September 24, 2004

Lockhart with the bludgeon

"The last thing you want to be seen as is a puppet of the United States, and you can almost see the hand underneath the shirt today moving the lips," said Joe Lockhart, a senior Kerry adviser.
Well, yeah, Joe Lockhart could have been a bit more temperate. A more "upstanding" response might have been: "Allawi is facing tough times, he's doing a tremendous job, and we know he needs to put the best face forward, but we're concerned that he hasn't fully addressed the major problems in Iraq, and we just want to know how we can reconcile those statements, with, say, those of Allawi's own security officials." It's a run-on, but you get the idea.

So why didn't Lockhart say what I just wrote? Because even if he had, conservatives would have still been disgusted, they still would have accused him of calling "brave" Allawi a liar (as if his bravery has anything to do with the truth of his statements), and they still would have accused Lockhart of giving comfort to our enemies. Nothing would have changed, except that maybe the media would have downplayed Lockhart's remarks, and wouldn't have run headlines questioning Allawi's (and Bush's) credibility. The Kerry campaign would have gotten all of the grief, and none of the benefits. That doesn't make Lockhart a nice guy; it just makes him a shrewd political strategist (and honestly, what's all this "they're desperate" talk?)
-- Brad Plumer 4:51 PM || ||