Remember how the the Bush camp took down John McCain in the 2000 election cycle with a whisper campaign about his “black daughter”? Well everyone’s heading to South Carolina soon, and there’s a long history of this kind of thing there; in fact it’s so pervasive that the Post and Courier of Charleston has added a special Whisper Campaign submission tool.
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book; you may recall in Wag the Dog how spin doctor Conrad Brean (played by Robert DeNiro) is hired to deal with the PR crisis caused by a Bill Clinton-esque candidate getting caught making advances on an underage “Firefly Girl”. Almost as soon as he arrives on the scene, Brean says to the staff that has met him at the airport:
Here’s what you got to do: Get your Press Office, Right now. To deny…there is no report of Albanian Activity. They have to deny it. Now, get the C.I.A.
This has everyone perplexed, because there IS no “Albanian activity”. But sure enough, a short time later a reporter is asking the question:
Would you comment on the rumors… on the rumors that the President’s trip, that the President’s delay… is due to the situation in Albania?
Wag the Dog is a brilliantly hilarious take on this type of political op, and well worth a watch if you haven’t seen it. Dustin Hoffman’s masterful mimic of Hollywood producer Robert Evans adds the icing to the DeNiro cake.
So never mind the recent leak about how Hillary Clinton’s people tell reporters how to talk, or the hoopla around how Ben Carson’s friend and chief adviser Armstrong Williams was accused of sexually assaulting his male personal trainer.
Or that whole thing about how Marco Rubio is alleged to have ties to drug cartels in Florida.
Or how Ted Cruz’s angst is fueled by the fact that he was born with one testicle.
We’re sure you have a rumor of your own to spread. If you don’t feel like doing it through the Post and Courier, send us an email and maybe we’ll start our own whisper campaign database.