FDL Late Nite: Stalking Satan’s Mistress
Comstock is key.
Here’s a little excerpt from Josh Green’s seminal article in the Atlantic called "Playing Dirty," about the 2000 campaign:
Political campaigns always attempt to diminish their opponents, of course. What was remarkable about the 2000 effort was the degree to which the process advanced beyond what Barbara Comstock, who headed the RNC research team, calls "votes and quotes"Âthe standard campaign practice of leaving the job of scouting the target to very junior staff members, who tend to dig up little more than a rival’s legislative record and public statements. Comstock’s taking over the research team marked a significant change. She was a lawyer and a ten-year veteran of Capitol Hill who had been one of Representative Dan Burton’s top congressional investigators during the Clinton scandals that dominated the 1990s: Filegate, Travelgate, assorted campaign-finance imbroglios, and Whitewater. Rather than amass the usual bunch of college kids, Comstock put together a group of seasoned attorneys and former colleagues from the Burton Committee, including her deputy, Tim Griffin. "The team we had from 2000," she told me recently, to show the degree of ratcheted-up professionalism, "were veteran investigators from the Clinton years. We had a core group of people, and that core was attorneys."
Comstock combined a prosecutor’s mentality with an investigator’s ability to hunt through public records and other potentially incriminating documents. More important, she and her team understood how to use opposition research in the service of a larger goal: not simply to embarrass Gore with hard-to-explain votes or awkward statements but to craft over the course of the campaign a negative "storyline" about him that would eventually take hold in the public mind. "A campaign is a lot like a trial," Comstock explained. "You want people aggressively arguing their case."
She is a very highly placed political operative. Her job in this case is to craft the narrative.
Your job, Jane, should you and all the Plameologists decide to accept it, is to put a stop to this evil harpy once and for all. She is Satan’s mistress.
Sounds like Ms. Comstock has a bit of a Kato thing going on.
Okay here’s the plan: find what you can about Barbara Comstock and leave it in the comments. I’ll do some sort of round-up on a subsequent Late Nite. When Digby speaks, we should all listen.
Meanwhile things are heating up on the Ciro Rodriguez/Henry Cuellar front. DFA have jumped in to back Ciro and they definitely have a major bone to pick with the Club for Growth who were responsible for so many ads trashing Howard Dean — and they are supporting the DINO Cuellar.
We’re now raised over $12,000 for Ciro just on this blog alone. That comes from 196 people. It would be great if we could have over 200 donations tonight, even if they were small. Five dollars from the heart means a lot.
(Update: Forgot to mention that Jacki Schechner mentioned blogs that were fundraising for Ciro today and FDL was shown. Carry on…)