Washington Prowler

Portrait of a Democrat Lady

The "Persuasionatrix" didn't come out of nowhere.

By 9.18.06

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No big surprise that the campaign aide to Rep. Ben Cardin, who is challenging Lt. Gov. Michael Steele for the open Maryland Senate seat, who published racist and anti-Semitic remarks on a blog, was steered to Cardin through MoveOn.org and the Democrat National Committee, says a state Democratic operative.

Cardin's senior staff on Sunday mulled putting out a story that the woman, who joined the campaign about a month ago, was believed to be a Republican plant. But after reviewing notes of the woman's hiring, they discovered that she was a Democrat Party operative. The staffer has been fired.

The woman, who composed a blog entitled, "Persuasionatrix," joined the campaign after moving to the Washington, D.C. area from Chicago, says the state party operative. "She was a low level staffer, doing minor office assistant type of jobs, nothing more important than making sure there were enough pens and notepads around the office, making coffee."

Two weeks ago, the "Persuasionatrix" posted comments indirectly referring to Steele, who back in 2002 was pelted with Oreo cookies at a campaign stop:

Looming in the back of one of the campaign pantries is a large stack of Oreos. A much smaller stack of generic chocolate pastries sits forlornly beside it.

Periodically staffers will surreptitiously glance around and then sneak in for a treat. One or two certainly has a stash hidden in a desk drawer.

The subterfuge would be unnecessary, and snack time would be far less amusing, had an angry citizen not thrown the aforementioned delicious snack food at one of our opponents to comment on his lack of racial loyalty. He's not our opponent yet, not unless we win next Tuesday, but it would be bad to have the cookies lying around where anyone can see them.

Before I leave, however, I need a picture of all of us holding the forbidden cookies with the caption: "Devouring the Competition."


In another post, she dealt with her discomfort with some of Cardin's associates:
I love my job. I love the people I work with. I like my candidate and I adore his wife. I do not, however, like some of my candidate's friends.

When my father was in medical school, there were a number people he knew whom I would shy away from and not talk to at all. This was strange, as most reports indicate I did not shut up for a good ten years after my first sentence (of course, sometimes I'd run out of the room screaming, which is not quite as unusual).

As I've grown older, and gotten to know these men who seemed so frightening to the toddler me, I find that they share a number of characteristics. They are large men with strong, loud voices and Jewish noses. They are also overly friendly. Some of these men are now my friends, but some are just a little bit creepy to this day.


The state party operative says that Cardin staff informed the party that they were attempting to determine what other sites and activities newer employees and full-time volunteers were involved with.

"They don't want another embarrassment like this," says the operative. "Cardin needs the black vote in this race, and this kind of thing is, needless to say, damaging."

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