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January 3, 2008

A Few Dirty Tricks More

Only a few hours separates us from the results of the Iowa caucuses, and at least one campaign has decided to put them to good use. Push-polling calls have gone out to Iowans warning of the troubles voters will face from an Edwards or Obama nomination. Now who could have paid for those calls?

Iowa Democrats received a new round of anonymous phone calls this week, under the guise of opinion poll research, slamming former Sen. John Edwards and Sen. Barack Obama, in the latest display of the ugly side of this year's presidential campaign.

Even before the first vote is cast, 2008 is being called "one of the dirtiest campaigns in American history" by a political science professor who is tracking campaign dirty tricks and opposition research attacks on rival candidates. ...

"Some foreign policy experts say that John Edwards' plan to pull out all combat troops in Iraq within the next 10 months is irresponsible," says the questioner. "Does this statement influence your feeling about John Edwards a lot, somewhat, not too much, or not at all?"

On Obama, the caller says, "Barack Obama has taken millions of dollars from big banking and energy interests that have legislation before the Senate. Does this influence your feeling about Barack Obama a lot, somewhat, not too much, or not at all?"

Let's see ... who would benefit from last-minute push-polling against John Edwards and Barack Obama? Whose campaign could get so desperate as to reach for a transparently negative approach in a state famous for disdaining such tactics? Which candidate sees the inevitability of the nomination vanishing like the fog of an Iowa morn?

Could it be ... Hillary Clinton?


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