The campaign against Limbaugh

The amount of attention the radio host has gotten lately is no accident -- top Democrats had hoped for it, and planned it.

Published March 4, 2009 4:45PM (EST)

David Plouffe, President Obama's old campaign manager, has an op-ed in the Washington Post today titled "Minority Leader Limbaugh." You can guess what it's about. And now, we don't need to guess why it was written.

Politico's Jonathan Martin has a really interesting article today documenting the development of the Democratic strategy of focusing on Rush Limbaugh; turns out it started at the top. Paul Begala and James Carville, who had been key strategists for Bill Clinton, began the anti-Limbaugh campaign after a Democratic pollster discovered that the radio host's numbers were atrociously low. Then, a source told Martin, "the two also began pushing the idea of targeting Limbaugh in their daily phone conversations with Emanuel.

"Conversations and email exchanges began taking place in and out of the White House not only between the old pals from the Clinton era but also including White House senior adviser David Axelrod, Deputy Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and Woodhouse."

So far, this seems to be a great strategy; it's been splitting the Republican Party, damaging people like Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, and it's meant that GOP opposition to the president's policies seems to be coming directly from Limbaugh, not a good thing for Republicans.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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