This coming Sunday’s New York Times Magazine includes a Q and A with a once-shadowy character named Stephen Marks, here billed as a GOP political “Oppo Man.” Naturally he has a new book, called “Confessions of a Political Hitman.” In the interview he objects to being called “unsavory” and claims, “opposition researchers perform a needed public service. The voter has a right to know the history of any candidate.” He says he sleeps well at night and has “no” qualms about his work.
He even defends his 2000 spot that juxtaposed footage of Al Gore with Al Sharpton urging college students to “off the pigs.” Marks admits it was “nasty and negative , but it was accurate, just like the Willie Horton ad that finished off Dukakis.”
Will there be less negative campaigning this year, as candidates are now promising? “I doubt it. Negative campaigning is part of Americans politics’ collective DNA.” And he disagrees that Republicans are better than Democrats at it. But he claims he has retired from that type of work, while retaining his consultant business: “I want a calmer, more normal life, not looking through countless records just to find that some candidate has a porn-related Web site.”
Meanwhile, everyone's favorite "hit" of the day: Huckabee this morning saying Fred Thompson needed to take some Metamucil.