It seems that whenever Dick Cheney endorses a political candidate, they lose. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R - Texas) lost a primary race to Rick Perry for governor. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) lost in the primary as well. And tomorrow there's a big race for Senate in Kentucky where the establishment candidate (Trey Greyson) is going to get pasted by Ron Paul's son, Rand Paul.
Surely, Dick Cheney must be aware of the negative impact of his endorsements. Perhaps he honestly believes he can help, but I doubt it. Cheney is far too measured and astute to be so naive regarding right-wing/centrist Republican politics. Seriously, Cheney's national approval rating is somewhere in the low teens. Is it possible he's using his endorsement as a weapon - a lethal kiss of death? I doubt it. Nonetheless, it got me to thinking.
What if you devised a national campaign where you linked your opponent to the scum of the earth? Think about it. What if serial murderer/cannibal Jeffery Dahmer had a Dukakis bumper sticker when they arrested him? I think the Jeff Dahmer shit happened in the late 80's. I might be wrong. But in this day of youtube, that's some high profile shit. Who the hell would want to be affiliated with a sodomizing cannibal?
Actually, Rush Limbaugh suggested that the recent U.S./Pakistani Times Square attempted car bomber had an Obama bumper sticker. Maybe he did. Maybe he didn't. I really don't know. Maybe the SUV's previous owner really did have an Obama bumper sticker.
Anyway, my point is that it's all fair game. What if you had video footage of a high profile pedophile priest from Minnesota getting into a car that had an Al Franken bumper sticker. The election is a hotly contested one and you spread the video virally and push it on the cable networks right at crunch time. There's no time to fight back. And to be honest, you really can't fight back. It's like asking the question, "How many times have you beaten your wife?" You lose every time.
Most voters want to believe that they picked the winner. Unless of course, you're so heavily principled that you voted for Pat Buchanan or Ralph Nader and screwed up the 2000 election. I'm talking about the majority of registered voters. More important than picking the winning candidate, the worst case scenario is being affiliated with the scumbag elements of society.
Right now I'd try to inflict misery through the use of British Petroleum, Goldman Sachs and maybe Ben Rothlisberger. Not many BP or Goldman Sachs bumper stickers out there, but what if you showed Arlen Specter getting into his vehicle and he had a BIG BEN #7 bumper sticker (that was discreetly stuck there by a political operative). It would demonstrate that Specter is nothing more than a Washington insider who's so completely mired in beltway politics that he's totally insulated himself. If he tried to deny his admiration of Rothlisberger, it just makes him look like an even bigger fool who's completely out of the loop.
That scenario is a bit absurd, but here's a real one. Let's say Rothlisberger suddenly decides the day before the election he's going to host an unofficial press conference. All the local stations go to interview him. He decides to give the interview in front of his mammoth Escalade in his massive driveway in front of his million dollar + home. Oddly enough, he has an Arlen Specter bumper sticker. Ka-Pow! Talk about an "accidental" political systempunkt! No time for damage control. You just sent Specter to an early retirement. Now he's affiliated with an arrogant, elitist athlete with a track record for abusing women and denigrating the common folk. We find out after the election that Sestak and Rothlisberger orchestrated the whole thing. I love these hypothetical high profile political scenarios.