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Case-Study: Republicans Go Nuclear on Barack

BY David All | Tuesday, May 20 2008

As an effective deployment of a modern media strategy, I want to share a recent example engineered by, among others, the Washington State Republican Party putting the hammer to Barack Obama after a *major* gaffe while campaigning in Oregon. I've been given exclusive insight on how this all went down.

Let's dig in...

On Monday at 2:23 PM, Ben Smith of the Politico.com broke the news of Barack who-needs-experience-when-we-can-have-hope Obama making a major gaffe on the campaign trail when he admitted having no knowledge of the Hanford Site, "a decommissioned nuclear production complex on the Columbia River in south-central Washington operated by the United States government."

Ben embedded the following YouTube video of Barack's gaffe which was uploaded anonymously by a brand new YouTube user, IRFSA8654. Natch.

Blogs4McCain.com quickly picked up on the video.

With a hat-tip to Blogs4McCain, Michelle Malkin picked up on the story and added valuable context to the argument by noting that John McCain had been asked the same question and knew all about it. Typical experience wielded by The Mac.

Someone must have tipped off the Associated Press because they were next to pile on Barack.

Today, Fox News' Major Garrett carried the package, added some context, and had this to say:

=PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT=

Republicans immediately pounced on this as a sign of Barack Obama's inexperience as a national candidate. Saying -- how could you not know anything about the Hanford nuclear waste site? It's the best known, most contaminated one in the United States. It's one the Department of Energy is spending almost $2 billion a year to clean up. Those clean-up dates are going to be missed. There's a huge negotiation in the state of Washington about how to extend those deadlines. It's a big issue there. How could you not know anything about it?

So while the Obama campaign says it is genuine and disarming, Republicans fire back -- it's inexperience. And that's going to be one of the core divides in this general election campaign. Barack Obama's genuineness, his likability, his willingness to talk straight with voters vs. Republicans saying he may be able to do all those things but if he's not experienced enough, how reliable a President is he actually going to be?

Small issues, small incident in this town hall in Pendleton, Oregon, but it's going to be something that will be playing out in the campaign throughout.

Today, MoveRed.org, the "youth coalition (ages 16-28) of the King County Republican Party," released this stinging video pulling it all together:

In my opinion, the case-study above shows how you can take a national candidate making a mistake on a local issue and turn that into a national news story. And the best part is that this is just the beginning of this story getting out.

The Washington State Republican Party has just blasted an email to its list asking them to "forward the message" and help make a donation to keep it coming.

Indeed, Porridge, to all of those who had a hand in this one. You're making us proud.

[Pardon the partisanship, this was cross-posted from TechRepublican.]