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Chris Hightower and recent developments with the Rand Paul campaign

December 18, 2009

If you haven’t heard, the Paul campaign suffered a minor setback today as Campaign Aide Chris Hightower resigned after a blog post was made tying him to racist images. Here’s the story.

Here’s my opinion on the matter and more importantly, what kind of impact it can have on this race.

First, my heart goes out to Chris. I know Chris and have never caught even the slightest glimpse of racism in him. Although I do not know the whole story, it appears to me that Chris was the victim here, as these photos were posted on his page. However, to cause the campaign the least amount of problems, he decided to resign. It was a very mature decision on his part and one that will not slow down this campaign.

From the beginning, this campaign has been the underdog. They’ve battled through plenty of obstacles and I honestly believe that, looking back on it, this will be a minor setback. Campaigns, this campaign especially, are about the candidates and ideas. Campaigns have gone through far worse public relations issues and still come out victorious. Could this slow the momentum of the campaign? Possibly, but highly unlikely. Don’t forget folks– Rand just raised over 200,000 dollars yesterday. That’s a big deal. And just like from the beginning of the campaign, this campaign is about issues.

That being said, I do have to say the Grayson campaign is squandering an enormous opportunity here. He’s already released a statement demanding to know where Paul stands on these issues and said “I think Rand Paul’s judgment is seriously in question at this point.”

Now, I’m no David Adams, but had I of been managing the Grayson campaign, I would have released a statement saying something to the effect of:

“I take the issue of racism very seriously. That being said, although Dr. Paul and I are opponents, I have nothing but respect for him and his staff and wish them the best in dealing with this matter and hope this doesn’t deter us from talking about real issues that effect Kentuckians.”

I think that could have scored him major points. Instead, he threw some mud in Dr. Paul’s direction and he looks to be trying to exploit this opportunity to attack Rand.

The article I linked above has the whole story, if you’re interested. But here’s the taking away point and the most important part of the article:

Hightower held several roles, including campaign treasurer and voter-outreach work, said Paul campaign manager David Adams. Hightower had also been an occasional spokesman for the campaign.

Adams said the campaign would bounce back quickly.

“Anything that goes wrong with a staffer is potentially embarrassing,” he said. “It doesn’t change the message. It doesn’t change the things we stand for. I think we will recovery quickly and move on.”

On Wednesday, Paul banked an additional $236,000 for his Senate campaign by using the same type of Internet fundraiser that helped finance his father’s presidential race last year.

The money came in a one-day fundraiser that pushed Paul’s total contributions to nearly $1.7 million heading into next year’s primary election.

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One Comment
  1. I’m researching an article on the Paul campaign. Thank you for this information. AFAIK, you’re the only source to report the content of Grayson’s release (which I find the most shameful part of the incident). The Paul campaign was quick enough to denounce racism, saying it has “no place in civil discourse.” Pretending there are unsettled questions about whether Paul is a racist is the lowest form of innuendo.

    What’s Grayson going to do next: start blogging on Too Kooky for Kentucky?

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