Oh, my. It seems Paul Ryan has gone rogue even earlier than Sarah Palin did, if Roger Simon is to be believed. In all honesty, his article at The Politico almost reads like satire, right down to the detailed explanation of PowerPoint hate:
That was Friday, and that was the end of Ryan following the game plan. At a certain point, all running mates on failing campaigns feel they must break free from the manacles placed on them by the top of the ticket. Sarah Palin began pursuing her own path once she learned that John McCain was having strategy sessions with his morning bowl of Farina.
Dan Senor, one of Romney’s closest advisers, has kept a tight grip on Ryan, traveling with him everywhere and making sure he hews to the directions of the Romney “brain trust” in Boston. (A brain trust, rumor has it, that refers to Ryan as “Gilligan.”)
Aw, Gilligan. Really? Gilligan was dumb but lovable. Not exactly Ryan traits. But wait, there's more.
Though Ryan had already decided to distance himself from the floundering Romney campaign, he now feels totally uninhibited. Reportedly, he has been marching around his campaign bus, saying things like, “If Stench calls, take a message” and “Tell Stench I’m having finger sandwiches with Peggy Noonan and will text him later.”
The term "The Stench" comes from a remark made by Craig Robinson, a former Iowa Republican Party political director, who said Ryan would have to wash the stench of this campaign off of him before running for national office again.
Ryan also was reported to have said "Let Ryan be Ryan and let the Stench be the Stench."
I'd be tempted to say the gloves are off, but then the stench would be on his hands. Way to go, little buddy.
Update: Roger Simon thought his description of PowerPoint presentations would tip us all off to the satire. For many of us, corporate PowerPoint nightmares still haunt our nights, Roger.
I suppose the one good thing to come out of this is that Campbell Brown, who has absolutely no business talking about education in any way, finally reveals herself as the stealth Romney campaign advisor we have all known she is.
Before I discuss her despicable effort to "Willy Horton" the American Federation of Teachers and President Randi Weingarten in particular, let's just review who Campbell Brown is. She is a long-gone CNN White House correspondent, married to Dan Senor, and has no classroom experience or anything to suggest that she has authority when it comes to public education.
Still, that didn't stop her from writing an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal using Willy Horton tactics to smear the American Federation of Teachers yesterday by proclaiming that the AFT "goes to bat for sexual offenders." And if that wasn't enough, she then paraded herself onto Morning Joe Monday morning to whine about it and smear the teachers even more.
Surely that wasn't timed to coincide with the end of AFT's National Conference Monday, or Vice President Biden's rousing speech to the teachers in attendance on Sunday. Surely not. [Disclosure: I attended the conference at AFT's invitation]
Oh, I forgot one more thing Mrs. Senor forgot: Dan Senor is on the board of StudentsFirst NY. StudentsFirst NY is an arm of Michelle Rhee's education deform coalition, funded by Rupert Murdoch and others who have an interest in destroying teachers' unions. Dan Senor is also a senior Mitt Romney advisor, and smearing teachers' unions is one of Romney's top priorities. It certainly didn't hurt to have that Dan Senor/Morning Joe connection when Campbell wanted to put a little traction under her smear, either.
But you know, Campbell Brown should have checked with Michelle Rhee before taking this tack. Because now it's my non-reportorial duty as a citizen of this great country to point out that Michelle Rhee goes to bat for sexual predators, too. This is actually a story I haven't talked about because I happen to think Rhee's personal life should not be involved in her effort to wreck schools.
But Campbell Brown opened up Pandora's box, so let's just go ahead and lay it out there.
Michelle Rhee's husband Kevin Johnson was under federal investigation in 2009 for misuse of funds connected with his charter school, St. Hope Academy. This was a big right-wing story at the time, but mostly underreported by mainstream press or the left, because the Obama administration fired the OIG in charge of the investigation shortly after his report was issued. The timing gave rise to a shrill whine from the right wingers about cronyism, etc, while they ignored the actual report about Johnson's malfeasance. Here's a snippet of the letter from Chuck Grassley wrote concerning the investigation:
In September 2008, after reviewing the facts that the OIG investigation presented, the Corporation’s Debarment and Suspension Official (Official) determined that the grantee’s two principals, Kevin Johnson and Dana Gonzalez were responsible for six acts of diverting grant funds to non-grant purposes, and found that “immediate action is necessary to protect the public interest.”
In total about $850,000 was misused. As a result, the OIG requested that the Official suspend all future Federal grant funding to both St. HOPE Academy and Kevin Johnson and Dana Gonzales individually. The Official ultimately suspended St. HOPE Academy and its principals “from participating in Federal procurement and non procurement programs and activities.” None of the respondents exercised their right to submit facts objecting to the suspension.
What Grassley does not mention in his letter is that Kevin Johnson was also under investigation for inappropriate sexual conduct with a 16-year old student at the school. Skip to page 26 of the report below to read the specifics.
Paul Hackett and Dan Senor on Hannity & Colmes, August 2006 (the video is not apropos of the story, but an excellent illustration of the kind of person Dan Senor is)
Proving that terminally wrong Bushies never actually fade away...NY Post:
Dan Senor, the husband of CNN's Campbell Brown and a former Bush administration foreign policy adviser, is eyeing a run as a Republican against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.[..]
Senor is the founder of Rosemont Capital LLC, and brings to his resume the fact that he was among the civilian officials who served the longest in Iraq as the post-Saddam Hussein government was being established.
Dan Senor has been one of the up-and-comers in the neo-conservative movement for years. He is one of the faces and founders of Freedoms Watch, which cheered the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. It will be interesting to see what kind of coverage Senor will get on CNN, given that his wife is one of their prominent talents.