THE AUDIT - Researching Your Campaign Electoral Focus
7:29PM Dec 9, 2022
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Karl Rove is not an idiot. He's pure evil.
And David Axelrod, I want to go a little longer on this before we start talking about my theories about David Axelrod, because I don't know how this guy has career frankly.
I really how you really feel?
Well, I think you I think you do. I mean, he would just be a run of the mill guy doing Democratic campaigns losing a bunch winning some. And then he found lightning in a bottle. I mean, yeah, say what you want about Obama's his policies. But that guy is not like anything I've ever seen in my life on a stage. He is the order that that you need. But he used his power for for evil, unfortunately, as opposed to good when he got in there watching watching this stuff. And watching him seeing clips of him talking again. Yeah, makes me so angry. Because I mean, I was I was aware of it at the time. But he turned off an entire generation to politics, he turned people off of believing in anything while he used them to say believe in this. So it's very, I call him the most cynical politician of my lifetime because he did that. But it really brings up a lot of I get really mad when I watch him talking and the dreams he was putting in people's heads. And the campaign that he did is so cynical and gross. I
wonder if I mean he did have that impact. He fired up a whole sort of younger generation and then when it turned out that there was no there there a whole hell of a lot of them kept I like to think held on to that fire and moved into something more substantive for me. You know, the joke is that he created an entire generation of socialists when I think he kind of did. And he couldn't have done that if he hadn't been
true. But he had I mean, we all know he had that student activist group that were, you know, 1000s of them across the country. And the first thing he did was cut them loose. And he's actually said, that's one of my greatest regrets. And I'm like, I don't know if you wanted them around, based on what you were doing. But he really did. Yeah, I mean, maybe he did turn them into socialists, but also that's just the economic reality of our country. He preyed upon people's need, desperate need for there to be something different. Well, sometimes
you get, you get caught up. And I think that's what happened. I meant I'm, I'm disappointed. Dave, I don't think I'm quite where you are. But I am disappointed, especially in the second term, I understand when to play it safe. To get that second term, especially Yes, being the first African American person to hold that office. You know, you might be a little concern there. And I think it was warranted, but the SEC, the last term where I thought, Oh, my God, this is it. This is where the trans formation, transformative nature of what he put out in the campaign, this is coming. The second term and no, it never came. Unfortunately. I think pan Obama got caught up.
What do you think about the post presidency, though, that to me is also sort of indicted
Oh, no, thoroughly disappointed in the post presidency because he has every tool at his disposal, because he was president of the United States to do so much good in the world starting in Chicago. Actually.
I mean, I was astonished the first the first thing we saw of him after Trump got in was he's what was he was like paragliding with. brands that are some some billionaire.
Yeah. On the yacht with Branson. Yeah.
Theater. I mean, this is Theater for Dummies, Shakespeare was right. All the world is a stage. And because he is so set for life, to me, he has nothing to lose. I mean, what do you think about this out there putting it all on the line and they have everything to lose? And you have somebody President Obama's caliber and connection he can pick up the phone and anybody in the universe will answer because it's his. And he doesn't use that incredible imprimatur that he has to shake the world to shake it and shape it. He could do that. Yeah, he could do it tomorrow, you know?
Yep. Yes, no, that's the crazy thing. And I realized, and it took me a long time to realize that he is of my tribe in this regard. I said this to Dave, and I'm not kidding. Oh, I know he did it also that he can get a podcast with Bruce Springsteen. There is not a lot I wouldn't do to have a podcast on Bruce Springsteen. I get it now. But it's a little disappointing. David Sirota had a great story. I don't know if he's ever told us when a bad boy way back when Obama was running about how he had written a piece that was sort of critical of them. And not not hugely and Obama invited him when he was still Senator invited them to come meet and talk and they spent the day talking. And they did an interview. And David came home and he's telling his wife, you know, oh, my God, this is just, it was amazing. I was so wrong about this guy. He talked to me, he was this and that. And she said, I love this, how brilliant and she said, he said here listen to this. He started playing the interview. And she said no, no. Let me read the transcripts. And when they sat down read the transcripts, they realize he wasn't saying anything. Wow.
That's that's what a good politician is man. They know how to talk and, and work you like, you know, that's those are the guys that can really, I mean, I was around Clinton once and they they just have an aura, like these guys who get there. Just have a thing about them. And you're like, This guy has a magnetic presence. He is very much you feel it. And, and you know, you can get sucked in by that when you're talking to him for sure. Like,
absolutely. Oh, your critique just melts away. Yeah. When you're when you're right there and it presents good on Emily for picking up on that. Yeah, it's
interesting. The other thing with Clint apparently is he had that ability to remember the name of every single person he ever met, which that is that is a superpower. If I could pick between that and flying I might take that.
I tried for I would, I would say for a good hour. I tried to get the Secret Service guys to give me a piece of dirt and they wouldn't do it. I had I was a caterer so I had cake for him. I had all kinds of fun. wouldn't give anything up, not one thing.
And that makes them good at their job.
That's. And speaking of being good at your job, let's let's get into it. This is we're into researching your opponent. And who better to introduce this section than one, one, Karl Rove. I'm not sure if our listeners are familiar with Mr. Rove's history, but he knows a thing or two about researching his opponent. He's got a fun story here. about that very thing, I'd like to play you a little bit of it.
You need to approach this by looking at the Public Records and public statements and public actions of your opponent. And in all on always, I mean, if they held elective office before, or they have they sought office before collect all that they have said during those times. There are public records about you know, have they paid their taxes? Do they have liens on their property, and they own a small business, you know, what claims have they made about themselves, you'll be surprised if you do this, this is public records. And so you're not, you know, you're not hiring a private investigator to search into their personal activities. But you are looking at what they've said on a public level.
And he then goes on to tell the story of a woman named Linda Guerrero that Ann Richards put forth for an important electric commission spot in Texas on the Texas Railroad Commission, which weirdly, regulates the oil and gas industry in Texas, and let's let him tell the story, because he has an interesting angle on it.
And she was impressive, smart, able, a rising comer, she could be a statewide candidate, and she was clearly being groomed by Ann Richards. And over the course of the campaign, we did our opposition research at the start of the campaign, we began noticing that in different places at different times, she claimed to have had a different major at the University of Texas. In one place. She was a journalism major, and another one, she was a political science major. And another one, she was a government major. And she kept claiming different majors in different places. So he sort of went to say, what was her major, why she say different things in different places, we'll come to find out. She'd never graduated. And yet she had given two commencement addresses, one at Texas State University, and one at Texas a&m, in which she referenced her own college graduation. In fact, at a&m, she said, I remember well, my own commencement. And she claimed in these articles to have been a graduate of the University of Texas, with these various majors. Well, when this emerged in the camp out in the campaign, I mean, she was basically dummying up her resume claiming something she didn't have, she had never finished her degree, she got an active in politics, nothing wrong with that. But if you got an active in politics don't claim to be a college graduate if you aren't, and it blew up. And this once rising star was defeated in the in the general election by by my client, Republican oil and gas attorney, and her career was effectively ended. So opposition research is really important to do.
So it makes us all think about how you should use information you can get publicly. And he leaves out that in fact, he didn't get this information that way. They in fact, had a connection at the University, who gave him her student records, which are supposed to be private and sealed and that is how they got a hold of all of this stuff. And yeah, not only does he leave it out, but he's trying to make the point that this is all like you can use stuff but you have to use stuff that you find out through just the public me you can't be you know,
I mean, he's making it seem like there's some genteel exercise search and destroy your opponent. And so if the feigning praise that he's given to this woman, oh, she was smart. She was an up and comers she was this she was, well, if she was all of that, man. And why did y'all go after her like that? Well, that's it
she doesn't he sounds like gleeful he. He almost is throwing that out there that she was this great, great person and really a big up and comer as if he's so gleeful that he destroyed her career. It's really just amazing. It's such an insight into how evil this guy is because he his eyes, his eyes are sparkling.
Yeah. And he did, by the way, he held on to the information as long as possible in order to do the most damage she lost. your political career was over. She was forced out of her job two months before she would have been eligible for the Texas retirement systems health care plan. And she died of a brain tumor.
Oh, oh my god. I
wish I would think just in retrospect, knowing that he might might sort of dampen down his enthusiasm, right? Why not bring it up?
it disciplines purpose. The interesting thing is the guy sitting across from him, I don't think has what's in him to do that. And left it was maybe a leftist. But I don't think I don't think Axelrod has that in him to do what rove did on this one, because Rove is I mean, besides Oh, no, I can't remember his name, Atwater. Those are probably the two worst in our history that we can remember, there's obviously plenty of bad and Atwater work with Rove, but and we'll get into more of this, but he's done some of the most despicable things. Not this one I didn't even know about. Yeah, and I am just, I'm watching it. And I cannot believe what I'm listening to. And of course, you add more to which make total sense. But I can't even like I couldn't get over the fact that he was talking about this woman. He keeps saying how impressive she is. He keeps saying how how you know, of a formidable person she is oh, it's no matter how he just stormed, David said, yeah, right. How he destroyed her life. I mean, he destroyed her life. Like that's taking it because the other part of me is like, hey, if you've made it in politics that far, and you didn't graduate, and you're lying about it, you're probably pretty good.
