Trippi: Rove Ignores
He Fears Him
There's nothing worse in politics than being ignored. So when Karl Rove attacked Hillary Clinton last week, John Edwards adviser Joe Trippi must have felt a bit left out.
Today, Trippi is doing the equivalent of jumping up and down, shouting "Hey, look over here!" with an email to the former senator's supporters.
In the message (see below) Trippi argues that Rove's Clinton attacks were nothing less than an admission by the president's chief strategist of his fear of Edwards becoming the Democratic nominee.
"Rove is attacking Hillary Clinton because he doesn't want John Edwards to win the Democratic nomination," Trippi writes in the publicly released memo to interested parties. "Rove and the Republicans want our opponents to win --because they know John will be the strongest candidate in the general election."
So let's make sure we understand this logic:
Rove attacks Clinton
Democratic voters choose Clinton because they like anyone who Rove attacks.
Clinton loses to Republicans.
Rove is happy.
This is not as crazy as it might seem. As Trippi notes in his email to supporters, the Bush team all-but admitted doing just this four years ago. He quotes Matthew Dowd, Bush's political strategist, as saying: "Whomever we attacked was going to be emboldened in Democratic primary voters' minds. So we started attacking John Kerry a lot in the end of January because we were very worried about John Edwards."
Trippi, who famously helped design the internet fundraising techniques that propelled Howard Dean's early surge before his collapse in 2004, is using his Rovian theory to raise money for Edwards this time around.
"All we need is your support to drive right past Karl Rove's see-through tactics -- and keep our campaign on the road to victory," he writes.
Just to be sure they get it, Trippi includes a link to a pageon the Edwards website entitled "Rove's Nightmare" which kindly asks them to donate.
--Michael D. Shear
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