Suddenly, Citing The Willie Horton Ad Is Not Raaaaacist…

…when attempting to use it against the GOP: GOP governors could face pardon issue in 2012 campaign

It’s still early in the presidential race, so the opposition research dumps haven’t really begun. But when the skeletons in the closets of 2012 GOP hopefuls begin to be revealed, the unique shape of the field–which will almost certainly feature a handful of current or former governors–makes it’s a good bet that someone is going to have a Willie Horton problem.

Well, the Politico seems to be doing well with their research, providing in-kind campaign donations to Democrats.

That’s code for a violent or deranged felon run amok on their watch–a reference to the notorious convict who went AWOL during a furlough from a Massachusetts prison, committed more crimes and ultimately became the subject of a devastating ad that helped seal the fortunes of 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis.

Said ad was started by a Democrat, but, let’s not quibble.

With former Govs. Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, and Jon Huntsman in the 2012 mix–and a few other current and former chief executives perhaps in the wings–the issue of pardons and furloughs is one that could play an unexpected and damaging role for some campaigns.

Let’s check Obama’s record as an executive for comparison…………still looking………eh, let’s move on. Politico goes through a few cases for Romney, Pawlenty, and Huntsman (also Huckabee and Daniels, but, since they aren’t running, no point other than attempting to smear the GOP), then we get

Dukakis, who knows the potential sting of the pardon issue better than anyone else, told POLITICO that almost no governor is completely insulated.

“I think anything can break through,” said Dukakis, who supported but didn’t create the furlough program used to devastating effect against him. “Hey, if you want to scare people, you can scare them, and this kind of thing scares them.”

Dukakis’ problem was that he defended his furlough program again and again, despite what Willie Horton did. There was no remorse, no attempt to fix the system, as the Republican governors attempted to do. The way the furlough program worked under Dukakis was Dukakis’ policy.

They also spend most of Internet page 3 working to smear Michelle Bachmann over Frank Vennes. Thing is, unlike Dukakis, Bachmann has said her decision to push for a pardon for Vennes was a big mistake. She showed remorse. Dukakis had none.

But, good job working the early smears, Politico.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach

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