Working on her skill set for the job.
Yeah, cuz I mean, we're gonna get to what everybody knows in a minute, but I did. The thing I liked about that is not a story that is commonly known. And it was just, you know, no surprise at all that it was awful. I am certain we did no, we did not do a thorough dive. I'm certain we could find a campaign, Karl Rove worked on the way in which he didn't do anything particularly evil. I'm not certain. I think that's a chance. But I just started No, I was like, let's dig into this.
But to this point, before we go to the next, yeah, this whole notion that you got to search and destroy to compete. And it is something in our psyche. I mean, we polled people, and they'll say they don't like the mudslinging. But the mudslinging does turn the tide and elections. So here for me, I definitely know both my experiences being a candidate, myself and also supporting other candidates. So what is it it's the conflict like the the constant warring within us, one side of us says, we don't want to hear it. But in our subconscious mind, it does trigger something and you go to the polls, unless you have deliberately deconstructed your construction on this person or this issue. It does impact how you go and vote. And they notice, and this is why they do this. And then the other point is how rove wanted to make it seem so aboveboard. You just go into public records and the statements and you're really not doing anything wrong, you just reset your
attention to what you're saying. You Yeah, exactly.
cruel. You gotta really some kind of diabolical to think that the way this man is laying this out that this is all right, it is not alright, to do this to people. Yeah. And is this the only way you can win, I mean, really dissolve this. Because now we're not even talking about the issues or what this person stands for. And all people have come short, somehow, like in my Christian tradition, is a scripture that says, All come short of the glory of God will all have come short, some kind of way, just not all people's mess is put out there for all the world to see. Without context to. Yeah,
he does say later, I may have a clip, I don't remember. But he does say something later about how like, you don't want to get too dirty with this stuff. You don't want to like, you don't want to lie about people you don't because that stuff that never works. And I'm just sitting there with my jaw, right? Or thinking about Oh, my God, a ton of things he did. I'm also thinking about your campaign where, you know, they just they just dropped a ton of money at the very last minute to just say terrible things about you and you didn't have time to
didn't have time. It's there's no context when they start dropping these bricks on your head. You don't have a whole lot of time to correct and if you find yourself having to explain what you explain in what you explain what you explain it, you've already lost.
And I have a couple of quotes to that from them, which I'll bring up later when we get to the good stuff, but, but it is it is purposely orchestrated, to hit you from a bunch of different angles at once. So you are bewildered, don't know what to respond to. Also, you haven't thought of how to respond and they're hitting you with 1234. So you want to respond to one you're thinking about it then two comes in three comes it's, it's, it's orchestrated, and they know what they're doing and they now know very well that that will completely throw you off. And then there goes the narrative. It's gone.
It's a psychology to it. I mean, there is a Our data science to this. And so the people joining us on this journey is important that they understand there's the art side, and a science side. And the science side is all what Raul was talking about, go get those workers go do this good. And then they take that stuff, and they weave it into the art side, which is, we are going to try our level best to destroy this person. And to the point you made that the woman lost her. She can't even draw her pension.
Yeah, I mean, that's just unbelievable that she died of a brain tumor. And he
they are so not the healthcare that you would have had to deal
with. That's what they do to the country, though. I mean, what they did to that woman is what they do to the country.
Yeah. And wouldn't it be me not that I at least perspective a little bit more if he sat down and just simply talked about how to do that. Because that was a real thing that you're describing that that that method of attack, and we may all be sitting here going, that's despicable, but there are people who want to get into this, we're gonna go, I would like to hear about this. And he's not telling the truth about it. And it's, it's clouded by the fact that he's saying a lot of things that kind of sound. You know, I think he's offering some useful advice here. He's just not getting deep into it. And and compared to Axelrod, who's just like, well, you have to have the feeling of you go out. Somebody hope and change. And Michelle said nice things to me one time and it was cold. give a speech. It's like,
five years old. I was
five years old. Like yeah, I've been thinking about that ever since we did that episode. Like, what's this stuff the term beyond when I was five and it's like, it was not presidential speeches. I saw clown. I want to be James Bond. Except that
you are the average five year old Axelrod was an extraordinary
special as much as he was extraordinary. Thank you. Thank you for reminding me. I guess we have to do it. I almost feel like it's one of the things we're like, do we have to even but we have to talk about the Swift Boat. Thing, the Swift boating because it's just, I mean, how do you not it's it's I think it's probably
there's two things. There's two things. There's the there's the McCain, South Carolina, but then there's the swiftboating. So McCain, South Carolina happened before swiftboating.
He doesn't really talk about surgery. But yeah, go ahead. Let's let's do that.
So they came out of the came in a New Hampshire for that primary and McCain had completely shellac, Bush. And, and so the Bush Camp is just like, they're scared, and they're worried. And this is from a Republican insider, quote, I always knew that if Bush got in trouble, he pushed the doomsday button. So that's what they went into South Carolina to do. And rove went and met with Ralph Reed, and people at Bob Jones University. And then they sent out their minions. And what they did was put fliers out as well as emails. Which I'm going to try and find the wording a big bold letters. Negro child, was on the top of the flyer picture of McCain with his adopted daughter, who I believe is from Bangladesh. And they sent out emails with the same thing. And they had they had Bob Jones University students, putting these flyers on people's cars, under the windshield wipers, they were putting it everywhere. And, and Karl Rove had gone and met with people at Bob Jones University. So this is, this is the kind of stuff he leaves out. But this is one of the most grotesque attacks in modern political history. And very effective. And as Nina said, You're shocked when that when the when the hits start coming. And then you know, they got him with a couple of things at the same time. He's a Flatlander. On top of that, and then Oh, his wife is a drug addict. It all came in a flurry. And according to what I read, they think you have like 24 hours, maybe 48 to respond, and then it's over. You're done.
That's exactly right. How
do you respond to them? I mean, I don't even know. Like it's even acknowledging it. Yeah, I think I mean, no. But yeah, yeah,
no sympathy for John McCain. But I think you have to come out. This is when you have to be angry. This is when you have to go out there and have a store You know, obviously he didn't want to address it. He probably didn't want to hurt his daughter at all, or Gretton. But she's already into it. But you have to go out there. If you want to win, and say, you know, these people are grotesque, this is what's happening. This is my daughter, we adopted her, you know, because she came over to get some facial surgery, and my wife fell in love with her, and you tell the story. And you take it back from them, and make them the bad guy. So you can always flip it on them because they're being so violent evil, that you can flip it on them, but I think they were just really baffled as to what to
do. With the rabbit. We just had that recently with our LA City Council. And I thought Mike Bonin speech in response to the stuff that had come out was amazingly eloquent. I mean, amazing, like the but he also but he also had that was not a campaign. That was terrible things that came out and people were already outraged. But yeah, I think of John McCain had come out and given that kind of speech and emotional reaction. Yeah, but you don't, I don't think you have to explain her. You just have to talk about who she is to you. What you what you're doing to my family, and how you I mean, there's, there's a million ways to give that speech and be sincere, I got to imagine that there's, you know, he would have been able to do that. But even then, I don't know is that but do you have time to even figure that out? Because you're
well, that's the thing. You you, you I don't think you do I mean, Nina, you know, like, what?
Yeah, no, sometimes it just depends on what it is and how it comes whether or not you do and I think had he been running if they tried to Swift vote him. In 2022. There are more tools at our collective disposal to fight back on that being social media. Number one, and then number two, the social mores have changed so drastically. Since that time, I mean, hell, our last president talked about grabbing the women by the Kabuki gees and also being said that he could walk out there in New York, I thought, I think he said Fifth Avenue, shoot somebody, and that would make a difference. And in many ways, Trump is right about that. So McCain certainly would have benefited from today's the softening of we still have a longer way to go. But sometimes some people don't judge it as harshly as they did when he was running that race. But to your point, no, for something like that. You really don't have a lot of time to respond. And then the other point about using his child as the center, because what any most people who are parents or know people who are parents would have been able to feel his pain. And it is that sincerity. I mean, call her a negro child. We know they're going back to the racist trope. Yeah, first of all, she was not African American whatsoever. But they use that deliberately, because that is very much. That's why even to this day, some candidates will darken a black person's skin and send that out as a flyer. Why? Because we are wired as much as we don't want to admit it. That anti blackness is wired into the DNA of America. And it does elicit from a certain type of person, a response about that person, if it didn't work, they wouldn't do it. That's why they didn't highlight her real ethnicity, because it didn't have the same emotional responses, the Negro child, and then he's philandering. And then his wife is a drug addict that came out today. They will say, you know, get her some help and more power to them for sitting by her side.
