You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.
Posting a Diary Entry
Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as
is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.
When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.
If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.
ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.
One diary daily maximum.
Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries
that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
In a Feb. 2 meeting that was secretly recorded and published today by David Corn of Mother Jones, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell explained his "Whac-A-Mole" reelection strategy to his campaign staff: "When anybody sticks their head up," he said, "do them out."
The focus of the meeting was opposition research on Ashley Judd, who at the time was considering a bid. McConnell and his staff discussed how to attack her on everything from her political views to the fact that she had considered suicide as a sixth-grader. It was pretty nasty stuff and definitely not the kind of meeting an unpopular senator seeking reelection should want to be associated with.
Despite McConnell's "do them out" strategy, the campaign actually appeared to relish the possibility of facing Judd in a general election. In fact, other than facing no candidate at all, they seemed to believe Judd was their version of Sharron Angle. But unlike Angle, Judd decided not run—and unlike Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell is now on tape with his campaign staff salivating over the prospect of facing what he believed would be a weak opponent.
The meeting also discussed another potential McConnell opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky's Democratic secretary of state. Unlike Judd, McConnell's opposition research on Grimes basically came up empty. Grimes, who is 34 and a rising star in the state, hasn't decided to run, but if she does, McConnell's "Whac-A-Mole" plan appears to be in serious jeopardy.
To the extent that the tape is damaging for McConnell, I think it's that by saying that his political fortunes depend on having weak opposition, he's effectively conceding the weakness of his own record. Obviously, denying your opponents oxygen is a tried and true political tactic, but it's one thing to do it and it's another thing to say you're doing it, because by saying you're doing, you basically are admitting you don't have anything else. And given that McConnell is still the most unpopular senator in the country, that's not a good position to be in.
Predictably, McConnell is responding to the story by trying to deflect focus from what he said to questions about how the tape was obtained. In a statement, the campaign accused "the Left" of "Watergate-style" tactics, but provided no evidence that the tape was recorded by opponents of McConnell on the left. A source "close" to McConnell's campaign told CNN that the FBI has been asked to investigate how the recording was made. But however it was made, what McConnell said on the recording was crystal clear: to win, he needs to annihilate his opponents before the campaign even begins.