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August 26, 2005

HERE'S AN ABC REPORT ON THE PR MACHINE BEHIND CINDY SHEEHAN:

ABC7 Looks At The Financing Of 'Camp Casey'
By Mark Matthews
With the President back at his Crawford ranch, the anti-war protest right outside his ranch is getting a lot more media attention. ABC7 looks at who is financing the operation and who's providing on-the-ground support.

The camp at Crawford is full of Cindy Sheehan supporters, people from all walks of life. But off to the side are a small group of professionals, skilled in politics and public relations who are marketing her message. . . .
Leading the group is Fenton Communications employee Michele Mulkey, based in San Francisco. Fenton specializes in public relations for liberal non profits.

Their bills are being paid by True Majority, a non-profit set up by Ben Cohen, of Ben and Jerry's ice cream fame.

Ben Cohen: "People are willing to listen to her and we want to do as much as we can to make her voice heard."

Cohen's liberal group has teamed up with Berkeley-based moveon.org, an anti-Bush group co-founded by Joan Blades.

I can't say I'm surprised: the "grassroots" antiwar movement keeps turning out to be MoveOn/A.N.S.W.E.R. astroturf. But I bet that if a GOP group were to send servicemen's families to picket Democrats it would be getting more play. And more negative play.

UPDATE: Reader Don Fishback thinks this is just a smokescreen:

You have to wonder if Karl Rove is the one who is REALLY behind Cindy Sheehan. Look at what he has accomplished and hopes to accomplish with her help:

First, his name is completely off the radar screen. Valerie Plame? Who is she?

Second, liberal interest groups are getting their hopes up once again, as they have after every so-called Bush implosion. Hardcore Democrats feel liberated and are actively supporting Sheehan, who contemporaneously says things like "AFGHANISTAN was a mistake" and "Get Israel out of Palestine." It's as if the hardcore leftists are so emboldened that even Howard Dean isn't enough for them!

But most of all, he's set an awful sweet trap for some bigger catch. I am sure that he was hoping that some potential Democrat presidential candidates showed up in Crawford. Well, at least someone besides Sharpton. Alas, it looks like he's going to have to wait until her entourage gets to Washington.

It's as if Rove has set the Democrats up with a Kobayashi Maru. If a major Dem goes to Cindy's side, they're doomed as a national candidate. No one in Tennessee or Indiana is going to support someone who agrees with the policy that Afghanistan was a mistake. But if they don't, as Kaus points out, they'll never get nominated by the emboldened left-wing base.

Evil Genius indeed.

Hmm. Is Karl Rove that smart? Are Democratic activists that gullible?

ANOTHER UPDATE: Maybe so.