Shop Talk

Campaign bloat? Read:

From a tightknit group of experienced advisers, John F. Kerry’s presidential campaign has grown exponentially in recent months to include a cast literally of thousands, making it difficult to manage an increasingly unwieldy policy apparatus.

The campaign now includes 37 separate domestic policy councils and 27 foreign policy groups, each with scores of members. The justice policy task force alone includes 195 members. The environmental group is roughly the same size, as is the agriculture and rural development council. Kerry counts more than 200 economists as his advisers.

That last line reminds me of when President Truman said he wanted a one-armed economist — because economists are always telling him, “On the other hand…”

Seriously, how is Team Kerry supposed to make any economic sense, when a team of two economists will give you at least five answers to any one question?

As for the rest, it just looks silly. Even with strong committee heads and a campaign manager with a long whip, that’s one hell of a big team to try to keep together.

And let’s not forget the expense. Surely, the Kerry campaign has better things to spend money on than too many councils with too many members. Yeah, yeah — he’s raising money like a. . . like a Kerry-Heinz, but why squander what could be a big advantage?

It also looks bad. Why, Kerry is spending money like a drunken sailor. Or like, I don’t know, the Bush Administration and our Republican Congress.