The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Savage Weirdness at Final Boarding: Did Team Perry Put the Blame on Rubio?

Posted on | October 17, 2011 | 33 Comments

The National Affairs Desk, in the smoking lounge at
Dulles International Airport, 1:10 p.m., Monday, Oct. 17, 2011

Less than hour until final boarding for my flight to LAX en route to Vegas, and no time to waste on trivia now. While I was checking in the one-way rental car ($164), I was on the phone with Sarah Rumpf, who told me a bizarre reverse-angle on the Rubio/Romney conspiracy theory. Pagan Temple had picked this out of Javier’s post earlier:

Convoluting matters further, one of Perry’s top campaign consultants was also Governor Charlie Crist’s consultant during the 2010 Senate race before Crist jumped ship and ran as an Independent, and that Perry’s Florida team was being led by Rich Heffley, Jim Rimes and Randy Enwright. Heffley was responsible for fabricating the infamous “truthaboutRubio” attack website against now Senator Rubio.

Get it? Sarah has a post about this that provides links to the dots – including Javier’s post from Friday – but leaves it to the reader to imagine how those dots might be connected. What am I getting at? Some of Rubio’s allies suspect that the Crist/LeMieux/Perry forces in Florida, eager to strike a blow against Romney, and also damage the hated Rubio, spread the rumor of a Romney/Rubio conspiracy to move up Florida’s primary to Jan. 31. By blaming it on Rubio’s chief of staff, Cesar Conda, they help LeMieux in next year’s Senate primary, because Rubio is also viewed as an ally of Adam Hasner.

Rubio has tried to stay officially neutral in both the presidential primary and the Florida Senate primary but – if this connect-the-dots theory is true – somebody in Team Perry managed to spread a damaging rumor in such a way that they must have known would reach me. Because I had solid sources telling me as first-hand knowledge that the Romney/Rubio conspiracy (with Conda as the middleman) was true. Were my sources duped? Or were they part of the Perry plot? Or is the original conspiracy theory true, and this new reverse-angle theory a defensive spin to protect Romney’s operation in Florida? The fact that Rich Heffley was one of the first Florida operatives hired by Team Perry suggests the possibility of dirty tricks, and by now the possibilities have multiplied so much I don’t know who or what to believe.

You see that we’re deep into savage weirdness at this point and, of course, when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. But now I’ve got less than half an hour until they call final boarding, so I’ll have to leave all that for later, and finish with the Five Most Important Words in the English Language: Hit the freaking tip jar!



33 Responses to “Savage Weirdness at Final Boarding: Did Team Perry Put the Blame on Rubio?”

  1. Finrod Felagund
    October 17th, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

    If anyone can get to the bottom of that sordid mess, Stacy, you can.

  2. Joe
    October 17th, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

    Were my sources duped? Or were they part of the Perry plot? Or is the original conspiracy theory true, and this new reverse-angle theory a defensive spin to protect Romney’s operation in Florida? The fact that Rich Heffley was one of the first Florida operatives hired by Team Perry suggests the possibility of dirty tricks, and by now the possibilities have multiplied so much I don’t know who or what to believe.

    I assume you do not have an obligation to protect sources that burn you.  But you probably have to give them the benefit of doubt.  I would like to think Rubio did not do this. 

  3. Joe
    October 17th, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

    I know early polls are not worth a lot…but I do like this one.

  4. Richard Mcenroe
    October 17th, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

    Ya know, if we just vote for Cain, we don’t have to worry about WHO did it… just sayin’.

  5. Joe
    October 17th, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

    Very true.  Although you do want to know who did it, if only for future reference. 

    I also assume the door is now shut and Stacy had to turn off the wi-fi and cell phone. 

  6. Anonymous
    October 17th, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

    Has anyone looked into the TPC angle on this?

  7. Stephani Scruggs
    October 17th, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

    None of this passes the smell test – not the “effort to help Romney” angle or the “Perry plants” angle.  The only candidate an early Florida primary would help is Cain.  Florida is head over heals for Cain at this point, and the closer the primary, the more likely Cain comes out the winner.  