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah.
These people are despicable. Because you know what this is, you should do everything to win, but not anything to win. That's the philosophy. I abide by everything, but not anything. And there is a difference, and they were definitely in we will do anything to win territory.
Yeah. And I think, you know, I did a whole podcast on John McCain and I concluded he is detestable human being, but I think you're right. I don't think he thought it would go to that level of my family. You know, it's almost like the old mob thing. We leave the families out of it. Like they think that's what he thought. And he was wrong. They didn't have any morals. They would do literally anything to get any George Bush elected.
Yeah. And they did that. And you know, and even though you know, McCain on the policy side, and some of the things we get that, but there is, as we are talking about this weekend, say and we are saying what happened to him was wrong. What happened to his family was wrong. I'm even thinking about what happened to Baron Trump you all I'm old enough to remember where just because people don't like his father, Baron Trump, who was a minor did not deserve to be pulled into this and to be talked about in such negative and vicious ways on social media. See, now you want to fight See that's me my mama is thing now now I'm taking off the earrings. I'm putting on some Vaseline. And I put a do rag on my head. Because now you mofos on the street fight me when you start bringing my baby into this and that's a minor child heel. I do the same thing for my grown son. Now we got the box. And that's it. Okay. At this point,
it's okay. Right? Yeah, it's fair game. Yeah. Yeah, but not Jared. Stay with Jared. Jared.
Kids are not running
the car. What did she take some hits? Man, that was crazy.
People sick. Yeah. sickness.
That is the Chelsea Chelsea did to
Chelsea. Yeah, I mean, I, you know, I wouldn't. I can't find the next thing to say about her as an adult. But yeah, that that rush limbaugh thing was so disgusting. And the oh my god, that feels like that was an era where you were still there. We're still pushing the boundaries, because there were those moments because remember, that was one of them. Were like, oh, well, he's over. Nope. Yeah. No, he's not even close over. He's more popular than ever for saying terrible things about a child.
Yeah. Yeah. That's just shows you how low we've sunk as a as a nation.
Although I would argue I mean, probably back in the day, and Dave Dave's historical podcast has gone into some of these. I mean, it's not it's not like we only started doing dirty painting in the
know. But because of the advent of social media and the World Wide Web that those kinds of lies they spread quickly. And deeply. Yeah.
Yeah. 50 years
ago, you know? Yeah.
Yep. Let's do swiftboating. It's got to be done. Got a whole section here that actually contains the full legs and a lot of people haven't heard this. Some people don't even remember it. So let's let's we got to do it. Here is here is our buddy Karl Rove and whole swiftboating thing from his perspective.
The best attacks are attacks that are that people look at and say, Boy, that's big, without you having to say it's big. One of the one of the big examples to my mind is in 2004, the ad that went after John Kerry from the Swift Boat. The ad was John Kerry on camera for like 27 seconds, saying that his comrades in arms in Vietnam had, quote, raped and pillaged in a manner reminiscent of Genghis Khan. So it was his words. And then the rest of the 62nd ad. Were other veterans saying I'm offended by this. We didn't we didn't behave like barbarians. We didn't rape and pillage
they had personally raped, cut off years, cut off heads.
The accusations that John Kerry made against the veterans who served in Vietnam was just devastating, randomly shot at civilians, and it hurt me more than any physical wounds. I
had cut off limbs
blown up bodies. That was part of the torture was design a statement that youth committed war crimes
raised villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan,
John Kerry gave the enemy for free. I and many of my comrades in North Vietnam, the prison camps, took torture to avoid saying demoralized us
crimes committed on a day to day basis he
betrayed us in the past, how could we be loyal to him now ravaged the countryside in South Vietnam,
Dishonored his country and, more importantly, the people he served with? He just told him how
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is responsible for the content of this advertisement. The ad if it only been 30 seconds of John Kerry, you know, saying fellow my fellow veterans our war criminals would have been powerful enough. It added to it to have actual war veterans appear on camera and dispute his words. But but it was the reality of what he had said and done. Too often people just sort of grab something that they find in opposition research, pump it up with a bunch of air, add a bunch of adjectives on it that say bad things and throw it out there and then they get surprised when people say well, you know what, that was either unfair or really not relevant or that was over the top and I'm I'm going to discard most or all of what you've just now told
he's leaving a lot out like a lot. Like I literally didn't even remember that part of it. That was not the Swift
Oh, my God. No. They look. Yeah, I mean,
is metals. It's
the Democrats. Let's let's acknowledge the Democrats set themselves up for this because they they were worried about how much George Bush was seen as a military leader. So they were going to pick their own strong military guy. And this wasn't the guy. Let, let's just put that this is just not the guy But the stuff that he was saying about Vietnam. True. True. So just so just so we know John Kerry was telling the truth, that's what happened. It would
hurt somebody. Yeah.
Bobby, come on. What but what happened was, you know, they they portrayed this as a bunch of veterans who felt they were being impugned, by by John Kerry got together and decided to put out this ad and respond. But that's not what happened. One of George Bush's longtime supporters, Bob Perry, another guy, Harold Simmons, and then the last guy T. Boone Pickens, who was born with the most racist, possible, donated, they donated like, like, seven or $8 million to come up with this whole organization and put these ads out there and then find the vets. And so it was it was orchestrated by Rove in the campaign. They created this and they're acting like they just fell into it. Not at all. Did you have a nice clip? That's what he's saying. We had a nice clip we could attack him with that's all it is. Unfortunately, the Democrats didn't have any defense for it because they had picked this guy because of his military background, not realizing that would be the one thing they could destroy.
Well also worth noting, Kerry's campaign managers, a guy named Robert Shrum decided, apparently that since the story was only being carried on cable that he should not respond to the allegations. And he's gonna go for three weeks before he said anything.
You're done. Right then and then done.
Again, I don't want to everything you're saying is correct. I wasn't it wasn't like I was out there going. Yeah, Carrie, he's the guy. I was like, he's just another one of these clowns. But this is a guy who testified. Remember the Vietnam Veterans Against the War in 1971, when this was a standard that could hurt you. And he was the guy who said, how do you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake. This is a guy who stood up who used his position, knowing the power it gave him and knowing the damage it could do him at that time to speak out against this war. And they use that against him.
Because they'll use anything against you. They're good at it, there is evil, whatever, they can twist and turn and stick a knife in with they will like that's, that's who these people are. And it's like, the Democrats never get that. They don't understand it. And let's not even go into the fact that they also stole the selection like,
yeah. But I know what never let the truth get in the way of a good story. And when you listen to the music, again, they played on strictly emotions. And just as I mean, the biggest mistake was not responding to it. So they got some veterans. Carrie got some veterans too. Let's have a battle of the veterans so Carrie can bring the veterans who say You're damn right. This had happened and you guys weren't at all the camps. You couldn't have been everywhere and we know for a fact that vile and vicious things happen during war. Yeah. Oh, here he is. Why don't you I'm ag brand new on this. Yeah, you got better I'm I'm bringing I'm bringing my veterans to the party to not since I want
to make things like you're gonna go basic and simple, almost cartoonish. Talk about the fact that this guy is one of you know, you could present him as one of the reasons we got out of that war was the war. He'd done. The work he and his group did.
Exactly. Yeah, I mean, there are so many
when we aren't we already know about the MILA massacre. Like it's all there. We have all the evidence, like everybody knows what went on. I you did watch it happen. And also you brought up cable TV. This is when Sinclair Broadcasting jumped in to politics with both feet. So a lot of people didn't want to carry this. And Sinclair put it out as a 30 minute special on all of their channels. That's right. And remember, this is after Clinton deregulated with the Telecommunications Act. So you know, Sinclair now had a lot more stations. So it was a massive effect. And and you know, there you go, yeah, it was on some cable stations. No, wasn't it was like, peace out there. I hit a hit. It
was also it was this thing and they still do it. And it's so depressing the way Democrats let Republicans dictate the terms. We're talking about crime last time. And rather than calling out the fact that crime isn't the issue, they're making it out, Democrats go well, we care about that, too. This this thing, the fact that it would drive me crazy and and need a diagnosis. Our listeners know this. You've just met me please, please understand, I have been a Donald Trump hater since the early 80s. I used to refer to him because I thought he genuinely was he's a man who encapsulates every single solitary one of the bad American characteristics and not a single good one. So understand where I'm coming from when I say that What I watched Democrats go after him for getting out of Vietnam. So what the hell is wrong with you people? First of all, there's a million things you can say about him that are that are genuinely terrible. But why are you going? Because I'm sitting there going, Yeah, I want it to and by the way, Bill Clinton got out of it. And we were okay with that. And that should be the position that we have. Right? That's like literally one of the few good things you can say about Donald Trump. Well, he got out of Vietnam. And they've become this thing now where they can't because I remember watching during the Kerry thing, it humbled them they couldn't come out and say what they've saying they couldn't acknowledge that that that Kerry spoke truth about the Vietnam War because we'd gotten into this this right well, they version of it.
