The Mudcat mess

To employ the “don’t have a dog in this fight” idiom twice in a day, political strategist “Mudcat” Saunders didn’t exactly have a bluetick hound in Joe Klein’s eternal war with bloggers, did he? And yet he waded right in, behaving as though Klein was his second cousin on his momma’s side, to the benefit of no one except perhaps amused Republicans.

So views were, ah, exchanged. Ol’ Mudcat has apologized – more or less. And now, having wasted a precious day of his limited blogging engagement, he has tried to move on to that thing he came to talk about. You remember, something or other about reaching out to rural and Southern voters and winning the presidency. A pity that many of the people he might have otherwise engaged in dialogue have likely tuned him out, cries of “go to Hell” still ringing in their ears.

Somewhere in the political strategists’ handbook it surely says that staying on message is key…probably just before it says that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

(Cross-posted.)

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “The Mudcat mess

  1. Melissa McEwan

    I was, as a former employee of the same presidential campaign currently employing as an advisor the Mudcat himself, asked by a news organization (which may or may not print its story now, given an apology and the typical forward momentum of the news cycle) for a comment. Obligingly, I offered:

    “Mudcat seems to be conflating uncivil bloggers with the so-called ‘Metropolitan Opera Wing’ of the party with no regard for the one true thing about the progressive blogosphere, which is that it is not a monolith. Many of the bloggers he deems uncivil and intolerant may indeed enjoy following ‘pro rasslin’ as well as political blogs, as the two are not mutually exclusive, as he suggests. Neither, as it happens, are incivility and the ‘exchange of ideas.’ Frankly, nothing strikes me as more elitist than the assertion that an idea expressed while engaging adult language is of no value, or is necessarily a meritless personal attack. I wouldn’t expect a guy with a name like Mudcat to have such delicate sensibilities.”

  2. This blogging business…it’s tougher than it looks. 😀

  3. Huh. So you and Amanda were representative of both the candidate and his campaign, but “Mudcat” Saunders is just bein’ hisself, speakin’ for hisself.

    Now what’s the difference between y’all and him? I’m tryin’ to put my finger on it, but it’s a squiggly little fucker. Hmm.

  4. Melissa McEwan

    Now what’s the difference between y’all and him? I’m tryin’ to put my finger on it, but it’s a squiggly little fucker.

    Isn’t it, though?

  5. Just as an aside–what’s with the nickname? When I was a kid in Louisiana, and fishing was one of our few summertime activities, a mudcat was a useless fish. Even at ten, when the excitement of catching anything is pretty palpable, catching a mudcat was a downer, because it meant you’d wasted some of the bait you’d spent the morning digging out of the ground. So does that mean that Saunders is simply living up to his moniker?

  6. Just as an aside–what’s with the nickname?

    I have some very strong suspicions that ol’ Mudcat is as phony as a gun rack in a Nissan truck what ain’t got no mud onna sides.

    He probably heard the term somewhere and figured, rightly, that it would play well as part of the good ol’ boy schtick that he bases his career on.

  7. nightshift66

    I think Stephen nails it. Many on the Right have been quite successful at portraying themselves as ‘jes folks,’ no matter how silly the claim is. Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) was a tobacco lobbyist and DC playa for decades. He’s as sophisticated and well-spoken as any, but when he ran for governor you’d think he just fell off the turnip truck. Fred Thompson played the same game running for the Senate, even renting (renting!) a beat-up pickup truck to drive around Tennessee for his campaigning.

  8. Mudcat is as clueless about the blogosphere as McEwan was tuned in. The Edwards campaign really needs her.

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