Today the New York Times reveals that the Kean Jr campaign is self-funding a swiftboat-style smear campaign against Senator Menendez. These repeatedly discredited lies are so sleazy that nobody else – not the RNC, RSCC, or any independent groups – are willing to fund them, so the campaign has to do it themselves. It’s too dirty even for Karl Rove, but as they say, Tom Kean Jr personally approved this message. The New York Times pulls back the curtains (emphasis mine):
The Republican candidate for Senate in New Jersey, Thomas Kean Jr., intends to make a campaign film that accuses his Democratic opponent, Robert Menendez, of “being wrapped up in the rackets for 30 years” despite public records and statements by former federal prosecutors that contradict Mr. Kean’s most serious charges.
Mr. Kean’s chief campaign consultant, Matt Leonardo, a strategist for Republican candidates, disclosed the plans in an interview and said the film would be “very similar” in purpose to the commercials used to attack the military record of John Kerry during the 2004 presidential race.
Both the New York Times and the Star Ledger recently exposed the Kean Jr campaign as a bunch of liars, but they’re going to keep digging themselves in the hole anyway.
Mr. Kean’s charges are not, however, supported by the public record and were repudiated by independent authorities including the four assistant United States attorneys who prosecuted Union City officials of that era for racketeering and corruption. There is no truth, those former officials say, to the Kean campaign’s charge that Mr. Menendez made a deal to keep himself out of prison.
Mr. Leonardo did not directly dispute that information, published Sunday in The New York Times and The Star Ledger of Newark, but described it as a “set of views” and said other people held different views.
The only “different” view you can have from the truth is a lie. To be fair, there is one big difference between this smear campaign and the attacks on John Kerry:
Both he and Ms. Hazelbaker said that the source â€” campaign money as opposed to a 527 committee â€” was the primary distinction between the Swift boat commercials and the planned film on Mr. Menendez.
You read that correctly – they seem to be proud of the fact that the campaign is directly funding this. I’ve always assumed that Kean Jr wasn’t really in this to win, but rather to set himself up for a future race. The way the campaign has been completely mismanaged, it’s hard to conclude otherwise – but this latest news seals the deal. Nobody serious about winning would hold on to such wildly incompetent campaign staff. A broken magic 8 ball could be more effective.
What Junior might not realize it that it’s his indifference to this idiocy that will doom his future prospects, too. What began as his only asset – the Kean family name – is being eviscerated by his immature, selfish ambitions. One of the largest newspapers in the country has exposed him as a liar, but he stubbornly pushes forward with his sleazy lies. If he hasn’t already, his actions will ruin the chances of any future political ambitions he may have. The formerly respected “Kean” name will become a burden on the rest of his career and nothing but a shameful legacy to future generations.