Schlossberg not afraid of the big bad wolves


Geraldine Sealey
October 23, 2004 12:30AM (UTC)

Sometimes we here at War Room watch CNN and think that Jon Stewart and company would have a year's worth of "moments of zen" if they just recorded the proceedings. Today's CNN moment of zen came this afternoon as Judy Woodruff spoke to Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, who, despite her aversion to publicity and media attention, hit the campaign trail for John Kerry in Wisconsin today and even subjected herself to a CNN interview.

After some talk about why Schlossberg was inspired to stump for Kerry, how he'd be better for women and families, and what he has to do to shore up the female vote, Woodruff moved on to the campaign topic du jour: an alarmist and cynical fear-mongering ad just released by Bush-Cheney '04, called "Wolves." (Read all about it here and here.)

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The "back story" of the Wolves ad, as the Bush team tells it, is that the ad was tested months ago in focus groups and was so powerful -- so persuasive -- that BC '04 held it close to the vest and is only now unveiling it to deliver the big KO to Kerry-Edwards. Trumping up the ad in the hopes of fooling people into being impressed by it, rather than appalled, the Bush team is painting the Wolves ad as a kind of unpleasant October surprise for John Kerry, rather than a sign of their own desperation. Clearly, Judy got the memo.

In her interview, Woodruff asked Schlossberg about the "Wolves" ad in breathless tones that suggested she was also convinced Kerry had a serious problem on his hands here. "What do you say about this ad?" Woodruff said, and we're paraphrasing. "A Bush adviser said they tested the ad and it was so powerful they decided to run it in the final days of the campaign, that it shows a weakness of John Kerry's." The Republicans say terrorists smell the fear all over John Kerry and are ready to pounce! However will he respond?!

Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, looking a little confused and amused about the whole wolves thing, brought a moment of clarity and yes, a moment of zen, to Woodruff's program: "I can't believe anyone would make up their mind based on an ad showing a bunch of animals running around," she said. Here's hoping.


Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

MORE FROM Geraldine Sealey

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