Yeah, they play they play on their battlefield. That's what you're talking about. Because if you asked me how I was going to attack Trump, I would start with in New York, I think it was Polish workers that built one was first buildings and then he didn't pay any of them. Why would have each and every one of those guys on talking about their experience of trying to be make a living in America and then this guy destroying them? The same way that Obama did with those Bain Capital H you could tear those people apart. And they don't they just like the Vietnam thing. Yeah. Good. You got to the Vietnam War. Like, I'm actually happy for you. That's like, really good.
hold that against you that. Yeah. And it just it also goes to the fact that even even and I'm not arguing they should be playing dirty. But just the fact that Republicans will go there, they will go after you. They will attack me. We're just watching today. I'm watching people lose their mind that the Republicans have been one of the first things they're going to do is start investigating Joe Biden, on her Biden for corruption. And I'm thinking of course, a Democrat. Imagine if the Democrats had done that day one of Trump's administration. Yeah, start going after his legitimate, you know, blatant corruption and that of his family.
Yeah, well, I mean, Republic. I mean, Democrats just don't have the heart to do. But I remember talking to a democratic donor, definitely not a progressive whatsoever, but just, you know, supports Democrats and he said the following words, he said, Democrats don't have gangsters. They need some gangsters. Yeah. And that really is the point they really go to a gunfight with what a butter knife.
Yeah, I mean, they're the you know, the term what they're doing is rat fucking that's the term and the Democrats have none. None. But and yet there are you know, David, David Brock, he is one but he does it against the left. He takes out and he doesn't take the right out he takes us out. So that's what they do they use their powers to destroy people on their left they don't they don't grab the Republicans
like they don't have the heart to go after the Republicans because really, they cut all cut from the same cloth. So they not gonna mess with a cousin. Yeah. Are they brother? Yeah, they they come after progresses, because we are the biggest threat to them, not not the GOP who they Kado. And as I've said before, and I mean, it, I mean, they are in the same circles, they their kids go to the same schools, they Hobnob at the same parties. And the American people should not, let's not be in a delusion here about what we're dealing with. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that's why Rove and Axelrod are able to do a masterclass. Yeah, yeah.
Yeah. Well, from from the, this one, this was pretty minor, right? It's not this is kind of funny. There's a moment here in the next chapter. Axelrod sort of catches himself. This feels a little extemporaneous. And he catches himself and which I thought was interesting, because I'm wondering how much editing they did. But let's let's check this out,
advance and setting up a candidates events, making sure that they look the way they should that the people standing be high on the candidate are the right people and convey the right message that
he's talking about dropping some tokens back there, right, is that which is the thing Josh,
that's a little harsh. I'm gonna have to agree with him like that. I mean, that that the image is everything that you would like to bring that the image lines up with, really what the candidate is standing for. That might that's not always the case, I will say, on the Sanders campaign. The image that we created was real. It was really what Senator Sanders stood for, not for these other guys and gals. I can't say the same thing all the world's a stage now Shakespeare was right about this. The look that advanced I mean, he right about that.
Yeah, it just there's something about the way he was saying it, he sort of he catches himself and you know, he's uncomfortable saying it, which I guess that's what caught me is because what you just said, Yeah, you're completely right. If you were doing this class, you would talk about that. Yeah, because you're running for office. There's just You're right. It's just pure optics. If I'm running for office, and you're showing me I don't want like, 30, white guy standing behind me. I want to make sure you understand that that and he seems to be a little embarrassed about that, which I think is the funny thing.
Maybe he's, is he telling himself that it was not genuine? The setup was not genuine.
I think that's yeah, I think that's what he started getting, for the most part.
If I want you to class, you would believe me, and you wouldn't feel that what I was telling you was nice. Yeah.
And the, it's interesting to hear you say about the Sanders campaign, because that was the thing that just drove me crazy was the way they tried to. We talked about this for Dave and I for a campaign that was so effective at so many things. Hillary Clinton managed through this amazing number on a huge chunk of the American electorate to convince a large swath of the electorate that opposing her was a sign of misogyny and that the only people who supported Bernie Sanders, or people who look like me and Dave,
the Bernie Bros, Baby, what they don't know some Bernie Bros look just like me.
Yeah, well, would they would they refuse to accept that they refuse to accept that?
Believe me, Mike, my sister and her wife were driven insane by that shit, you know, I mean, and that how they were so effective at doing that, and so ineffective at beating Donald Trump of all people, I think speaks to where their heart was and what the fight they really wanted to engage
in what it goes back to what we were just saying, they will do everything to try to destroy progressives, but will drive use that same firepower against Republicans. They knew that was a damn lie. That look when you even look at the numbers, the facts, bear out, this is not just what you're saying or de Center. I'm saying the senator drew a diverse support from younger people. You know who he really didn't have his his his age categories, the ones that didn't like him?
Yeah, right. Yeah.
I don't know if his little jealousy going on there. But but he
knows, yeah. Yeah. No, he was just It was fascinating. And then what they would do is they would talk about they would define the black vote by older black voters. That's right. And just ignore the younger black voters who were with Bernie and record numbers. Yeah. And then you're put in the position of like, you know, they created this scenario, which I still I'm like, I'm like, am I can I say this? Like, older black voters tend to be more conservative. We know this. It's like, so it's like, but pointing that out now you're somehow Well, I am you're not. But I'm a racist. Now for pointing out that older black voters tend to skew a little more conservative than their kid. Yeah.
And you know, what if the black community actually remembered what the Clinton said and did to the first black president? Hello? Come on. Yeah, let's let's be serious about this. Do you really care? No, y'all really don't care. Because if we went there didn't you gotta you gotta question some things. Yeah,
yeah. Yeah. I will remember to They also tried to they tried Obama boys. Remember? They said just tone deaf. But somehow they resurrected it effectively. It's just Yeah,
they did and the media played into it. The senator will get those questions all the time. What about these heel bots?
The Beehive you know, the I mean, all of that, that are Harris the K Hi, sorry, said sorry. But the K have Yeah, the same thing vicious. But the media did not take up that same narrative against the people who pledged undying loyalty to those candidates. It was always about the DAG on Bernie Bros. I can't tell you how many interviews I had to do and argue people down over who the so called Bernie Bros. Are you talking about? What's your children and your grandchildren? So you call them Bernie.
I still have people who call me Miss the communities to call me a misogynist. You talk because I supported Bernie Sanders. What's wrong with you people into your brains?
It's another thing that is it was baked in that that race was supposed to be hers and everybody was supposed to go that way. See, that's what entire blind entitlement to do for Yeah.
Well, it's not just they did a very, really fascinating conversation with my mom about that, who, you know, I mean, I grew up in kind of a round movement politics in the neighborhood in Philadelphia that was incredibly progressive and incredibly We integrated in West Philly. And she talked to me during that election about the fact, as did my sister in law, who's like a radical lesbian activist going back to the 60s. And they both talked about this almost biological poll, that when they sort of close your eyes and think about it too much, they're like, well, obviously, I gotta vote for Hillary Clinton. And then they go, like, what am I talking about? And they played on that. And she did a very effective job of tapping into their sense of of grievance, which was based on I don't know if you know, this, Senator Turner, but it was based on actual real misogyny in America that women suffered. But you know, it's like they, she tapped into their, their sense of victimhood, and all the rest of this stuff in a really powerful way. And when they weren't thinking about it, too, too heavily was like, yeah, oh, my God, oh, shit, no, what am I doing? And the way they weaponize that against everybody was boggling.
