How nasty is it going to get? We’ll find out today as the campaigns match each other sleaze-for-sleaze via surrogates. All weekend long we were treated to media teasers announcing Gloria Allred and Donald Trump would reveal secrets of the opposing camp’s candidates. In other words, the dinosaurs are running loose in the zoo. Though neither celebrity is associated directly with the campaigns, the idea that they aren’t representing their respective corners is so unbelievable only a caveman would buy it. No doubt part of the tease, in addition to building suspense, was to test the waters to see how much damage going this dirty would do the dueling campaigns efforts.
For her part, Gloria Allred is scheduled to appear in a Boston courtroom at 8:00 this morning to try to have lifted a gag order in a decades old divorce case. TMZ is reporting that it is the divorce case of Thomas Stemberg, co-founder of Staples, and his first wife Maureen. The tip is that there is something “juicy” in Romney’s testimony, though what that is we’ll find out later.
Except for the part about working through legal channels, this is a play straight from the Obama play book. In almost every election he’s been in unsealed court records, usually divorce and often at the last minute, have been the demise of his opponent. It doesn’t matter that Allred will likely be unsuccessful in getting the gag lifted, especially since Thomas Stemberg is contesting the petition—the story is now out there, and the media will fill in the rest no matter what happens.
For Trump’s part, in a well-timed release to coincide with Allred’s attempt later this morning, he’s prepared to release documents he’s no doubt been sitting on for a while. A Florida-based investor, Douglass Klass, tweeted to his followers on Tuesday that the documents were related to Michelle Obama’s attempt to divorce Barack Obama in the wake of his sole electoral loss in a House election in 2000. This was after Malia was born, but just before Sasha. Ed Klein had earlier made the allegation in his book, The Amateur, though the White House denied the report at the time and sought to discredit Klein.
So now we have the Obama-divorce-story versus the Romney-testified-in-a-divorce- case-story. You tell me which one is more interesting. You already know. The irony is, of course, rich because in a typical Obama-style play, he stands to get routed by his own carefully hidden record and dirty campaign tricks. Talk about hoisted on your own petard. For someone like me, who’s been onto to the charade that parades himself around as Obama for almost five years, it is all so delicious. But it poses additional promise and problems as well.
Now we get to see these stories play out in the media. No doubt the Allred angle will get more play initially in the liberal-mainstream press nexus, but the conservative media has built a formidable media machine of its own over the last two decades, and they will not let the Trump story go down in flames. And the details there are too juicy for the mainstream media to ignore for long. Documents to back up Klein’s assertions? What else in The Amateur could be true? Will it all start to unravel now, as the truth comes spilling out? Inquiring minds want to know.
This will play out on Memorandum for the next several days, and Americans will grow more disgusted than ever that the parties play games while Main Street continues to suffer. That disgust will likely play in Romney’s favor, however, for the simple facts that the Obama story is more recent and interesting, Romney’s a third party to the divorce case, and Allred has already played this hand for her team countless times before. It’s a stale move, and because it’s not Romney’s divorce, it’s hollow as well. Besides, she has a vagina, and Trump is the ultimate alpha male. I’m not bothered by that in the least, quite frankly. Team Obama has played so cynically with sexism and “women’s issues” for so long, it’s time they got a taste of their own medicine. Let Allred go down in flames; she has no business trying to be the voice of American women anyway, and she certainly doesn’t speak for me.
But it will help Obama, too, if only because it will temporarily bury the Reuters breaking story of damning new emails that show the White House knew in real time that the Benghazi attack was a terrorist attack.
Officials at the White House and State Department were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack, official emails show.
The emails, obtained by Reuters from government sources not connected with U.S. spy agencies or the State Department and who requested anonymity, specifically mention that the Libyan group called Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks.
While that’s not good, there’s always the Sunday talk shows, which will cover this story. It’s won’t be covered up or glossed over, but the impact could be delayed. Keep in mind there’s still 13 days left, folks. That’s plenty of time to give this story walking legs.
As I’ve said before, as long as Obama was willing to play on the semi-level, Romney would not go dirty. He was willing to absorb the mouthy punches of the slacker-in-chief during the debates, and the record-slurring of Obama’s team over the summer. But, with the numbers what they are the trajectory what it is, it was only a matter of time before Team Obama would feel they had to get down in the mud. It is, of course, a significant sign of desperation that they are going this route at this late date. Personally, I’m pleased that Team Romney had a game-plan to address it. This should put to rest any talk of Romney not getting it once and for all. He gets it, and he’s ready for whatever comes his way.