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Via Greg Sargent we learn of a plan devised by Democratic strategist Paul Begala to ratfuck the Republican Presidential primary with this ad, being aired in the early state of South Carolina:

More on the flip

Sargent explains that the goal is to:

do[] everything possible to ensure that Medicare is central to framing the Presidential race at the outset — by getting all the GOP candidates to talk about it.

Following in the footsteps of Leader Pelosi, Begala believes that Democrats win when Republicans are fighting over how best to support a Medicare-to-voucher program.

This strategy of playing in the Republican primary is clever, but not novel. The greatest modern example comes from 2002, when a politically ailing Gray Davis waded in to the other side's gubernatorial primary ,

unveil[ing] a scathing television ad . . . attacking Republican Richard Riordan as a flip-flopping candidate on the emotional issue of abortion.

I applaud Begala for employing this historically effective strategy. As another old Democratic hand likes to say, "when your opponent is drowning, throw the son of a bitch an anvil."

[UPDATE] Romney tries to raise money off of the ad. Begala takes the bait:

I will donate five bucks to Mitt if he will just answer the question: Would you have voted for the Ryan budget plan - the plan the Wall Street Journal said would "essentially end Medicare"? Jon Huntsman answered the question this morning when George Stephanopoulos asked him on "Good Morning America," why won't Mitt?

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