Definitely women, women of a certain generation, I would say, if you're on the younger end of Generation X, all the way to millennials, you didn't feel that sense of loyalty. I'll never, I'll never forget, I was at an event here in Cleveland. I was it was I was on a Planned Parenthood board. And when I supported when he got out that I was supporting Senator Sanders to everybody thought I was gonna go, you know, to Clinton way and I was I did some stuff for ready for Hillary and Senator Clinton got, I mean, Senator Sanders got up there and shut the whole thing up and decided he was running and was standing up for Medicare for All and free college and all the things that make my soul sing, and I'm saying, Oh, no, I can't go that way. I got to go this way. But I was the president of the Ohio Planned Parenthood called me up, she says, Senator Turner, I'm gonna do everything I can to protect you. And I say, protect me from what she's like, well, you know, everybody now knows that you're you've endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders, and we had this event. And I know you're gonna be there, and you have some words to say there and I'm gonna do everything I can to protect you. I got about 50 calls into my office. I said, I'm not the one you got to protect. You better tell them folks don't come at me like that. Do not but just the fact that she felt the need to call me I am a black woman with agencies. He didn't want to take away agency. And she didn't get 50 calls about me making the decision about who I want to endorse. Sure enough, a white woman came up to me at that event, who I know very well in Cleveland, and she shorted me so I can't lie and say she put a finger in my face. But she tried to and tall and said to me, How dare you her exact words. How dare you after all we've done for you. And as after all we've done for you, black woman, you can insert inward there. That's how I felt they had to break us up. They had to break us up, David. Okay, because I was schooling this woman, how dare you come up in my face, telling me who I ought to be? See, they don't see their own hypocrisy. In the same way you wanted this country to vote for a woman and and you're just all lit up now. But you want to take away my agency, not just as a woman, but as a black woman and say to me, How dare I make the choice? After all you've done for me? If that don't sound like some paternal neoliberal BS? I don't know what else does. So and that was a heel bought. See? Yeah. Yeah. But that's how they were. Oh,
yeah. Some of the ugliest stuff I saw during that campaign was online between older women and younger women. Yeah, older women were vicious.
And this was a older woman who did this to me, Lana. moreschi. I'll never forget she live right here. Yeah, I'm putting the name out there. Yeah.
That's what that's what the podcast is for. We put names
she lucky. I'm a Christian woman. Well, it was almost that time taken off the hearings. Now, you want to fight me? coming at me? Like
it's just it's so bonkers. The way I was still paying for it. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Well, they're, they were just so they were so offended that you couldn't support that people wouldn't support this candidate. They couldn't. They just couldn't believe it. Like it was. It blew their minds and it's like, well, she's, she's worse for women. Her candidacy is gonna hurt more women. Yeah, it's just amazing.
It is amazing. Just let self-righteousness that they have you know, yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, Lord. Never forget it. It will be my it will be a scene in my lifetime movie though. Put a record
if you're if you're looking for writers,
I got to the best right here.
You go the day the road. That's right. That's right. Phillip Phillips Academy Award loser. The there's a fun little bit here about rove that I think is also a little moment of truth. And I wish he had gone much deeper I want to play. And I can't imagine Axelrod saying this, which is interesting.
There's a certain amount of overhead you need to have. So you need to have a campaign manager and you need to have somebody probably for a congressional campaign or governor's campaign, raising money, you need researchers and you need have somebody to deal with the press, and you need somebody in charge of the field organization. But be very careful about consultants. Be careful about getting loaded up with too many of them, and too expensively, particularly the people who do the media.
I mean, that I mean, that's the
Democratic Party he's talking about. That's the whole Democratic Party. They just, it's just a consultant machine.
Yes. Yeah. That's the thing. You can imagine natural rods saying that? No, wow, I wanted him to go deeper on that, I would have enjoyed that. And I feel like he could have said some real stuff without, you know, covering anything up, that would have been worth hearing. But that's that's really all he says on the subject, which is so frustrating. Here's a little bit now now we get into the campaign plan, how to actually plan your campaign.
There's some there's a discipline about putting this all down, putting the work in assumptions about who is it that's going to vote for us? Who's not going to vote for us? Where are we going to get our votes? What's our message going to be? What are the strengths of our candidate? What are we going to try and make the race about answering those questions and all the other things that go into a campaign, and committing to the paper is an exercise that causes campaigns to be better simply by doing that, if you don't do it, however, you're going to bounce around, and, and be driven more by the moment, I love to run against people who don't seemingly have a good idea of what they're trying to do. And when they're going to do it. I like being on the offense. And by having a plan, you're more likely to be on the offense.
That's it. I couldn't help but think of 2016 When I heard that, because I feel like I don't think Trump had a plan, particularly beyond just be himself and keep hitting those same messages. But he knew how to stay on the offensive.
Yeah, did the best that? Yeah,
I mean, it was an Hillary's Hillary's campaign was, if I recall correctly, one of the least about issues that has been in modern history, it was all about how Trump's a misogynist, terrible person and not about, you know, actual issues.
That's right. And that Hillary Clinton and I deserve to see. So both from
what what they were telling you, and it drove me crazy. Because again, was one of those things where you're like, you know, I'm not rooting for I'm rooting for Trump, but but do you not see how deadly This is? They will go go to my website. You gotta go check our website for that stuff. I was like, that's not how you I don't know how to run a campaign. But I know that if you're up there giving speeches and going if you want to find out what I where I stand on issues, go to my website. That's if you want more details, but I stand for free health care, and I stand for and I stand for that. But that was crazy. And you when you when you're up against everyone's laughing What a dopey thing, is he stolen from Reagan, but when your your argument is like, it's my turn and go to my website, and the other person's message is Make America Great Again. You know, I got five minutes a day to spend on politics. I know where I'm looking. It's.
But it's called arrogance. I mean, that was the level of arrogance that we were dealing. Yeah. In 2016 in a general election.
Yeah. Yeah. And
it's basically Trump brought to you by Trump brought to you by the Democrats. Yeah.
He's got some interesting last words in this section.
My view is, is that when you run into primary, don't listen to Richard Nixon, the idea that you could run to the right in the Republican primary, and then move back to the center in the general election, as soon as nobody's paying attention. And if you're a Democrat, that you could run to the hard left and the primary and then crawl back to the center and the general election, that that assumes, again, nobody's paying attention, be who you are. Figure out what those parts of your message and you are important in the primary and show them but don't do it in a way that is inauthentic and makes it sound like you're somebody different than you're going to appear on the general election.
I mean, authenticity is key, I gotta give it to roll on that. It really is. And the best example that we have of that at will, the 20th century. Example I will give is Reverend Jesse Jackson running twice in the 80s. He was authentic. He brought together a broad coalition similar to me. His race was really the precursor his two races to a senator Bernie Sanders, that that coalition that he was able to bring, and he even brought younger people. He brought in the Arab American community in ways that had never been done in a presidential election cycle, the whole notion of Rainbow Coalition, that was the precursor to what we were able to do. In 2016. He ran a very
clever one door to door. Yeah, main ad.
But yeah, campaign. That was that was the first presidential campaign it went door to door. Yeah.
I did so. And then,
man, that's, he's the one who got health care out there. And then Hillary blew it apart with her terrible plan, but he was the guy who, yeah, like, that's how long we've been fighting this battle. He was the first guy that was like, let's do this Medicare for all, you know, type thing. Yeah,
that's sort of lost. I feel like in that regard, it's really it's depressing. Um, I understand he's clinical problematic in some ways, and you know, like nobody else is. But but somehow it feels like his place in presidential politics has gotten kind of erased. Some Yeah. And I don't know why it has to, because those were, I mean, I was there for both of those. And those were very effective and powerful campaigns. They weren't, he didn't win, but they made no
change things and had again, had he had the benefit of social media, he would have been able to do more. Yeah. And, you know, one of the greatest moments in our 2020 campaign was to bring Reverend and Senator Sanders together, they both admire each other so very much and even though it didn't happen, as soon as our campaign would have liked, it did, you know eventually happen and I gotta give credit to Congressman ro Khanna and I worked so hard to get the roof because Reverend was torn between Senator Sanders and also Senator Warren, you know, he admired her a lot as well. The two soulmates though, really is Senator Sanders and Reverend Jesse Jackson, in terms of if you look at both their campaigns, both the eight, you know, ad three campaign, the two campaigns that the Reverend ran in the 80s. And then the two campaigns that Senator Sanders ran, you can definitely see parallels between both of those campaigns different centuries. But it's the same echo, bringing together a rainbow coalition telling people that they deserve better than what they have right now. Sam, this is not about me. This is about us. It's the same echo, you know, and although neither one of those men one that those presidential elections this nation is the better because they ran. So that authenticity part row. I mean, Rove is correct. about it. Yeah.
Well, that's one Yeah, the one of the ones that always drives me crazy when people are like, well, what is Bernie Sanders done? And they boil it down to the bills, as you as you're sitting here, like, I can think of something pretty goddamn enormous that you can't name another politician. That's fine. Yeah. Yeah. But but he is he's definitely. You know, there were there were echoes of Jackson's campaign and his and I felt those same, you know, and I remember I remember that sort of sense of joy of like, Oh, my God, I didn't think I'd ever get to feel this way again. You know, and also that sense of like, oh, wow, he wasn't, I mean, I don't know if I'm gonna try to enunciate this because we Jesse Jackson is like, if you've got to pick one of these people to give a stirring or ration, I'm going to say Bernie never wins that one. You know, and you're sitting there going, okay, good. It wasn't just the fact that Jesse could get up and give a speech that could just like move mountains, it's like you can you could be for the same thing he is, it'd be the most boring old Jewish grandfather alive and fire people up. That was that was kind of liberating.
