Democrats Believe Kitty Kelley Book On Bush Will Provide Needed Boost
A new book on the Bush family by controversial author Kitty Kelley is expected to be released next week, and Democrats believe media coverage of the allegations it contains will result in a serious hit on President Bush. In typical Kelley style, the book's inside flap promises to "delve into" the Bush family's "mistresses, the marriages, the divorces, the jealousies, the hypocrisies, the golden children, and the black sheep." Democratic strategists tell the Bulletin the book will charge that President Bush used cocaine in the past, paid for the abortion of a former girlfriend, and has used a drug to treat an attention deficit disorder. And while none of these allegations are said to be proven or even new to Bush's most steadfast opponents the big difference now is the fact that with the election approaching it appears some big media outlets plan to air the charges, using Kitty Kelley as the messenger. NBC tells US News Bulletin that Kelley will appear on the "Today Show" next Monday, even though Newsweek and Larry King Live have reportedly turned down similar offers after concerns rose over Kelley's accuracy.
Republicans see Kelley as a wolf (Democrat) in sheep's (biographer's) clothing, and in a memo sent last night to GOP leaders, RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie warns the Kelley book will throw "unsubstantiated gossip at President Bush in the same way she falsely maligned the late President Reagan as a date rapist who paid for a girlfriend's abortion and wrongly castigated Nancy Reagan as an adulterer who had an affair with Frank Sinatra." Kelley has a background Republicans will likely point to in the coming weeks. A former press aide to Democratic presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy, Kelley has served as a host for a number of liberal-leaning political events and has donated money to such causes as the Gay And Lesbian Victory Fund and Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter (known as a leader of the right-to-choose movement). In one of her first public events for her new literary work, Kelley is expected to attend a Washington book-signing party to benefit a political wing of Planned Parenthood. And Democrats report Kelley has been attempting this summer to prep the large and organized anti-Bush network for the release of her book by asking for help with pre-publication publicity. "She's been pushing us to promote it to our people" through extensive Internet and email outreach, one of the network's leaders told the Bulletin.
And while it is far too early to gauge the damage to Bush, not all Democrats are sure Kelley will provide the campaign's silver bullet. "What does it say about our campaign if we put our chips on Kitty Kelley? These charges have been out there for years, most have to do with the time before Bush 'found God,' and I'm not sure that rehashing them on the ridiculous network 'celebrity news' programs will help with the undecided vote," a Democratic strategist told the Bulletin.
In the Washington Post, Howard Kurtz writes that White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett said yesterday, "Kitty Kelley's allegations make Michael Moore look like a factual documentarian. We're not going to let this garbage she's historically known for spreading go unanswered." He added "it would violate 'journalistic standards' for news executives to 'put this type of trash in their newspapers and on their airwaves.' White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan added that the drug allegations were 'discredited, dismissed and disavowed years ago.'"