Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Twist and Shout!

The Kerry staff shake-up story is now official, thanks to the estimable Albert Hunt, former Washington Bureau Chief of The Wall Street Journal, whose sources inside both the Boston mafia and the national Democratic Party infrastructure are, let's just say, well-informed. Without further ado, let's go to the text of Mr. Hunt's blog-like "convention dispatch:"

Dispirited Democrats -- prominent senators, top fundraisers, even a few Kerry confidants -- have told the candidate, who is in Nantucket, that high-level changes are imperative. A few very well-connected Democrats report something will occur in the next few days. One person who might assume more control is Joe Lockhart, a former press secretary to Bill Clinton and a respected public-relations figure, but one who has almost no experience in the high-stakes world of presidential campaigns. Another possibility: veteran Democratic politico John Sasso, currently at the Democratic National Committee.

If there is a change -- Sen. Kerry privately is said to be "bouncing off the walls" in frustration -- it has to be imminent as the eight-week campaign is in full swing by Labor Day. "We have 48 hours," acknowledges an insider.

Do you suppose that one of those "very well-connected Democrats" might be...John Sasso? Do you suppose another might be Mr. William Daley? I do! I don't think Mr. Hunt would have written the above two paragraphs without having at least some sense that a "change" was coming. And I don't think he would have written it so urgently (his regular WSJ op-ed column appears on Thursdays, which is tomorrow), unless he felt that the news might break ahead of his Wednesday afternoon deadline.

Credit Mickey Kaus for moving this story along. Shortly after he arrived in New York, he began beating the drum. It's now the talk of the dispirited press herd here in Manhattan. The perfect press story for a GOP Convention; it allows them to talk to their Democratic friends and call it work.

Update: Senor Hunt is now backing away from his "convention dispatch" of yesterday with a new "convention dispatch" that says, essentially, never mind, it's just Joel Lockhart. Windsurf away!