CLIFFORD MAY HAS BEEN LOBBYING HARD ON BEHALF OF DON RUMSFELD who seems not to want to leave his job as Secretary of Defense. I have no inside information on whether the Bush team wants Rumsfeld in or out.
Fox News is reporting that it hears that Rumsfeld will be out, but talking heads John Leo of U.S. News & World Report says he doesn’t believe Rumsfeld will be out; and Eleanor Clift thinks Rumsfeld will stay at least through the Iraq elections.
If Rumsfeld stays put, then McCain cannot be Secretary of Defense, if that was what he was promised for suppressing his disdain for Bush & Co. and campaiging hard for the president.
So, with the Pentagon just out of reach, what McCain will no doubt immediately launch will be an assault on 527 organizations — a gaping loophole in the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance reforms.
Today, I received this “527 Fact Sheet” from the Campaign Legal Center which former McCain Campaign Director Rick Davis and McCain acolyte and former Federal Elections Chairman Trevor Potter launched a few years ago.
To give some indication of the Bush-tilting and Kerry-tilting giants that McCain intends to fell, here is one graf from the attached report:
Who controls these 527 organizations and what are they doing?
Four of the most prominent new 527 organizations are America Coming Together (ACT) and The Media Fund on the Democratic side, and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and Progress for America on the Republican side. The President of ACT, Ellen Malcolm, is also head of EMILY’s List and has stated that ACT intends to conduct a “massive get-out-the-vote operation that we think will defeat George W. Bush in 2004.”
The Media Fund is led by Harold Ickes, who formerly served in the Clinton White House and is currently a member of the executive committee of the Democratic National Committee. They have aired broadcast ads promoting the Democratic Presidential candidate and opposing President Bush. Swift Boat Veterans exclusively targeted Senator Kerry and is advised by Bush campaign attorney Benjamin Ginsberg, who resigned from his service to the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign once it was made public that he worked for both the campaign and the supposedly independent Swift group.
Progress for America, which describes itself as a conservative issues group and is headed by one of President Bush’s leading ‘Pioneer’ fundraisers, spent $29 million in the 2004 race by mid-October.
It will be interesting to see whether or not when McCain gets close to success in closing the 527 money loophole whether the Defense job will all of a sudden open up.
You have to admire Bush and Rove’s facility with the politics of distraction.
— Steve Clemons