Keep An Eye On It


In this post The Atlantic Monthly’s Marc Ambinder notes that top lobbyist Doug Davenport is joining the McCain campaign as one of its ten regional campaign managers. He also, as Ambinder notes, one of the founders and current chief lobbyist for the DCI Group. Now, as long time TPM readers know, DCI is the Republican outfit when it comes to ‘astroturf’ (i.e., phoney) grassroots campaigns and sundry campaign bamboozlment.

Separate from his affiliation with the key GOP slimesters, there’s also the issue of Davenport’s being another top tier lobbyist helping run McCain’s campaign. And with reference to that, I found this line from Marc’s post particularly revealing: “Davenport’s new position is certain to precipitate complaints from rivals that McCain is packing his campaign with the lobbyists whose conduct he has denounced. McCain’s advisers have said that McCain’s credentials as a reformer are solid and can overcome any optics problem that comes along with hiring lobbyists.”

To be clear, I think he is accurately conveying the McCain line here. But look what it’s actually saying: that McCain’s reputation as someone who won’t truck with lobbyist is so strong that it can overcome the fact that he’s staffing his campaign with top dollar lobbyists, i.e., my reputation trumps the evidence.

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