The PJ Tatler

Why Was David Axelrod Tweeting at 5:42 This Morning?

Campaigns are forbidden by law from coordinating with super PACs. David Axelrod knows this, but early this morning he tweeted at Mitt Romney to call off a super PAC attack on Obama. Which Axelrod knows, Romney cannot really control.

Just as Obama cannot control whether his super PAC keeps Bill Maher’s $1 million contribution. Obama and Romney can publicly call on their respective super PACs to do or not do things, but they can’t control them. Knowing all of that, Axelrod tweeted this in the early morning.

Stunning! Axelrod’s Democrats are trying yet another lame distraction!

Here’s the article Axelrod tweeted. It’s about a plan to make Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s mentor for 20 years, an issue in the campaign.

The plan, which is awaiting approval, calls for running commercials linking Mr. Obama to incendiary comments by his former spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., whose race-related sermons made him a highly charged figure in the 2008 campaign.

“The world is about to see Jeremiah Wright and understand his influence on Barack Obama for the first time in a big, attention-arresting way,” says the proposal, which was overseen by Fred Davis and commissioned by Joe Ricketts, the founder of the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade. Mr. Ricketts is increasingly putting his fortune to work in conservative politics.

The $10 million plan, one of several being studied by Mr. Ricketts, includes preparations for how to respond to the charges of race-baiting it envisions if it highlights Mr. Obama’s former ties to Mr. Wright, who espouses what is known as “black liberation theology.”

The Daily Caller reports that following Axelrod’s tweet, other Democrat mouthpieces followed suit. This was a coordinated, strategic freakout.

The proposed advertising is a “hateful campaign being planned by GOP super PACs,” claimed Bill Burton, who runs a Democratic “super PAC” political action committee, dubbed Priorities USA Action, that is itself designed to run negative ads against Gov. Mitt Romney.

At 9.05 a.m., Brad Woodhouse, the spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, joined the hue and cry. “Unbelievable @MittRomney can’t do more on this Ricketts slime story than say he hasn’t read the story,” he said in reaction to a Washington Post report that Romney declined to comment.

At 9.32 a.m., Woodhouse followed up with another tweet, saying “If @MittRomney can’t clearly denounce the type of scum bag tactics planned by his allies as outlined by the NYT he’s not fit to lead.”

Barack Obama has not called on his super PAC to give back Bill Maher’s money. I guess, using Democrat logic, he also is unfit to lead. Or if he is but Romney isn’t, what’s the difference?

The idea of bringing Rev. Wright up as a campaign issue has the Democrats terrified. How else to explain the early morning freakout, but to get ahead of the story and try to force Romney into a box — let the attack go forward and brand it back on him as racist, or get him to disavow it and have him look as weak as McCain looked four years ago.

Wright should be an issue in the campaign, though not as large an issue as the economy. Wright has recently said two controversial things directly tied to the president; that Obama friend Eric Whitaker tried to buy Wright’s silence in 2008, and that Wright says now that church was never important to Obama except as a political base. One of those is an accusation of corruption, the other is an accusation base dishonesty with the American people.

Besides those obvious facts, the Obama campaign’s surrogates are sure to hold Romney’s Mormonism against him. Romney’s allies should not unilaterally disarm.

Update: But unilateral disarmament it is. Weak.

Update: It was a trap! And Romney fell right into it.