People are there for it. I mean, Jonathan, you guys know that we were filling. I mean, getting crowds heard of, and the senator we're going for hour and a half and people are just their baby, they not moving. And they listen to the substance of what this man is saying. Yeah, because they were harmed from that. I mean, as we go back to critique President Obama, definitely the right campaign message hope and change, but when people did not get that and they almost lost hope, and they were still looking for the change in comps, Bernard Sanders.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I still remember as before he had gotten the the press before they were acknowledging him even on the press, a friend of a friend showed me this thing of the election was a text exchange. Between him and another friend, his friend sent him a text. And it was a he was in a high school gymnasium at a Hillary rally as a photo of her on stage in Texas. Why aren't you here? And this guy texted back a picture of himself at a football stadium going because I I'm here at the football stadium was a Bernie rally, where I'm sure you've ever been in a door people outside who couldn't get in and go talk to words. It's
absolutely. But what that campaign showed you what people really were craving for that they wanted that. And that's what drew people to Senator Sanders. Is that that what was that it was his authenticity, it was him, speaking out loud, the righteous indignation of the fact that this country has failed far too many poor and working class people, and I'm gonna say it, you know, I am going to say it to you just straight up. And I'm not gonna worry about the consequences of me saying. Yes, I know. And that is why they had to stop them. And that's exactly what they did both times.
It is, unfortunately, how they do it. Let's talk about math and computers. Some interesting stuff here. I think rove gets into how to figure out how many votes are out there with your name on them? And if it seems like I'm doing too many rove sequences, I apologize. But Axelrod's just, I don't know what to do with him. I mean, just do how's it going, man? I feel Do you have a community do?
You know? So here's Karl Rove on the math. Take a look at your party's performance and past elections, pick a candidate who lost badly on your party's label, that's your base vote, pick the candidate in your party who wants surprisingly well, that's your ceiling. And so you understand who's gonna vote for you, as long as your name is on the ballot, and then what's the group of people that are available to you who are capable of switching from one party to the other. So I'm looking for the swing. And the interesting thing to me is swing tends to be concentrated. You tend to find places that are real red and real blue. But you also tend to find places where the percentage of swing voters tend to be significantly higher than the rest of the electorate. So I'm looking at how do I get to 50% of the vote? And that sounds
pretty reasonable. Am I wrong? No,
that sounds about right. That
sounds that sounds useful. And but just like that, he's talking about it that way. It's kind of it's just interesting. Again, Axelrod could be here doing that, and he's just not, then he gets to his computer stuff, which is gonna lead us down a really interesting path. But let's let's start here.
Now, the good news for most candidates is is that both political parties have tools that can help you identify this minimum winning coalition for your district or state has all been computerized party committees, state committees, National Committees generally have this kind of information and can help guide you. They also tend to have taken data about the voter file and and put it on data about individual voters put it on the voter file, and created shortcuts for you to understand who the target
voters are, then this,
but there's a lot more information that we know about people that's available on commercial databases. And microtargeting takes that information. What kind of a car do you have? Do you have a hunting license fishing license? What kinds of purchases do you make over the internet? What What's the size of your home? What's the size of your property tax bill? What's the size of your utility bill? In some instances? What kind of car do you drive? What kind of magazines do you read? What kind of news sources do you listen to? In some instances, we know what the information about your viewing patterns are, because your cable box is keeping track of what programs you watch and your cable company is monetizing that data. But there's all kinds of information
I'm in your head. I mean, he could just sum that up that we have the data and the technology to be in your head Big Brother is definitely watching. For sure they know your patterns. They know what makes you tick. They can speak your love language.
But I wonder too, but but there was that thing? What was a call? Was it a heater? I can't remember that that Robbie Mook was so proud of that the Clinton campaign had that they were basing on. Oh, yeah, we're just like micro targeting individuals within households. And based on your emails and things, they can figure out what you're going to vote for. And I kept thinking about the fact that I've been on some crazy right wing mailing list ever since I bought my father, a Sarah Palin t shirt as a joke back in the day, and I like to keep track of this stuff. Like if you tried to take my email and I'm a screenwriter, too. I do research I'm into you know, I like to look into like fringes and weird places. If you tried to figure out who I was going to vote for, based on my email habits, you'd be lost. And I remember hearing them talk about that and realizing that they were spending more time focusing on the results of that program and they were on actually like a ground game. And it was the pod save America guys, whatever they were called before that and they're all chortling about how Trump's still doing Door to Door. I was just sitting there going.
God, it's so amazing. Just how oblivious they are. Like, I get what Rob is saying here. But I also had the same thought when you were doing that. I thought like, How many times do I click on a story? Like I have Fox News on my reader app, not because I believe in Fox News, because I want to see what the dipshits are up to. Right? So I have all this stuff that you click on, or I click on something on Instagram. And they're like, oh, he likes us. No, I don't I don't like it at all. I spent, in fact, I hate looked at it like this. So they, the idea that they have us all figured out is really just a bizarre idea of how this works.
Yeah, it is, to a certain extent, I mean, is there some people I mean, they do get some success doing it this way. On the other hand, what you both are saying about I mean, I've watched Fox tonight, because I want to because it's a hazard of the job. And nothing beats old fashioned getting out in the streets with the people. Nothing does. I mean, technology may be able to give you a way to try to figure people out quicker, but you never really figure people out unless you have an old fashioned conversation with them.
Yeah. And I still hate to go back to this election. But it's actually the last presidential election that we had that was, quote unquote, normal mean 2020 was so bizarre with the quarantine and everything else. But in 2016, I remember, you know, my mom lives in Philadelphia, my parents are divorced. My dad lives in the suburbs. And I don't know if our listeners know this, but there was no chance in hell that Philadelphia was gonna go to anybody but Hillary. And she had, I believe, for campaign offices in Philadelphia. And my dad's out in the suburbs, where it's actually a battle. And he said they all they ever saw anywhere in their neighborhood was was Trump signs he never saw they had, in fact, sent into the campaign. They wanted Clinton yard signs, and they never got. And that stuff actually matters for a lot of reasons. But it was just baffling. I'm thinking so they've got a computer telling them that they need to be if your computer is telling you that a Democrat needs to have four offices in Philadelphia and not be out in the suburbs. There's something wrong with your computer. Fired.
He was just crazy. And fighting over fighting over, you know, dumping money into Arizona as opposed to Wisconsin, Michigan. Like that's what the computer said to do.
Yeah, that's right. I'm telling them yeah, that that was the thing to do. But essentially, but he seems and he talks about it later, he's not he's a little creeped out by some of the computers, the details that go into and he's also not, you know, hyping this as the only way to go it is a tool and it's not the tool. We're gonna go to a little I don't know if it's tangential or not, but I want to get into it because it's such an interesting insight into rove. I was playing play what he says and how I got to it.
I admit this microtargeting stuff sounds a little scary a little over the top but realize this this information has been out there in databases for years and has been used by consumer product companies for years to identify their customers and connect with our customers. How do you think well you get those ads on your on you know, for for match.com on your on your on when you go when you go on to Google something.
So there's just QUESTION I mean, Carlos married why is that he's example why is that the example he's going to I will tell you I've been married for quite a while now. match.com does not randomly pop up. When I google something Nope. And he's married three times to his he's currently married to his third wife but it made me remember some of this hearing this and I haven't remembered in detail and Brian our research guy did a deep dive and forgive me if this seems trivial, but I'm not sure it is because Carlos personal life is kind of interesting. And do you guys know much about it? Do you know anything about his pants not your you're gonna be boggles his first his father. He does not speak to he hated he loved his stepfather who eventually divorced his mother when he came out of the closet and got into a very openly gay lifestyle and was a big a big name in the piercing community, the gay piercing community if you know what that is, there's a if people want to have a shock, or who knows there's a magazine called the point. If you look through their issues in 1983, there is one picture on the cover of male genitalia with I believe 37 piercings in it that is Karl Rove, stepfather. Carl was very open and very happy and very comfortable around gay people. He seems to have no issues. He loved his stepfather Well, after all of this stuff and happened, which I would argue does not strike us as the sort of the traditional right wing, pudgy, you know, 6070 year old, white Republican lifestyle, it was. So he is very forward thinking in this regard. And yet, actively involved in routinely tried to destroy political opponents by implying that they're gay by working with Bush for the gay marriage ban in 2004.
And I would have used that information if he was on the other side, about his stepfather. Oh, my
good God. Can you imagine if John Kerry's father had been on the cover of a magazine with a pierced penis? Yeah. Yeah, and without a blink, and it's just is that that's the thing I've never been able to get. I don't get at that point. You're standing there, and it's people you love. You're using the identities of people you love against groups of people. I mean, it just, it's insane. And I mean, is it just socio pathology? Is that hit? Are they just sociopaths?
