Politics & Policy

Kirk Memo: ‘The Next Moderate Victim?’

A campaign memo from the Kirk campaign was recently leaked to Politico showing that Mark Kirk understands one thing: Being a moderate candidate is poison in this election cycle. Kirk can be given credit for “getting it,” as Glenn Beck would say. Highlights below:

The memo revealed that Kirk, a North Shore congressman who ended up winning his February primary by a wide margin, also canceled a press conference on health care reform around the same time “due to the damage to the moderate label.” 

he memo also bolsters the image of Kirk as a hands-on conductor of day-to-day campaign operations.

“Eric – Taskers — I am concerned that we are meat on the table for the next moderate victim. Fast work will point the gun elsewhere. I canceled the health care press due to the damage to the moderate label,” the e-mail begins.

“We can work FAST with Jason to communicate with conservative elites that we are the only candidate that can take the president’s Senate seat, leading to a tough go in the next two months but smart conservatives want the humiliation of the White House when and where it counts — November 2010 in Obama’s home state of Illinois,” he continues.

The congressman then makes a six-point list of items that need to be addressed on policy, polling and press strategy. The third task informs Elk that there will be “no health care press by moderates today.”

“The moderate brand has to be rebuilt after Scozzafava implosion,” Kirk writes, referring to the liberal Republican nominee in New York’s 23rd Congressional District who was all but forced out of the race after Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman mounted a viable third party bid in a special election last year.[…]

Another instruction from Kirk asks Elk “to get the timetable for withdraw table out to as many econ conservatives as possible, especially in D.C.”[…]

“It’s all the conservative things he has done in Congress/military,” he writes.The memo also rattles off a list of polling questions he’d like answers on and includes a request to “get the state of the race memo out,” stressing “make sure the funding advantage is easy to see.”

When asked about the memo after his “Meet the Press” debate with Democrat Alexi Giannoulias on Sunday morning, Kirk did not deny writing it.

“I don’t know. I’ll get back to you on that. I’ve written a lot,” Kirk said. “A candidate writes so many memos on their BlackBerry so fast, but let me get back to you on that. “After conducting a search of their records, Elk told POLITICO: “We cannot confirm with any certainty the memo was ever sent by the congressman.”

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