Monday, December 10, 2007

The Clintonista War Room

Okay, before I start I should say that sometimes my nerdiness even takes me by surprise so bear with me here. While reading please overlook the fact that I not only ordered, paid money for, watched and now own "The War Room", but I re-watched it Saturday morning. Of course it should be FRED THOMPSON'S CAMPAIGN MANAGERS that are watching it and not me, but I'll convey what I learned. I watched it again because it's an inside look at the 1992 Clinton Presidential campaign. A fly-on-the-wall glimpse at how things were run and I figured it would be good research to see how things might go this time around with Hillary.

For the most part the documentary is a pat on the back fest between George Stephanopolous and James Carville...

However, there were some interesting things that FDT's campaign could take note of though:

1) "Keep repeating it to anyone that talks to you, 'Bush was on the defensive, Bush was on the defensive, Bush was on the defensive,'" demanded James Carville of his staff. Carville was the king of the 'bumper sticker' slogans from that campaign. "It's the economy stupid." The left accused Bush 43 of that (saying the right needed small, uncomplicated thoughts), but when you watch this film it's clear Carville was the originator...and it worked.

2) The MOST IMPORTANT thing IMO: "Make [the press] trust you, make them think they're your friend, so they will come to us when they have questions and not their research departments," Carville barks at staffers.
Ingenious tactic for sure. If you can get the press close enough to you, you can feed them anything you want and they think they're getting the inside scoop. They'll take what you tell them as fact instead of researching and possibly digging up dirt.

Other Random tidbits: It was odd watching a movie about a Democratic campaign without having Karl Rove's name uttered once. Roger Ailes was their enemy and you could have interchanged things said about him with what's been said about Rove. Meanwhile the film ends with George Stephanopolous threatening a staffer from Perot's campaign who was about to break the story of Clinton's illegitimate Black son... "I don't care if you have names and addresses. If you go ahead with this story -I am telling you right now --you will never work in Democratic politics again."

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