Very much so. And I try not to enter the minds of Mad Men or mad women. I mean, we got some recent example. Mitch McConnell, for example, is in an interracial relationship, but just recently voted against a bill. I mean, it's not I'm just laughing not to cry. But he just recently voted against a bill that had the rights of for interracial couples in it. Because it also dealt with same sex marriage, too. And that addendum to that was interracial couples, the man is interracial relationship right now as we speak. So to your point, Josh, I mean, it is you have to be some kind of sociopath to be able to say, on one hand, I love this person. Because and then on the other hand, try to search and destroy other people who are just like that. It makes no sense. The math is not math and the quote, The Great Andrew Yang. Yeah, it's not.
I mean, it's hardly it's hardly a revelation, but it's just always endlessly fascinating. Definitely
fast. Yeah. But there's also there's also got to be some, you know, item can't go into this, but the psychology driving him. And that, and the people that he's supporting, you know, there's whatever actual rage underneath or whatever it is, but it's, it's not, there's no love going, there's no like, just straight up love. It's happening there. There's weird, unsettled feelings and you know, stuff going on.
And today another point, though, it speaks to something we talked about earlier, when we talked about how they used John McCain's daughter and called, you know, Negro instead of whatever the hell they said. And it's almost the exact same thing, almost the exact same psychology. The reason why you would bring up these issues is because you know that you are triggering some deep seated. Bad I hate to say, pathology, but just some deep seated trigger within the American psyche. Because otherwise you wouldn't use it if you didn't think that it could work. And so for somebody like Karl Rove, he can set aside his love for his stepfather because his ultimate goal is to do anything to have his candidate win. And this is really what this boils down to. People willing to do anything. In some cases, some of these people will kill their mama. No, I hate to say it, or they at least lock up if they if they thought that would help them win the race.
But then he goes on he goes on to this program, and whitewashes all that and acts like it didn't like that's the reality of the reality of it is he sat down and went do anything you can if you got to drown your mother in a pond, do it like that's the reality of what he sang him and he does this this little nice. masterclass, that's just nonsense compared to who the man really is. And Axelrod let Axelrod lets him and helps to rehabilitate him. He is a monster, as opposed to masterclass, rehabilitating George Bush, who was just a straight up war criminal. He'd say sits next to him and helps rehabilitate this monster.
Dave, I think you're being unfair and unreasonable towards David Axelrod. And I'll tell you why. I mean, the masterclass is not designed for them to do battle. David Axelrod is doing exactly what he's supposed to be doing. How to change the rules of engagement Oh my god.
Wait I want to see masterclass battle now.
But he did he took it to be basically it was like I'm gonna go on masterclass and I'm gonna clean car rose garage, like here's what I'm gonna do and he it's yeah,
that was the assignment all along.
He just don't take it he doesn't need the money it's $100,000.30 3% He doesn't need that
don't have to you know I'm thinking about Mission Impossible. This is your assignment should you choose to set necessarily slow
but notice he always chooses to accept it even on the TV show. He never does hell though. But yeah, let's let's go out on Axelrod Well, actually, we're gonna go out and ruin him because he's a fun rant at the end. But Axelrod kind of stumbles through it is part of the section kind of telling you what you already know. But then he gets his part about how to use polls.
I'll give you an example. And this was informed by research, we thought the fact that Mitt Romney's firm had a number of companies that they own that had gone bankrupt, would undermine his command or his the sense that he was someone who could manage the economy. People just assumed that he was successful. And if there were bankruptcies, there were extenuating circumstances. But on the whole, they knew him to be successful. The same was true by the way, Donald Trump. Donald Trump had a series of setbacks, but people saw him partly because of the apprentice as a very successful businessman. So they were somewhat dismissed, they just consider that part of a business. You know, on the other hand, if you have business practices that involve offshoring jobs, which is very personal to people, that was resonant.
What makes me nuts about this is the way they just I mean, I remember being a child, the first time I heard somebody suggest that because someone says a good businessman, he'd be a good politician, he'd be a good president. And even as a child, I understood that there was a key difference in those things that making a profit is not the primary goal, the primary job of a politician. And the fact that Democrats just go along with it allow Republicans again to set the frame. It's like he's sitting there going well, yeah, you know, people felt this way about Romney. And like, why weren't you shooting holes in that notion? Why were you just allowing why just sitting there hoping that Romney would say something that would show that he's a bad businessman?
Right? That's exactly right. I mean, government is a service business. It doesn't mean industry, it definitely needs money to provide those services. But its ultimate motive is not the profit it is the service. And so many people have forgotten that lesson. And civics is a service industry that needs money to provide services, it's called tax dollars. And when you starve off those tax dollars by giving tax breaks to the Uber wealthy in this country, you start to starve off what government can do in service to different to different skill sets, too. So why in the hell would you ever want a business person? Yeah,
yes, I guess I was a little heartened. It's not like Karen Bass here in LA is a greatest candidate we've ever had. But it was interesting to me that she did not particularly campaign very hard and managed I mean, am I am I crazy for taking a little hope in the fact that LA just said no thanks to a guy whose entire shtick was I'm a successful businessman.
I don't, I don't think in this climate in LA, I don't think a white guy conservative guy had a chance in hell. Like people are done with that shit. They just are like, especially after the all the racism coming out of our city council, like people are just like, they're really no one. No one wanted it. You know, he got some traction, you know? Yeah, help, either. Yeah, all that stuff. You know. It's all it's Oh, God, you took some heart in that Josh. That's now we have former whatever, we have four years of the same, whatever. It's just like, it's as my wife said, you know, so I get to choose between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. That's my choice for mayor. Yeah, yeah.
it is. I mean, I'm better than that. But much better. Much better. She's she's gone way to the center front, a lot of stuff during the campaign.
To the guy she was running, like, it's all relative. So if we're comparing it to that she ran against and by God if you compare her to Hillary Clinton,
yeah, she turned her back on a lot of old she turned her back on a lot of old friends out here during the camp.
Out here. I'm trying not to jump into you guys family business.
I'm hoping we don't have to do
You know who let's help. Let's help. She ran in the center and she's gonna go more left leg behind her.
I mean, she she worked for the honorable Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, for God's sakes. She is a sinner. I mean, she's been around. Yeah, truly go against the grain in service to. So let's hope that that part of her is reignited, shall we? Yeah, yeah. Let's give her a chance, shall we? We need it.
I'm happy to do that. We do need it. Also, we have a weakened hair system here. So it doesn't matter. Yeah,
that's all it counts. We made
progress there. I feel like it's an interesting tale coming up. Axelrod talks about focus groups here.
Not just in person focus groups. But we also did some experimental things in the Obama campaign, we did these ethno graphs, where we recruited people to essentially keep diaries online, and we would send them questions and they would write in these diaries over a period of time about things in their lives, we would give them questions about what life on the job was, like, what their concerns were, and so on. Their answers were really poignant. And then we followed up with kind of triads, small focus groups with three at a time to follow up on some of their answers. These were emotionally wrenching testimonials to the to the struggles of the middle class in this country, that not only informed our strategic thinking in the campaign, but we wound up sharing them with the president so that he could see and hear what people were saying,
why it doesn't occur to them, then if these people are their stories are so poignant, and heartbreaking that, you know, if the middle class and stories are so sad, what about poor and working people in this country? It's like, it's it almost sounds like they're just cherry picking the things they can use to run an election and know how he says, you know, we and then we showed him to the president, not we did anything about it?
Well, because they don't, you know, statistically, poor people aren't voting as much because they have to work on Tuesday. And many other reasons. Like it's really difficult for them. So they know that, you know, the whole system is geared toward the middle class and up to vote. Like, that's probably why also, that's where the money comes from. This isn't this isn't Santa?
Fe, it's just here he is talking about how poignant this stuff is. There's clearly something going on with him emotionally. But at no point is he put two and two together. You know, it's the ones that are at the end of the day, are they gonna vote for us or not? And it's just like, Yeah,
cuz really, I mean, that is as crass as this may sound that is in the moment, what it comes down to. The problem is, is that when you have people running for office, that that is their only calculation or out of 100%, that 75% of their calculation, and they don't get down to the heart of the matter. That is, in fact, the disconnect with our politics right now. The example you get about about about poor people, the very people who need government to function optimally, do not are opting out of either voting or what Dave just said, they can't do it, for whatever reason. That's why voting should be a national holiday in this country, in my opinion, and opinion, many others. But when you win, it is strictly a transaction for you. And there's nothing else there. These are the types of answers you get. It's harsh, but it's real.
Yeah, I just I can't help but believe it I have for a long time that you know, if you were actually servicing the needs of poor people, they would come to
electric come out to vote no.
They're just going nothing changes where else who's in charge? Why Why should I go to that?
