Cahill: Misunderestimatin

We’re in the "Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda" phase of the post 2004 presidential election. While a majority of the moonbats are still thinking Ohio was stolen from them, many of the key players in the campaigns are analyzing themselves and one another, giving compliments where they’re due. We haven’t heard from Mary Beth Cahill until now, where she admits that the now famous swift boat ads were actually pretty powerful messages.

The campaign manager for Sen. John Kerry’s failed presidential bid said Wednesday she regrets underestimating the impact of an attack advertisement that questioned Kerry’s Vietnam War record.

Mary Beth Cahill, who spoke at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government with Ken Mehlman, President Bush’s campaign manager, said the Massachusetts senator’s campaign initially thought there would be "no reach" to the ad from Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

Instead, the ad, which initially aired in just three states, became a central issue of the campaign, eventually forcing Kerry to personally deny the group’s allegations that he did not deserve his combat medals.

"This is the best $40,000 investment made by any political group, but it was only because of the news coverage that it got where it did," she said.

"In hindsight, maybe we should have put Senator Kerry out earlier, perhaps we could have cut it off earlier."

I believe that this was the critical mistake committed by the Kerry campaign. I was amazed that they didn’t attempt to debunk the allegations earlier, given that John Kerry put so much emphasis on his war time record during his convention.

Cahill said if she could change one thing about the campaign it would be the timing of the conventions. By scheduling their convention about five weeks after the Democrats, the Republicans gained a fund-raising advantage and dominated the news going into the final stretch.

Forget about the timing of the convention Mary Beth. Take a good long look at the "content" of the convention. These things are put together so the candidate can introduce themselves and their platform to the country. Kerry spent so much time "reporting for duty" that by the time the convention was over, the viewing public thought they just got through watching an Oliver Stone movie. One week and millions of dollars later, they still knew nothing about John Kerry.

Both sides also agreed that the Internet and other emerging news technologies have transformed the political process by making it more democratic and encouraging more people to become involved.

The "Shazaam!" moment. You can hear both sides saying, "If only we had been able to contain them dang bloggers!" My crystal ball says that in 2008, both parties will put huge amounts of money into the blogosphere. Pollsters will measure blog activity and weight it as strongly as they weight the traditional telephone survey. Cable and Network TV News channels will report nightly about what blog writers are talking about. The 2008 election will be like no other. The blogosphere will be a force to be reckoned with, for sure. (AP)

UPDATE: Matt was there.

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