I first saw the report on Drudge that the Democrats took a poll to see how the Osama bin Laden tape played with the American electorate immediately after it aired. I thought at the time, “I’m not going to link to this … even the Democrats aren’t that foolish.” Apparently I must stand corrected, as the Kerry campaign admitted their party conducted the poll, only after Dick Cheney slammed Kerry for not knowing what to do without sticking his finger in the air:
“The thing that I find amazing about it is that John Kerry’s first response was to go conduct a poll,” Cheney told supporters in Fort Dodge, Iowa. “He went into the field … to find out what he should say about this tape of Osama bin Laden.”
“It’s as though he doesn’t know what he believes until he has to go and check the polls, his finger in the air, to see which way the wind is blowing and then he’ll make a decision,” said the vice president, who offered no evidence to back up his claim. “George Bush doesn’t need a poll to know what he believes, especially about Osama bin Laden.”
“I don’t think that’s a man who is up to the task of being commander in chief,” Cheney said of Kerry.
Joe Lockhart, the Clintonista serving as spokesman for the Kerry campaign, shot back that the GOP did the same thing, a charge which Matthew Down strongly denied. Lockhart then tried to pass it off as a poll taken by a group unaffiliated with the Kerry campaign, but the AP reports that the conference call announcing the poll results to the press included a number of Kerry staffers. That demonstrates a high level of coordination with the campaign, and at the least, the poll results were available for Kerry’s use very quickly.
So I was wrong. The Democrats really are that stupid. Didn’t any of the grown-ups at the DNC or the Kerry campaign realize that a dozen or more media-based pollsters would do that work for them? Perhaps there may not be any grown-ups at the DNC or Kerry campaign.