I should I get it. Yeah. I mean, I just a young man. I was in Chicago recently with Marianne Williamson. We did the Chicago humanities festival and a young African American probably was in his 20s. It took a lot of courage. He said, I did not vote in this primary. I mean, the room was on the gas. And he didn't vote in each started. So why he didn't vote because things aren't going right in the black community. And he had a whole litany of reasons why he didn't vote now. Me. I took the question first, my first instinct was like, Are you kidding me? You didn't you know, the mother and he was like, Are you but no, I stepped back and I said, You know what, not voting is a choice. I want to talk to you on the side as the reasons why you should vote standard starting with the ancestry or plane. But there are many other reasons I can bring you up to the 21st century on but let's just start right there. So I didn't chastise him in the way that I think that room wanted. I served you know, Stephen Covey, who was a great leadership guru has a quote that I love, Seek first to understand and then to be understood too, it would have been easy for me to jump on that young man's back. What do you mean, you didn't vote? Oh, no, I heard exactly what he said and why he said because he also he said, I didn't vote. He also explained why he did not vote. And as much as it pains me both as a mother and as a black woman, and understanding how hard it was for black people even get the right to vote, I took a step back to really hear and to feel what he was saying the pain as to why he didn't vote. And what it boils down to nothing has fundamentally changed. Yeah. So why should I go vote?
Yeah, that's the thing I struggle with a lot. And I want to get to where you got were, my response to something I disagree with vigorously isn't to just jump down their throat, but it's to actually listen to try to figure out why they say stuff like you just you just you just got
a not a non vote in a democracy is a legitimate response. It just is like you can't do you can't tell people will it? Do you more damage down the road? Yeah, but also, taking away your vote. You're telling them something. So I you know, I've I've had this argument many times when people especially in 2016, a appeal would just scream at you. And you'd be like, it's not it's not your vote to have you have to go earn it. And also, third party votes are not are not your vote. Almost every study says if a person votes third party, they if they didn't vote, they wouldn't vote for you.
It's almost a perfect that understand that. Yeah.
And like it's just it's just an because now Republicans are doing it because of the of the midterms. They're saying they're looking at libertarians Good luck, and you take away and it's like, no, that's, that's not you're never going to be your vote. That's not your vote. It's not never has been, never will be. So
I want to go out on this chapter. Row goes off on a bit of a rant, which I love. But I also like, I wonder if I was equating this. He talks about sort of like test groups. And you know, in our business, we do that we show people our movies and TV shows and then just let people come randomly off the street tell us how to how to make them better. Which you know, sometimes
I did it. I did it a couple times. $65. I was unemployed. Yeah, $65.04 hours,
they go. I look. And I will say I've heard John Cleese. And so the guys are Monty Python say they always tested their films. But that made sense. They're doing comedies, and I don't care how brilliant you are. If no one's laughing in the theater, you go back to work. That makes sense. But anyway, I kind of this is one of those moments where I sort of appreciated Karl Rove tell me if I'm a terrible person. Okay.
I must admit, focus groups are useful, but limited. I've seen a lot of campaigns where they say, Okay, we've got five very smart people in the room. And we're discussing an issue and we can't figure out whether we think that ad works or not. So let's let's turn the decision over to 20 people that we've agreed to pay 50 bucks. And we've got we've swept him up during a with an interview process in a local shopping mall. And we're going to serve them stale coffee, and stale doughnuts. And we're going to ask those 20 anonymous people who know nothing about politics to tell us whether or not that ad works. She's nodding.
I'm speechless, because I find myself again agreeing with Rob.
We appreciate him for
saying I appreciate him saying that again. I can't see Axelrod going you know, some people are just too fucking stupid to listen to but Karl Rove will go there.
He didn't quite go there, Josh. But that is you to put it into the space
practically with like, my extra water pressure, though. I'm actually like it.
I do remember being in the focus group and just looking at the other people and going What the fuck are you talking about? Yeah, exactly. Oh, my God.
They can be thinking be terrifying. Um, there's one moment that doesn't happen the next the next class is on budgeting and find fundraising. And there's literally nothing worth pulling out. What I thought was interesting was what was left out. And there's a Ryan Grim piece in the intercept from a while back and this is this is pretty common knowledge, but he put it pretty succinctly and I just want to get your thoughts on this before we wrap up this episode. In order to establish whether a person is worthy of official backing, D Triple C operators will quote Rolodex a candidate. According to a source familiar with a procedure, on the most basic level involves candidates being asked to pull out their smartphones, scroll through their contact list and add up the amount of money their contacts could raise or contribute to the campaigns. If a candidate's contacts aren't Good for at least $250,000, or in some cases much more. They fail the test and party support goes elsewhere.
I don't know how I missed that. Is that not in there? Or you're just saying that that wasn't,
it was not in there. They don't talk about that at
all and budgeting and where that comes from.
It's an article Ryan Grim wrote in the intercept a while back,
that's the Ryan Griffin. Okay, because we just had, we just had a ride out here, the district next door to me, Christy Smith lost to a Trumpy guy in a district that Democrats carried or Biden, Kirby 12 points last time. And everyone's like, you know what happened? And it's because the DCC gave her no money. They just totally abandoned her. And, and I hear that and I go, Oh, well, that might be why. Maybe she doesn't have the Rolodex.
And it disqualifies from the beginning, if that's the way you're measured, and the working class consciousness is out the door? Yes, so So you're only saying that people are who are well connected can run for office. And those are the only types of people that you were back, while back, which is why we continue to get the knot. But we get because you have too many people who don't have a working class consciousness, a working class person would never be able to pull out of their Rolodex $250,000 You know, who else does that Emily's list does the same thing. They might not put a number to it. But they they test whether or not you know, one of their measures for being able to back a person is you know, how much money can they raise first. Now, money is certainly a variable. It's one of many variables, but you can't get there until you get there. Meaning somebody has to have other things to measure you the validity or the strength of your potential campaign. And it can't just be about do you have a Rolodex full of people who can get you $250,000.
Because they're not, they're not telling you about the talent of the of the politician, the order skills, the ability to make a point, concisely, they're just talking about, I mean, you could have a ham sandwich that that you know, is sits in a mansion all day, that's what their time, it's just a D next to the name and then you and then you pick these people based on their ability to make money. And they don't have any political skills. That's the problem. I mean, look at Chuck Schumer, slide your glasses down on your nose, more old man, like, he has none of that order political ability, that have been a part of this country for decades. He's just a guy who can raise money off Wall Street. He is a bad politician from the aspect of making points to people. He's terrible. And he's the example of all of these people, how many, how many? How many Democrats? Do you know that you're like, I want to watch this person talk. Most of
them are though. Yeah. Because they don't, they don't have substance, they have money. And they have connections and they, they stock trade and shit, you know, enriching themselves so that they're richer when they leave and when they came in? And not because they're, it's just disgusting to me. Really, but you're absolutely right. I mean, these people, if that is the major measure, then that that that is a barrier that very few working class candidates can surmount, they just won't.
And it also discounts what Sanders did with the $27. Right? Oh, my goodness, yeah. Like it's there. They're not even factoring. That is the thing that happened, and can keep happening.
Because if they do, Dave, then they would have to question, you know, once your consciousness is pricked, now you got to answer so you got to deal with it. And they don't want to deal with that. They want to keep raising money to where this man showed that you can run for the highest office of the land, and motivate people to send in $27, that you don't need lobbyists. You don't need Wall Street, you can do at $27 at a time. And these people act like as you just said, like that never happened because they don't want to have to raise money that way. does take a little work takes a little communication with the people to take some authenticity. It takes the ability to move people. They want to do that.
And yet somehow the politicians who do that seem to have more time on their hands for actual, yes. Which is the part I don't get like why AOC has so much more time to do her job than somebody who's constantly talking to donors, is pretty fascinating. I want to push back a little bit. There is one speaker David I watched his documentary in the Democratic party whose guts I'm kidding. We watched the mayor Pete documentary and it was astonishing. How much how much his cadence is taken verbatim?
that was revelatory. He's just a guy who sort of mimicked that that just
it's So it was just incredible him and beto have that thing are you just like I get it. You're like you liked Obama, you're coming up, but don't do it. What are you doing? Don't do
five I was five years old and I saw Obama give a speech
but I mean, in the case of a feat, you know, he wrote this fantastic essay about the one and only Bernie. Bernie Sanders. I know and we're totally the opposite direction.
Yeah, but then he went to Harvard and he started a West Wing viewing club. So
yeah. Then he joined the CIA and through nature. You know.
Senator Nina Turner, thank you again for enduring the slog with us I fully expect it like I was amazed to see your face again. I was so happy well, we'll be back with with more in our next episode. And I'm sitting here going I don't know 5050 It's just gonna be me and Dave gone where'd you go? Where'd
my pleasure enjoy you a date?
Thank you very much and we will be back with more
maybe I don't know you got your campaign strategy to know your head is wagjag Bagha Brown. Who can give all the answers to you? We get cow row
we David Axl round with
a joke golly it is true
that the free man will guarantee and now they ask in return is not
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