Where Did Kerry’s Monica Story Come From?

As I’m sure most of you have already heard, there are now claims that John Kerry has been alleged to have engaged in infidelity and to have spirited his “Monica” out of the country to keep her away from the press.

There are already left-wingers claiming that Karl Rove is behind the Kerry adultery story or that it’s just “Republican dirty tricks,” but, I really tend to doubt that for two reasons.

One, this along with all the new info about his filthy hippy act after the Vietnam war may be enough to cost him the nomination which would leave the door wide open for John Edwards. In my opinion and probably in Rove’s (although he isn’t talking of course), Edwards would be a significantly stronger candidate than Kerry. So even if Rove had this info, he would have been better served by sitting on it and releasing it at some point after Kerry won the nomination.

Perhaps more importantly, it turns out that Drudge wasn’t actually the first page to break this story. The story was actually mentioned at Watchblog 6 days ago and as Jonah Goldberg points out, Cameron Barrett, who also worked for the Clark campaign, writes for that blog. Add to that this info from the Daily Kos

“First of all, this isn’t Drudge’s story. It’s been around for several weeks. Clark was talking about it to reporters (I confirmed it independently from the Drudge piece). It was common knowledge, but the press sat on it for whatever reason (looking for confirmation? Hoping to avoid being labeled as gossip mongers?).

…Then again, Lehane (Clark press secy) likely had access to Kerry’s internal oppo when he worked for him. Given that Clark was talking about Kerry’s “intern problem”, it would lend credence to this theory. And like I said, I have independent confirmation that Clark did, indeed, make those comments. And given that these allegations have been circulating for several weeks, it’s possible Lehane leaked this hoping it would break sooner. But knowing it was going to explode, why would Clark drop out? It doesn’t seem to make sense.”

…and my guess is that it’s a story put out there by the Clark campaign that broke too late to knock Kerry down and give the general a shot at the brass ring.

In any case, I’m not sure that this story is going to cost Kerry the nomination. While we know there is SOMETHING to the story (or Kerry would have already been all over the news denying it), it’s possible that it’s not as damaging as it may sound (maybe this was actually long ago).

Also, you have to consider that the Democrats spent the length of Clinton years denying saying that the character didn’t matter. So, maybe they believe their own BS at this point, you can never tell.

Give it another couple of weeks and we should have a pretty good idea of how this is going to play out in the primaries…

***Update #1***: Someone claiming to be David Remer of Watchblog (I say claiming because I haven’t verified his identity with Watchblog) writes the following in the comments section…

“You are fostering a conspiracy theory regarding WatchBlog which has no basis in fact. Cameron Barrett turned the management of WatchBlog over to me back in October when he went to the Clark campaign. Cameron has had absolutely no role in WatchBlog operations since then, save for providing the server WatchBlog software runs on.

These are the facts and can be backed up by the editors and writers of WatchBlog who now number more than 40.

Posted by David Remer, Managing Editor, WatchBlog”

You know, I’m not trying to be snarky here, but when I look at the front page of Watchblog, I still see Cameron Barrett’s name with an email address beside of it that says “editor@watchblog.com”. Furthermore, as of now, at 9:28 PM EST, there isn’t a post on the front of Watchblog noting that Cameron Barrett “has had NO participation in WatchBlog since October of 2003” as you claim in the comments. So, I’d have to suggest that you get you make some effort to correct the record on your OWN PAGE before you start complaining about a “conspiracy theory”.

But, if you do make the correction and email me about it (because I don’t read your blog), I’ll change the post to read that Barrett “founded the blog,” instead of “writes for” it. I think that’s fair enough…

***Update #2*** The Sun has more details on the Kerry “scandal”…

“Alex Polier, 24, was named as the woman at the centre of a scandal that threatens to damage Democrat Kerry’s bid for the White House.

Her mother Donna claims Kerry, 60 — dubbed the new JFK — once chased Alex to be on his campaign team and was “after her”.

There is no evidence the pair had an affair, but her father Terry, 56, said: “I think he’s a sleazeball. I did kind of wonder if my daughter didn’t get that kind of feeling herself.

“He’s not the sort of guy I would choose to be with my daughter.”

Terry, of Malvern, Pennsylvania, added: “John Kerry called my daughter and invited her down to Washington two or three years ago.

“He invited her to be on his re-election committee. She talked to him and decided against it.””

As far as I’m concerned, if that “he said /she said” bag of nothing is all there is to the story, then I don’t think it merited being reported AT ALL. Moreover, for Drudge to treat this as some kind of big scandal — if this is all there is to it — is positively sleazy in my view and totally unfair to Kerry.

***Update #3*** John Kerry is handing out a flat denial of Drudge’s charges, “I just deny it categorically. It’s rumor. It’s untrue. Period.” As far as I’m concerned, it’ll embarassing for Drudge if nothing else of significance comes out on this story.

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