BUCHANAN (11/6/06): I think [Bob] Corker...has raised all these doubts about Harold Ford down the line. I don`t consider that thing so much a racial ad, as it was one attacking Ford. This isnt the guy he says he is. This isnt the church-going guy. This guy like Playboy parties. This is a guy who gets money form pornographers, undercutting him with that religious base.Say what? Is Harold Ford a guy who gets money from pornographers? Once again, voters heard the punishing claim—and once again, no one on the Hardball panel addressed what Buchanan had said. Bob Shrum rose up in racial indignation about the ad, helping us see how high-minded he is. But once again, the porn money claim went undiscussed, unexplained, unrebutted.
STEELE (10/30/06): I dont think there has been another candidate in this country who has had to go through what Ive gone through just to stand here right now as a Senate nominee of my party. From the Senate—you know, from House leader Steny Hoyer calling me a slave and a token when I ran two years—four years ago, to the Oreo cookies, to the name-calling, to the ugly blogs, you know, party trumps race and all this other nonsense, I think its important to put to bed once and for all that—you know, people are all upset about the Harold Ford ad and whether or not its racism. Well, racism for me in this race has been being called names, being called, you know, not black enough and all this other craziness.Except, Hoyer hadnt called Steele a slave—and hes been dissembling about those cookies for years (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 11/15/05). But that had always been Steeles whole campaign. Simply put, Steeles campaign had two basic planks. Hed cry about phony racial slights. And omigod! Hed try to make unsophisticated voters think that he was a Democrat.
STEELEYes, thats right! Maybe voters would see his face—and see his signs—and think that he was a Democrat! Has any candidate ever made a more laughable attempt to mislead voters? Why, youd think the dude would become a big joke. And youd be thinking wrong.
LIASSON (11/5/06): Well, I'll give two positive awards to Michael Steele and Harold Ford. They both happen to be African-Americans, but that aside, they were clearly the most talented Senate candidates out there. What they did was pretty amazing...I think Michael Steele, a Republican running in a pretty liberal state, has also made that race a lot closer than anybody expected.Mara knew what the whole gang was saying—so she stepped up and said it too. Along with Ford, Steele was clearly the most talented Senate candidate out there. Steele had made the Maryland race a lot closer than anybody expected.
But uh-oh! When the national press corps praises a hustler, he draws a clear lesson—he can hustle you more. Yesterday, when we went to vote, a disheveled fellow was on the corner, handing out a full-sized, full-color, four-page, glossy voters guide. The front-page headline? Steele-Ehrlich Democrats. (To see that astonishing cover, click here.) In this mornings Baltimore Sun, Melissa Harris describes the problem. Democrats [were] crying foul over literature distributed for the state's two top Republicans, she writes:
HARRIS (11/8/06): In what some Democrats called the most egregious example of propaganda, one flier was headlined "Steele-Ehrlich Democrats," referring to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele—both of whom are Republicans. Another GOP flier suggested that U.S. Senate candidate Kweisi Mfume had endorsed Ehrlich when, in fact, the former congressman supported Democratic Baltimore Mayor Martin OMalley [see link below]...Harris calls them fliers, but they were full-size, fill-color, four-page brochures. Indeed, our Steele-Ehrlich Democrats guide was a pip. Inside, we got our recommendations. Included among the Steele-Ehrlich Democrats were the following hopefuls:
Larry J. Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said the tactics were not widely used elsewhere during yesterday's midterm elections.
"That's basically a Maryland thing," Sabato said of the fliers, particularly the one featuring Mfume. "People can define it any way they want, but it's misleading. ... I just don't think that's appropriate."
The Republican candidate for governorThe guide did recommend several Democrats—Democrats who were running unopposed in our urban district. The guide recommended only one Dem who was opposed by a Republican—the Democratic candidate for Attorney General. And yes, the guide said it was paid for by the Steele and Ehrlich campaigns. In the Sun, Harris explains:
The Republican candidate for lieutenant governor
The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate
The Republican candidate for state comptroller
HARRIS: Republican officials confirmed that at least some of the "sample ballot" fliers were paid for by the Ehrlich and Steele campaigns, carrying the official campaign credit line. Audra Miller, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Republican Party, said that the GOP—hoping to elect the state's first black senator—would need the support of disappointed Democrats.For disappointed, just plug in misled.