Okay, let's follow up on two separate posts. I predicted last week that the Republicans wouldn't be able to let this polling story alone and that their own arrogance would drag the story out and make it into a running wound of lies and obfuscation.
Well, case in point. This article in yesterday's Washington Times more or less repeats the RNC spin verbatim. The author, Ralph Z. Hallow repeats RNC spokesman Jim Dyke's ridiculous distinction about the polls the President 'might have an interest in' and so forth. If you want to laugh at these Bozos' expense, read the article.
But here's what's interesting. The article says that the RNC spent $1.2 million for polling last year.
This of course is in conflict with what Dyke told me while I was reporting this article for Salon. Dyke told me that the RNC had only spent $731,000 on polling. A few minutes later he said it was a little bit more. But he wouldn't tell me quite how much more. Now we see that by a "bit" he meant something approaching twice the number.
But here's where it gets interesting. If you go back to the story I wrote following up on Josh Green's polling article you'll see the following: When Dyke called up Green to yell at him about the polling story he disputed Green's assertion that the amount the White House spent on polling was "closer to $1 million" than three-hundred or so thousand dollars. Dyke said that the actual number was $731,000.
This is what Green told me.
But when I called Dyke up he told me that Green had misunderstood him, that the $731,000 number was the number for all RNC polling. So Green just misunderstood.
Now we know that the number for all RNC polling is $1.2 million. Which begs the question, where did the $731,000 number come from? It doesn't correspond to any of the numbers Dyke told the author of the Washington Times article.
Could Dyke have just come up with the $731,000 number off the top of his head? That's hard to figure, isn't it?
What seems a lot more likely is that $731,000 really is the amount the White House spent on polling in 2001. And in an off-the-cuff, huffy conversation with Green, Dyke just told the truth. ($730,000 would be about the number Green's GOP sources said it was. So it all adds up.) But after Dyke's conversation with Green, he realized that this number wasn't supposed to be made public. (Maybe Matthew Dowd smacked him around?) So he came up with this cover story about Green 'misunderstanding' him. And he started spinning like crazy.
Is this conjecture? Sure. But answer me this: where'd Dyke come up with the number $731,000?
Why doesn't someone follow up on this?