Murtha communications director Megan Grote says of the previously reported number of 41 candidates or districts, "We don't know where that number came from." Per Grote, Murtha is planning to campaign for Democratic candidates, but the office doesn't yet know for whom or when. It could be around 40, she says, or it could be less. She notes that "plans have been changing," that "nothing is set in stone," and that it's all being done "last minute." Either way, Murtha won't be campaigning anytime soon; Grote says he has nothing planned for the next two weeks. The Democratic House campaign committee says they have no knowledge of Murtha's campaign/travel schedule. Murtha communications director Megan Grote says, "We don't know where that number came from."The Irey Campaign was all over that:
Huh.Is Murtha's staff that forgetful that they can't even remember telling reporters this less than a month ago?
Perhaps Ms. Grote should check to see if her office's subscription to The Hill newspaper has lapsed. Here's an excerpt from an article entitled "To raise profile, Murtha will stump for 41 Dems," published in The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper, on July 26, 2006:
Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), who has suspended his race to become majority leader in the event that the Democrats capture the House, plans to campaign in 41 races around the country where he said party leaders believe he can be helpful. This is a dramatic increase in activity for Murtha, who did not campaign for House candidates in 2004, according to his spokeswoman.
Helping Democratic candidates could pay dividends in a race for majority leader against Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD). Murtha says he thinks such a race is likely and told The Hill that if the election were held now Democrats would be catapulted into the majority. "If it was today, we'd win 50 seats," he said, adding that Democratic strategists have assessed the field of competitive races in which they think he can help. "In 41 seats they think I can help," he said. "They've got it narrowed."
Murtha said he plans to campaign in all of them. He also said, "I'm going to where Nancy sends me," referring to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
So the source of the number 41? None other than Jack Murtha himself.
Note, too, please, that Ms. Grote is going to have a hard time getting away from this one, because in the original article in The Hill, we read "This is a dramatic increase in activity for Murtha, who did not campaign for House candidates in 2004, ACCORDING TO HIS SPOKESWOMAN."
So, to review:Their 'forgetfulness' makes perfect sense if they're making these numbers up, which seems pretty apparent. The proof that they're all bluster comes when Murtha said "If it was today, we'd win 50 seats," he said, adding that Democratic strategists have assessed the field of competitive races in which they think he can help. "In 41 seats they think I can help," he said. "They've got it narrowed."
Jack Murtha tells The Hill that he's going to campaign in 41 races. His spokeswoman confirms that this is a dramatic increase over 2004, when he campaigned in precisely zero districts for other Democrats, despite having NO Republican opponent. He even tells The Hill "I'm going to where Nancy sends me," referring to liberal San Francisco Democrat/House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Diana Irey begins to whack him for abandoning his constituents in southwestern Pennsylvania in his attempt to curry favor with the liberal Democrats whose votes he'll need to become Majority Leader, IF he wins reelection, and IF Democrats take control of the House. And then his spokeswoman tells NBC News about the 41-campaign "Cut and Run" Tour, "We have no idea where that number came from."
I believe that "they've got it narrowed." I'd take that as proof that there aren't that many competitive seats. Remember the lesson of 2004, when KEdwards04 kept cancelling ad buys in more and more states.
Alot can be learned by how extensive party leaders' travels are and by where they're going. If you see Democratic Party leadership travelling to an ever-shrinking group of House districts, then you'll know that Democrats' chances of winning back the House are nil. If you see Republicans campaigning in traditionally Democratic districts, then you'll know that there's a chance at a GOP net gain in the House.
The bigger point to the Murtha Campaign's cluelessness is that they aren't paying attention or that they're that incompetent or a combination of both.
Don't be surprised if the people of PA-12 fire Murtha this November.
Technorati: Election 2006, Murtha, Irey, Pelosi
Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog