December 18, 2002
No Comment Department

Interesting Times quotes Ron Suskind on Karl Rove and the 2000 South Carolina primary:

Interesting Times: ...As for the Waterloo of South Carolina, most of the facts are well-known, and among this group of Republicans, what happened has taken on the air of an unsolved crime, a cold case, with Karl Rove being the prime suspect. Bush loyalists, maybe working for the campaign, maybe just representing its interests, claimed in parking-lot handouts and telephone "push polls" and whisper campaigns that McCain’s wife, Cindy, was a drug addict, that McCain might be mentally unstable from his captivity in Vietnam, and that the senator had fathered a black child with a prostitute. Callers push-polled members of a South Carolina right-to-life organization and other groups, asking if the black baby might influence their vote. Now here’s the twist, the part that drives McCain admirers insane to this very day: That last rumor took seed because the McCains had done an especially admirable thing. Years back they’d adopted a baby from a Mother Teresa orphanage in Bangladesh. Bridget, now eleven years old, waved along with the rest of the McCain brood from stages across the state, a dark-skinned child inadvertently providing a photo op for slander. The attacks were of a level and vitriol that even McCain, who was regularly beaten in captivity, could not ignore. He began to answer the slights, strayed off message about how he would lead the nation if he got the chance, and lost the war for South Carolina. Bush emerged from the showdown upright and victorious . . . and onward he marched.

Posted by DeLong at December 18, 2002 09:44 AM | Trackback

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It amazes me how certain former McCain supporters, who shall remain nameless but go by the initials Andrew Sullivan, have managed to expunge incidents such as this from their memory and converted to full-time Bush sycophants in such short order.

Posted by: on December 18, 2002 02:09 PM

I wasn't aware that Sullivan was a McCain supporter. Useful datapoint.

Posted by: Chris Andersen on December 18, 2002 02:40 PM

Is there any documentation for Ron Suskind's claims?

Posted by: Alan K. Henderson on December 18, 2002 11:26 PM

>>Is there any documentation for Ron Suskind's claims?<<

That there were such pro-Bush phone calls? I've been told there are affidavits. That Karl Rove was behind it all? I think not: as Suskind says, it is "a cold case, with Karl Rove being the chief suspect."

Posted by: Brad DeLong on December 19, 2002 06:28 AM

If memory serves, I think Ralph Reed was heavily involoved in helping the Bush campaign in S.C. as well, so it might have been him instead of Rove.

But the whole thing is really quite sad. Republican primary voters seem to have a penchant for rewarding the candidate who's willing to play the dirtiest. Nixon, Bush I over Dole in 92, Bush II over McCain...

Posted by: RC on December 19, 2002 02:21 PM
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