GOP Primary Activity Heats Up at CPAC

Unfortunately I was unable to attend CPAC. I have too many mommy duties this week and not enough spare change to afford the trip anyway. From what I am hearing though, it might be a good thing I am not there.

According to this report at ABP, someone from Mitt Romney’s campaign was handing out a flyer (“Has anyone seen John in a while?”) taunting McCain for not attending and some were handing out flip-flops (“Mitt Flops”) with Romney’s picture on them.

I am also hearing that some in McCain’s campaign were shopping a story about an associate of
Rudy Giuliani to some blogs and other media outlets at CPAC. The story, alleging that an associate of
Giuliani’s had pedophile-priest issues, was reported last week at Newsday, but must not have gotten as much attention as some in the McCain campaign wanted. The subject of the story denies the charges.

I participated in a conference call last month with some members of McCain’s senior staff. I thought the call was a really smart move for the campaign and a comment from one blogger on the call in particular really resonated with me. The blogger said “I hope we can run a clean campaign here. We’re going to have to take one of these guys at the end of the day and we’re all going to have to support the candidate so I hope you take the high road…”

That is where I am right now. Candidates will, and should, tout their own positives and point out the negatives in other candidates. I know that it is important in the primary process to test the candidates. There is a difference, though, between dealing with facts and issues and pushing stories full of unproven allegations about a friend of the candidate. With all the complaining McCain did in South Carolina in the 2000 primary about tactics used against him, I hoped to see a 2008 primary that did not include such nastiness. I fear that is exactly what is happening now though. As some candidates surge forward in the polls and others begin to lag behind, I fear desperation will lead some to take the low road. At the end of the day, the candidate left standing is the one that we will be depending on to hold the White House. I hope those engaging in primary politics will keep that in mind and will choose the high road.

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