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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Obama Campaign building Oppo Research on critics

Posted by: Jon Henke

Under increased scrutiny for his previous connections to Tony Rezko, Bill Ayers and others, the Barack Obama campaign has decided to fight back. But how they're fighting back is quite instructive.

The Obama campaign is planning to expand its research and rapid-response team in order to repel attacks it anticipates over his ties to 1960s radical Bill Ayers, indicted developer Antoin Rezko and other figures from his past.

You don't expand your research and rapid response staff in order to find out what your own candidate knows and has done. You expand your research and rapid response staff so you can do oppo research on your opponents and critics.

The Obama campaign is preparing to do what Sen. Rockefeller advised

advised [pdf] the Clinton Administration (and Hillary Clinton, in particular) do in the 1990's - that is, "use classic opposition research" to attack critics and to "expose lifestyles, tactics and motives" in order to "deflect criticism."

It's a new kind of campaign...with the old kind of tactics. Maybe Newsweek should have explained that a bit more.


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