Here’s an old game: Put out some horrid shit on your opponent. Get called on it. Claim the rogue staffer was acting on his own. Fire him. Try to shift the message back to your opponent. I think it is on page 32 of the Rovian Handbook of Political Malfeasance. Paragraphs 3 and 4.

The Dispatch covers the game as it is being played:

The chairman of the Ohio Republican Party today fired an employee who sent an e-mail suggesting that Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ted Strickland and his wife are gay.

Robert T. Bennett today also sent a letter of apology to Strickland, saying the tactic ?was in no way authorized nor condoned by me or any member of my senior staff.?

Anyone buy that? Of course you don’t. This rumor was out there and Bennett and the rest of the GOP knew about it. It took being down 20 points for it to come out. Vile crap being spewed and bad polling go hand in hand. We saw it with Flannery, now Blackwell. They are tactics of the desperate, and make no mistake: Ken Blackwell and the Ohio GOP are fast becoming desperate!

Cue the water fountain sounds and birds chirping for this:

?Ohioans expect and deserve a competitive contest for governor focused on the substantive issues important to leading our state,? Bennett said in his letter of apology to Strickland. ?While public records, comments, platforms and proposals are fair game, we will not engage in rumor and innuendo.?

Bob. You have my promise that I’m going to remember that. You know as well as I do that there is only one way your boy Ken wins in November and that is to foment as much vile political matter onto the scene as possible. We get the strategy. As Ted has said, we understand the “nexis” here. So do the people of the state. And they are sick to death of it.

But here is the best part. Bobby gets his hand caught in the cookie jar and immediately wants to draw attention to the other kids:

Bennett also urged Strickland ?to publicly condemn the racially-motivated hate campaign being waged by members of your Democratic Party against? GOP gubernatorial nominee J. Kenneth Blackwell, who is black.

LOL. Right. Racially motivated hate campaign? Anyone seen it? I remember a racially motivated flyer that was floating around. People of all races dislike Ken Blackwell because he is a bad Secretary of State and would be a disaster as a Governor. People get that.

Great to see them squirm around though, right?

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