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The RNC’s New Ardor

Marc Ambinder
October 16, 2007
The Atlantic

One more note about the RNC:

A few months ago, Republican campaigns and even some White House officials worried that the Republican National Committee was abrogating its responsibility to begin to define Hillary Clinton. It wasn't so much that the RNC doesn't have reams of material -- and they do -- it was that the RNC wasn't selling the material, wasn't getting it into the press, wasn't convincing state parties that the dirty work had to be shared, and simply wasn't being aggressive enough.

Since early September, when a new RNC communications director took over, the intensity of that effort has risen several candelas. The volume of e-mails to national political reporters has doubled. State parties have begun to bracket Clinton when she visits their states. At this stage, the attacks against Clinton are broadsides, not longitudinal. The RNC doesn't seem to have settled on a particular frame for Clinton, although the words "liberal" and "dynasty" will probably have something to do with it.

It was the RNC/Bush Cheney campaign's early definition of John Kerry, as orchestrated by BC04 Research Director Matt Rhoades that helped the Bush campaign immeasurably. The Democratic National Committee recognized this success and adapted it. (No charge is too ridiculous, such as the party's attempt to get Republicans to apologize for something Ann Coulter said.)