Barack Obama and media liberals have frightened Democrats with the specter of Obama being "swiftboated" by the vaunted "Republican attack machine" of lavishly funded 527 groups. But there's no such ship on the horizon, Steven Thomma reports:
An effort to corral money for an independent group to be run by former White House political guru Karl Rove hasn't materialized so far.One major reason for the shortage of anti-Obama efforts is that many conservative activists put all their eggs into the anti-Hillary basket. Conservative authors in the past couple of years had issued a whole catalog of anti-Hillary books that are now politically irrelevant. Richard Collins rolled out his StopHerNow.com group in 2006, and in January, Citizens United premiered "Hillary: The Movie." Having invested so heavily in stopping her, the "usual suspects" on the Right have fewer resources left for stopping him.
"There have been a lot of conversations trying to get this off the ground," said one Republican strategist, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to talk about Rove.
Another Republican said the deal fell through when Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens, who helped bankroll the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, refused to write a seven-figure check to get the group going. He, too, refused to be identified because he wasn't authorized to speak about Pickens or Rove.
"Mr. Pickens has decided that he will not support any 527s involved in the presidential race this cycle and instead will focus his energies and his funding on a major, bipartisan, energy-focused public policy initiative that will be announced soon," said Pickens' spokesman, Jay Rosser.
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