Friday, February 15, 2013

Vilsack Not Running, Propaganda Aplenty

Tom Vilsack announced he's not running for the Iowa Senate seat being vacated by Tom Harkin. This immediately had the intended effect. The NRSC and the DSCC issued dueling statements worthy of any Soviet-era propaganda minister.

From the NRSC:
The [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee] tried and failed to prevent Sen. Harkin's hand-chosen candidate, Rep. Bruce Braley, from a clear path to the nomination because they know his brand of liberalism is too far outside the mainstream for most Iowans. Now Democrats are stuck [with] a slick former head of the trial lawyers association and one of the most partisan members of Congress as their candidate, Bruce Braley.
From the DSCC:
In an attempt to distract from their waning influence within their own party, the NRSC has released a false and incomprehensible statement about Congressman Braley that only adds to the committee's embarrassment. Perhaps they should be more concerned about a field of candidates out of touch with mainstream Americans and a potential primary that will push the eventual nominee even further to the right.
Is there any point to this? Is it some kind of useful signaling game? Are there voters who donors or activists who find any of this useful?

No. This is pure nonsense that achieves nothing. Enter the political scientist. I think there's actually an interesting political science question here. Both committees employ people to write this stuff and send it out there. The AP or Reuters or whoever scoops it up and runs with it. Why do these various political actors waste time on this? There's something interesting in the (at least seemingly) wasted resources (time, money, etc.).


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