  8. Anonymous
    October 17th, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

    If personal vendettas are behind this the possibility of unintended consequences go way up.

  9. Richard Mcenroe
    October 17th, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

    Cain is just about the ONLY candidate in the race who DOESN’T have the insider connections to pull this off.

  10. Anonymous
    October 17th, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

    Frankly, the simplest explanation is that the Florida Republicans just want their state to be more influential (due to going first and granting momentum) than other states.

    The blame gain may just be other partisans attempting to cash in on the controversy.  Or the effect of conspiracy theorists.

    But conspiracies are so much fun!  Given what I’m told about caucus states (and this was partly how Obama outsmarted Hillary last time around), organization is much more important there than in primary states.  Since we know that Cain is relatively weak, organization-wise, I’d say that lends credence to Cain supporters having a motive for pushing up the Florida primary.

  11. Richard Mcenroe
    October 17th, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

    You people keep forgetting we are talking about GOP insiders here, not competent political professionals.  Anyone remember 2006? 2008? Scozzafava? Castle? DE GOP? Rove? NY-26? The botched run against Janice Hahn?

    The GOP “political machine” is a gaggle of ragged, grasping sutlers, whores, laundresses, cooks and scavengers who  have mistakenly attached themselves to the two generals with the biggest flags and the most trumpets and ignored the commanders with the most troops.  The howling and catfighting that will erupt as they realize that will be awesome to see.”

    That is why any new candidate who scrambles for ‘approved’ campaign managers and experts is wasting their time. There is a nation full of competent road managers and salesmen out there; HIRE THEM.

    In the meantime, NOT ONE RED CENT to the RNC, NRSC NRCC.   Use your conscience and your common sense and donate directly to candidates you choose or independent PAC’s for your issues.

    Starve ’em and crush their eggs.

  12. Bob Belvedere
    October 17th, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

    I also want to hear the lamentations of their women!

  13. DaveO
    October 17th, 2011 @ 2:58 pm


  14. Anonymous
    October 17th, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

    As I mentioned before, no conspiracy theories are necessary. Moving the primary date (i.e., changing the rules) in the middle of campaign season is just WRONG – so, if it helps ANY candidate, that’s unfortunate. Moreover, an insider who genuinely believes that changing the rules on the fly would be good for Florida might also have a conflict of interest despite his/her “good intentions.”

  15. ThePaganTemple
    October 17th, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

    This whole thing got started before Cain went ahead in the polls. At the time, Perry was in the lead, and Romney was second. Plus the two guys in the Florida legislature most responsible for moving the primary date up just happened to be Perry supporters. Cain was barely a blip on the radar screen at the time this started.

  16. Adjoran
    October 17th, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

    Ah, Marco, Marco, if only they had “rehabilitated” you before they hanged you as a RINO! 

    I tried to tell them it was stupid to throw you under the bus on the basis of anonymous hearsay, but was nearly flayed alive myself in the rush to label and discard you.

    Perilous times, these, when even a third-hand unnamed source can denounce you . . .

  17. Mortimer Snerd
    October 17th, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

    Who’s on first?

  18. Anonymous
    October 17th, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

    Haven’t Whitman, Fiorini, Crist, and Chaffee wailed enough already? 

    Also, by being so gender specific, you’re letting Dede Scozzafava off the hook. Don’t you want to see his lamentations, too?

  19. Joe
    October 17th, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

    Adjoran, I am pretty sure Marco will survive just fine (provided he really was not in this).  Perry on the other hand…looks like he is going back to Texas. 

  20. Joe
    October 17th, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

    Someone play wack a mole with Anamika, I am sure she will give a squweak (at least). 

  21. Anonymous
    October 17th, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

    Being hanged in effigy, with only a few townsfolk around to witness it, while you remain safely ensconced in your palace, is not that painful. Me suspects Rubio will be fine.

    What really needs “rehabilitated” is Florida’s appropriate primary date.  

  22. Anonymous
    October 17th, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

    Bob wants to hear the lamentations of women, not the shriekings of womyn.  

