Talk about burying your


Talk about burying your lede!

Today in the Washington Post Lois Romano had a piece about how the Clark campaign is trying to get back on track with a big media buy in New Hampshire and other mid-course strategy corrections.

But you have to skip down to the 19th and 20th grafs to get to what sounds to me like the big story …

[Dick] Sklar, a longtime Democratic activist, helped set up the organizational structure in Little Rock, but his gruff demeanor alienated some. He said he plans to return home to California after Thanksgiving but will still be an adviser to the campaign. Eli Segal, a Boston businessman and Clinton veteran, is now running the day-to-day campaign. Klain and Fabiani are in key advisory roles but are not involved in the daily operations.

In the past month, the press office has been restructured, with Bennett and Jamal Simmons — the traveling press secretary — emerging as the two main spokesmen for the campaign. Kym Spell, the former national press secretary, is returning to New York where she will be a consultant to the campaign for the entertainment industry. Chris Lehane, who worked for Gore and briefly for Kerry, has become a media strategist in Little Rock.

After Clark’s first campaign manager <$Ad$>Donnie Fowler left, Sklar came on as the campaign’s ‘chief operating officer.’ Since the campaign didn’t have a campaign manager that basically meant Sklar was the campaign manager, sharing some of the duties with Segal.

As I read that sentence, it sounds to me like Sklar is out, whatever advisory role he may continue to have. The campaign’s press secretary, Kym Spell, seems to be out too. And same goes for her as far as working as a consultant.

Sklar’s departure sounds like a very good thing for the campaign since it was on his watch that the campaign made its most serious strategic blunder — blowing the chance to get the endorsement of AFSCME. But good or bad, the departure of the de facto campaign manager and press secretary sounds to me like a pretty big deal.

Clark had a very strong performance on Meet the Press this morning. Without appearing defensive, he managed to make clear that almost all the accusations of his shifting his position on the war have been a matter of grabbing a few quotes out of context and ignoring a long and clear record of skepticism about the case for war against Iraq (pace Joe Lieberman) and even more the way the president went about it. Clark even caught Russert flatfooted a couple times, especially in the exchange about the London Times column. So perhaps with some good exposure there and some much-needed changes at the home office he’ll be able to get back some of the momentum he lost over the last month.

On balance, these developments all sound like good news for a campaign that has needed some.