Where did those words ("I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it") come from? What's the context? How did these 13 words become the most famous sentance of the campaign?
The answer is buried in a long article in this week's Newsweek, that has much to say about the duplicity of the GOP and their media people. (Money quote below)
I wish I could understand why this sort of dirty trick doesn't disgust Zman Biur and the values crowd. So many GOP campaign tactics exploit ignorance, or are plain dishonest. Where is the outrage, or even the sense of disapointment from truth-loving Jews?
Here's the article's money quote:
That noon, when Kerry addressed a veterans group in West Virginia, a heckler kept demanding to know why he had voted against more funding for the troops. In his considered but long-winded fashion, Kerry tried to explain that he had wanted to vote for the funding, but only if the Senate passed an amendment that would whittle down President Bush's earlier tax cut for the rich. Kerry voted for the amendment, but when it failed, he voted against the funding. The heckler pressed, and Kerry, losing patience, fell into senatorial procedural shorthand. "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it," he said.
At Bush-Cheney headquarters, Joe Kildae, a 25-year-old campaign intern who monitored the war room (and never seemed to sleep), was watching. In his cubicle he kept three televisions and a battery of TiVos and VCRs. As soon as he saw Kerry make his remark on Fox News, he stood up in his cubicle and caught the eye of his boss, Steve Schmidt. Schmidt had seen the clip, too. The two men nodded at each other. Kildae thought to himself: "We're going to be seeing this a lot." He immediately hit pause on his digital recorder, wound the clip back and copied it to tape. Using a program called TVEyes, he pulled up an instant rough transcript. He e-mailed the transcript of Kerry's "flip-flopping" to an "alert list" of top aides, who could then click on a link to see the video.
"You gotta see this," Kildae told campaign communications adviser Terry Holt. "Oh, my God," Holt replied. "You have to send that to me on my BlackBerry." The video of Kerry's shooting himself in the foot flew around Bush-Cheney headquarters and, very soon, into the hungry ether beyond.
McKinnon and his ad team wasted no time. "The second we saw it, we knew we had a new ad," McKinnon later recalled. "The greatest gifts in politics are the gifts the other side gives you." It was so simple. All they had to do was drop the footage of Kerry saying "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it" into the ad that was already running, chastising Kerry for cutting funding. McKinnon called the new ad "Troops-Fog." Much of its airing was free: right wing radio stations played it endlessly and cable news shows picked up the clip of the "flip-flop" and plastered it on screens like wallpaper."