  23. DaveO
    October 17th, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

    Who benefits from moving the primary date forward?

    LeMieux, Wasserman Shultz, and doctrinaire Republicans. Who does it hurt? The amateurs, the TEA Partiers, and anyone who can’t self-fund (or hasn’t spent years building up a war chest).

    Rubio doesn’t profit by this. Romney doesn’t need it. Cain is enjoying it, and Perry’s sucking wind.  

  24. McGehee
    October 17th, 2011 @ 3:53 pm

    Ah, but maybe that’s what Herman wants us all to think!

  25. ThePaganTemple
    October 17th, 2011 @ 4:23 pm

    Thanks for linking my post, RSM, and the more I think about it, this does seem to be a none too professional hit job by the Perry camp. Evidently, his or their (or both) political ability and skills at chicanery are about at the level of his debating skills. Still, if I’m right, this was a ploy born of desperation, which almost never works to the good.

  26. Anonymous
    October 17th, 2011 @ 4:52 pm

    I’m starting to come around to Adjoran’s line of thinking on this. The Florida GOP or parts of, have been talking this up for years. The rational or calculations for doing so may change from time to time but when one has been waiting their whole political lives to do something this stupid that opportunity can’t be allowed to slip away.

  27. ThePaganTemple
    October 17th, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

    I was mainly talking about Perry and/or his peeps desperation tactics in trying to attach the blame to Romney (and by extension, Rubio) after the fact. On the surface it would appear to be a brilliant move. RSM is a well-known Cain supporter, and Romney opponent, so it was assumed he would gleefully get the word out, and hopefully Romney would take the hit for trying to game the system in such an underhanded way. It would speak to his credibility.

    But there’s just no getting around the fact that at the time the move was announced, and encouraged mainly by Perry supporters, that their man Perry was the one who at the time seemed to stand to gain the most from it. Remember, at the time in most polls Romney was down below Perry by as much as ten percent or more.

    If true, it shows that Perry, or at least his people, are guilty of the exact lack of integrity with which they were trying to tarnish Romney. Another thing it proves is that Perry is by no means ready for prime time.

    You are judged by the company you keep. Perry has been keeping company with former Charlie Crist operatives, which explains the zeal at impugning Rubio. The country, and the GOP, can and should expect better from its would-be leaders.

    In the final analysis, Crist is a piece of shit, and for Perry to turn to him for support does not speak well of him.

  28. Anonymous
    October 17th, 2011 @ 6:20 pm

    Damn, that sandwich looks pretty good for airport fare. I’ve never flown  through the Washington area. Cincinnatti is pretty nice. But I guess American doesn’t use them any more. Greensboro is OK, but how can an airport that serves Winston-Salem have no smoking sections?

  29. Paula
    October 17th, 2011 @ 6:43 pm

    This is getting weird. Someone likes to play this “anonymous” sources” game.  Turns out it’s not true that DeMint is endorsing Romney either.

    ‘DeMint primary’ may have no winner at all –

  30. Joe
    October 17th, 2011 @ 7:20 pm
  31. Anonymous
    October 17th, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

    Air flight was safer when they allowed smoking.
    There was a project in Durham called American Tobacco. They rehabilitated the old facility leaving as much of the late 19Th century construction exposed as possible, built a fancy stream running through it. Much of it was converted to restaurants and sports bars. There are anti smoking ordinances for all of the above in Durham so you can’t smoke inside where they processed Bull Durham tobacco for a century.

    October 18th, 2011 @ 7:42 pm

    […] FURTHER UPDATES . . .PREVIOUSLY:Oct. 18: Greetings From Lost WagesOct. 17: Savage Weirdness at Final Boarding: Did Team Perry Put the Blame on Rubio?Oct. 17: Fear and Loathing (and, Yes, Sweet Vengeance) On the Road to Feb. 1, 2012Oct. 16: 462 Days […]

  33. John Smith
    October 19th, 2011 @ 11:09 pm

    I posted the original story to my facebook tea party group, never questioning McCain’s reporting. After this possible 180, I wish I had not.