, may we need to ban confidentiality agreements so Americans won’t get blinded by debt bubbles and scheming women in the future?
How hard it must have been for Newt to stay quietly publicly. And of course, he didn’t make money with the BIG short since that would have been insider trading. Damn, he gave up billions of dollars, all in the hopes of helping his country. What a guy!
It makes me wonder; Why did Freddie Mac pay Newt to call them idiots anyway? He would have done it for nothing if you read his books!
But of course, he is THE Newt Gingrich, intellectual supreme, and they were just honored that he would deem it worth his time to spend some time with them explaining the facts of the Universe.
This is crony capitalism – actually crony European style government socialism at it’s worst, by the way Newt wasn’t the only one being bought off, plenty of DEMS too.
But at least the others aren’t so egotistical they think they can run for Governor with this in their background.
THE REAL POLITIFACT: There is no way a conservative Republican can defend this type of Gingrich feeding at the public trough, the hypocrisy so thick, it suffocates all sense of civil decency.
SO: This is what Tim should do.
First, he should announce support for legislation which makes such Gingrich-type stuff illegal for disgraced government officials like the former Speaker to have any such dealings with a federal entity.
Second, he should call on George Allen and the other GOP Senate candidates to back it. The Tea Party types will.
Third, he should call on all the GOP Senate candidates to reveal whether since 1999, when Gingrich apparently first started getting this money, they too have had any such relationships, directly or indirectly through family or whatever, with a federal agency or any entity which tries to influence any federal agency or Congress on legislative or regulatory policy.
A true Tea Party conservative will have to agree.
This should set up a very nice point for the GOP candidates to start debating.
Like I say, forget attacking George. Just propose positive stuff and ask the former Senator and his GOP opponents to go along.
Politifact is a wake-up call. Gingrich shows why it is important to wake up.