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December 13, 2003
Chickens Coming Home to Roost?

Dick Gephardt, who may be the only Democrat now running for President with a shot at stopping Howard Dean, takes aim at the Vermont governor and his secret files:

Democratic presidential candidate Dick Gephardt demanded Saturday that front-runner Howard Dean release records of meetings and phone calls about tax breaks given to corporate villain Enron, which Dean denies he did.

Visiting with local Democrats in this town near the North Carolina border, Gephardt alleged that Dean, while Vermont's governor, "met regularly with the corporate chiefs who benefited from the tax windfall he created for them. A chief beneficiary of his tax cuts for corporate special interests was Enron."

Enron is synonymous with evil for the fringe-left, and Gephardt's attack does two things, if successful: it puts a wedge between Dean and his most ardent tinfoil-hat supporters, and it highlights the unusually long seal on his records as governor, which will make the rest of them uncomfortable. It also calls into question Dean's initiative, while governor, to turn Vermont into a tax haven for the richest corporations, another policy that will not endear him to the socialistas. Needless to say, the Dean campaign is not terribly happy about this attack, and is not taking it quietly:

"Just more desperate distortion and negative attacks from Dick Gephardt," Dean spokesman Jay Carson said. "He would rather desperately attack Gov. Dean than talk about his record."

Carson said while Gephardt led House Democrats, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee received $176,000 in unregulated "soft" money from Enron. Gephardt said Saturday the campaign committee raised money from a lot of people, and the reason the Dean campaign knows about it is that the records are open to the public.

Ouch! And let's not get too pouty about distortion and negative attacks, Jay Carson; your candidate is the one who throws around 9/11 conspiracy theories without thinking twice about it. In fact, if it weren't for distortion and negative attacks, Dean wouldn't have any campaign direction. Jon at QandO has similar issues with Dean's reaction:

Cry me a river, Mr Dean. Those are exactly the sort of attacks that you, and every Democratic candidate, have used against President Bush. If Dick Gephardt wants to throw some low blows your way, you'll take it and you'll like it.

Of course, you could take a lesson from it, and raise the level of your criticism. But you wouldn't have much of a campaign left, would you?

Yes, that's just about right.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 13, 2003 5:25 PM

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