This Week in Campaign Fail: Perry Special

GOP press event. Giant chicken. Awesome.

Mark Miner (hint: Not the one in the chicken costume) (Photo courtesy of Burnt Orange Report)

It must have been a glorious morning at Gov. Rick Perry's campaign HQ yesterday. Texans for Rick Perry spokesman Mark Miner (aka mini-Karl Rove) comes up with a bright plan to hold a press event right in front of the Texas Democratic Party Headquarters. There's no way that could go wrong, right? Right? As Scooby Doo said, "Ruh-ro!"

As the video at the Texas Tribune and photos at Burnt Orange Report show, Miner turned up with a truck in front of the Dems' downtown Austin offices. He was trying to re-shill the thoroughly-debunked myth about Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White's involvement with BTEC Turbines (or, as everyone else calls it, how the Coastal Water Authority kept the power on during Hurricane Ike.)

Unfortunately, there was a small list of slight problems with Miner's genius plan. One, that no-one is buying that story or any other of Perry's delaying tactics to avoid debating White: Two, this was a silly, headline grabbing stunt at a time when the media is annoyed at his desire to avoid a debate with White: And three, the Democrats flashmobbed his ass.

Miner's pre-prepared Pappy O'Daniel-style, sub-O Brother, Where Art Thou stunt was hijacked by a large number of Democratic activists, including one dressed as a chicken (shades of Sue "The Chicken Lady" Lowden, anyone?) Well, hard to say hijacked, considering it was on their front porch in the first place.

Mark Miner shows how not to control your message (Photo courtesy of Burnt Orange Report)

Y'see, about an hour before his event on their turf, the Dems got hold of word that he was turning up, did a massive Tweet-out, and got the forces out to yell "Debate Bill Now!"

Rep. Mark Strama, D-Austin, was baffled by the GOP's thinking. He mused, "What were they doing, having a press conference right there? That was bizarre." As a bonus, it turned into a great learning experience for students attending Strama's campaign academy. After taking part in the counter-demonstration, Strama turned the fun into what he called "a teachable moment," discussing the history of such unique events in political campaigning. He said, "Someone asked me, 'How often is that going to happen?' and I told them, never again, guys."

Strama may be right about this being a teachable moment. This isn't a regular campaign fail: This is a meta-fail, where not only did Miner and his message get drowned out, but his attempt to revamp a discredited smear job got turned against him. In essence, Miner organized a press conference for the Democrats. Strama added, "It's frankly sad that they continue to manufacture excuses not to have a debate. That's the only explanation I can come up for them to continue to manufacture headlines out of non sequiturs."

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Bill White, Elections, Rick Perry, Dirty Tricks, This Week in Campaign Fail, Mark Strama, Mark Miner, Mark Strama Campaign Academy

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