Buck campaign undone by candidate positions not by gaffes

In the general election, GOP U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck denounced the Democratic party video trackers he said followed him everywhere, catching him spitting out soundbites he said could be taken out of context and made to seem extreme. As blogger Jason Salzman points out, however, if Buck was undone by video, it was mostly by video eagerly taped and disseminated by what Buck described (to a Democratic tracker) as his “dumbass tea party” supporters.

Salzman:

A review of [Buck’s] statements, however, shows that videotapes of Buck mostly illuminated straight-forward policy positions that voters in the general election, as opposed to conservatives in the GOP primary, found disagreeable.

[…]

The statements that damaged Buck in these videos for the most part weren’t gaffes but policy statements, which may never have come to light had they not been recorded on the campaign trail.

Video clips showed Buck telling various conservative audiences that Social Security is a “horrible policy,” the Veterans Administration and big chunks of the federal government should be privatized, and the Department of Education abolished. He also questioned the federal separation of church and state and the federal student loan program.

One clip aired repeatedly in TV ads showed Buck telling a Tea Party group during the primary: “I am pro-life, and I’ll answer the next question. I do not believe in the exceptions of rape or incest.”

The passion in his voice on the video contrasted with his statements later that he wasn’t campaigning on social issues, like abortion.

The lesson, apparently still being learned in 2010, is that YouTube is an equal opportunity platform. You can ban your enemies from the stump but you’ll be exposed by your friends.

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