So Mary Beth “I did everything right” Cahill now admits she screwed up.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The campaign manager for Sen. John Kerry (news – web sites)’s failed presidential bid said Wednesday she regrets underestimating the impact of an attack advertisement that questioned Kerry’s Vietnam War record.
Mary Beth Cahill, who spoke at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government with Ken Mehlman, President Bush (news – web sites)’s campaign manager, said the Massachusetts senator’s campaign initially thought there would be “no reach” to the ad from Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
Instead, the ad, which initially aired in just three states, became a central issue of the campaign, eventually forcing Kerry to personally deny the group’s allegations that he did not deserve his combat medals.
“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.
“In hindsight, maybe we should have put Senator Kerry out earlier, perhaps we could have cut it off earlier.”
Mehlman said that it was natural that the ad had the reach and impact it did, because Kerry decided to make his Vietnam record a central part of his campaign.
“Because Senator Kerry was so focused on that part of his biography, it came out as an issue,” he said.
Unlike Cahill, I knew this was bad news the second I heard it. I’ll quote my own thoughtful and insightful comments here:
That is about as eloquent as I could put that.
This could change the whole campaign.
(Ya can’t get that kind of analysis on PBS now can you!)
I was told to “Dream On” and mocked even by people I thought were my friends.😉
I basically nail everything that happened. Start here and scroll down. (a few of you own me apologies BTW 😉 Maybe next time Kerry will hire me to run his campaign.
But if you want another chuckle, I have it below the fold…
But first, an UPDATE Doc Poliblog says some of the things I was thinking too. (/ update)
Back to the original Cahill story:
The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group of Republican-funded Vietnam War veterans who patrolled the same Mekong Delta in Swift boats similar to the ones piloted by Navy Lt. John Kerry, challenged Kerry’s accounts of his medal-winning service and anti-war protests. …
She said it was frustrating that the first ad continued to eat up so much air time even after the central allegations were debunked.
The media just never gives up huh- Even after the election is over they still keep plugging. The boats were “similar to the ones” Kerry was on… Geeze so much for accuracy!
On a more serious note, Cahill still gets it wrong. What this proves is that the MESSAGE of the Swift Vets was a powerful one. The fact the media BEGRUDGINGLY reported on it only shows how powerful the message was. But if she understood it, her guy would have won.