A tangled mess of messages
Yesterday Corker disclosed that he had spent every penny raised for his primary election and that he had been "forced" to deposit an additional $1.745 million of his personal fortune in recent weeks to keep his campaign afloat.
Who forced him to write a personal check? According to Corker its the two primary opponents he claims have no real support and who pose no real threat to his "commanding" lead in the polls.
The spin from Camp Corker was that the attacks by "Mr. Ed" and "Van Dame" were distorting Corker's "record," and that the extra cash was needed to "set the record straight."
I admire a good spin, but this political yarn is one tangled mess of messages.
Let's try to untangle it a bit.
- Camp Corker bragged about money "pouring in from grassroot Republicans."
- Camp Corker launched a massive TV blitz months ahead of his primary opponents.
- His two primary opponents finally went up on TV with low budget, weak message ads in select markets.
- Camp Corker consistently boasted of a strong, steady lead over his primary opponents in the polls.
- Camp Corker divides the Republican party further by ignoring earlier pledges and viciously turning on his primary opponents, attacking them by name in a new ad.
- We learn that this vicious attack ad is being funded out of Corker's own personal pocket since his alleged "grassroots" well has run dry so early.
- Camp Corker says he was "forced" into "setting the record straight" in these final days before the primary election because his primary opponents' attacks seem to be getting traction.
- Camp Corker sheepishly confirms that their man dumped a wad of personal cash into campaign coffers on July 14 to keep the campaign afloat.
- Corker continues to pound the pavement and lobbyist doors on K Street in Washington for more "grassroots Republican" cash.
- And just this week a new Knoxville News Sentinel poll shows the primary race tightening between Corker and "Mr. Ed."
So what does all this tell us? Here's my take.
Corker's commanding lead over his primary opponents reflects name recognition with shallow "grass" roots.
Corker's internal polling shows voters - Dems as well as GOPers - are unsettled over his flip flopping record on issues like abortion, taxes, pay raises, immigration, etc.
Corker's efforts at pulling the GOP behind him were getting zero traction (outside of the high brow biz crowd) so he's decided to throw caution to the wind by turning on the two primary opponents whose bases he will need to win a general election.
Despite his best efforts to suck $$ from DC lobbyists, he's not had much success there.
Will Corker continue to divide the GOP further by maintaining his personal attacks against his fellow Republican primary opponents. Yup.
Will Corker continue to have to drop his own $$ into his coffers at the risk of appearing to "buy his nomination." Yup.
Will this all continue to be a tangled mess for Bob. Yup.