ID-01: Vaughn Ward: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Man, I love this fool:

In a kickoff speech for his campaign in January, Ward used language that closely followed Obama’s 2004 speech to the Democratic National Convention, and a conservative Idaho blog spliced together the two sets of remarks to show their similarities, accusing Ward of cribbing from Obama’s remarks.

Here’s what Obama said in 2004: “As we stand at the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices and meet the challenges that face us. If you feel the same urgency that I do, if you feel the same passion that I do, then I have no doubt the people will rise up in November and this country will reclaim its promise and out of this long political darkness, a brighter day will come.”

And here’s what Ward said in January: “As we stand on the crossroads of history, I know we can make the right choice and meet the challenges that lay before us. If you feel the same urgency and the same passion that I do, then I have no doubt that our voices will be heard in November. And our country will reclaim its promise and out of this darkness, a better day is on the horizon.”

Ward’s campaign dismissed the video, and spokesman Mike Tracy told POLITICO: “This is just more of the same from folks who are afraid that Vaughn’s the frontrunner.”

So let’s recap all the struggles that Vaughn Ward, the NRCC’s preferred choice in tomorrow’s Republican primary, has inflicted upon himself in recent weeks. First, Ward hopped aboard the repeal the 17th amendment train, apparently arguing that voters shouldn’t have the right to elect their Senators. Next, the Idaho and Virginia Democratic Parties coordinated to tag-team Ward with the revelations that he served as an intern for then-Idaho state Rep. Jim Hansen, a Democrat, in the early ’90s… and that his name was listed as a volunteer in former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine’s database. Ward’s campaign was also busted by the local press for attempting to pass off a six month-old press release as news. When called on it, his campaign manager deflected the accusation, saying that it was a mistake caused by him not knowing how to properly operate his new Mac. And, most recently, Ward was heard at a Republican debate referring to Puerto Rico as a “country“; when called on it, Ward reveled in his ignorance, defiantly telling his Puerto Rican opponent, state Rep. Raul Labrador, that he didn’t “care what it is.” (Sadly, in the modern-day Republican Party, this last one may not really qualify as a “gaffe”, as it’s just the sort of cultural dismissiveness that conservatives lap up with glee.)

All that said, I’m sure that movement conservatives can’t be pleased to discover that Ward’s been cribbing notes from the reincarnation of Karl Marx, Barack Obama. (And, for those keeping score, this isn’t the first time Ward’s been busted for plagiarism: He was forced to do damage control after it was revealed that his campaign website’s issues sections was a copy and paste job from other Republican candidate websites.) Perhaps the most amusing thing about all this is that, back in December, former ID-01 Democratic candidate Larry Grant referred to Labrador as a “Bill Sali Republican“. As it turns out, though, Ward has done the best job of earning the title of Bill Sali 2.0.

It’s entirely possible that Ward, who has a huge financial edge on Labrador and recently benefited from a campaign appearance with Sarah Palin, may find that his endless series of gaffes will cost him the Republican nomination tomorrow. Three major Idaho papers all endorsed Labrador over the weekend, with one calling Ward “unendorseable” and “untrustworthy”. Ward led a poll conducted earlier in May by 34-16, but a new Mason-Dixon poll for the Idaho Statesman suggests that Ward has made this race a tossup all on his own doing (5/17-19):

Vaughn Ward (R): 31

Raul Labrador (R): 28

Harley Brown (R): 4

Undecided: 37

(MoE: ±3.9%)

23 thoughts on “ID-01: Vaughn Ward: The Gift That Keeps On Giving”

  1. As well as for the obvious reason.

    However, do we have much on what sort of person, politician, and/or candidate Raul Labrador is?

  2. We better hope that Ward makes it through, because a little-known, Generic R is probably much more dangerous to Walt Minnick than he is.  

    If he survives the primary, I’m taking this race out of Republican takeover status.  Even as a republican in Idaho (or a Democrat in Massachusetts or Hawaii) you can’t continue to make unforced error after unforced error and expect to win a general election.

  3. that he’s still figuring out how to use.

    The Mac mixed up the words and printed out the wrong speech…

  4. IDK who to root for. Labrador can’t raise money but Ward is just doing terrible. I don’t know which is more electable anymore.  

  5. Heh, it reminds me of that time Ann Coulter came out strongly in favor of repealing the 19th Amendment (women’s right to vote) just to be provocative.

  6. Walt’s chances are about double against Ward versus Labrador. And even though I would much rather have Larry Grant, I’m just glad not to have a Bachmann.

    And I have my fingers crossed that Rammell beats Otter tomorrow. It just depends on who turns out, and I think Keith Allred might actually be able to beat Rex of Rexberg.

  7. He wants to leave the UN, get rid of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, return the gold standard, and repeal the 17th Amendment. The only thing he’s not on the fringe about seems to be immigration — he had the balls to say the Arizona bill was “unworkable”.

  8. Didn’t he get the Tea Party Express endorsement or something?

    And I doubt that Vaughn Ward can make anyone look liberal.  If anything his behavior changes no one’s position on the lib/con axis but just makes him look foolish.

  9. It sounds like he might be closer to your way of thinking than either of the two lead Republicans are!

  10. No. I would never support a Democrat for federal office unless the Republican candidate was just absolutely terrible. The only way I have ever supported a Dem is for local office.  

  11. If Vaughn Ward isn’t terrible, what is? Would the Republican have to be indicted? Convicted?  

  12. Extremely liberal to where the Dem candidate is more conservative. After Stupak, I have learned never to trust a Dem to vote against his party when you need him to. They will always cave if needed. Now, if there is corruption involved, I would also support the Dem, or a viable independent.  

  13. Looking at the pre-primary fundraising reports, Otter has outspent him about 7-1.

  14. on who shows up. Otter voters aren’t enthusiastic; Rammell voters are; they primary might be decided by the ultra-enthusiastic. And if signs are any measure, Rammell would win; I haven’t heard any of them on the radio or seen any adds on TV. I’ve gotten about three mailers from Rammell and one conceited one from Otter. There’s just a possability perfect storm. The fake test AP had up earlier with a 43-40 Otter win might just be realistic. My guess is that Otter wins by 10%, but I don’t know at the moment.

    I’m sorry to say that I have no idea of the impact of any of the legislative primaries (all seats are up every other year); they’re way too low-key here. The bad part is that our Senate is split 28-7, and the one retiring Senator is a Democrat (and of course it’s our minority leader who’s only in her 40s). The House is split 52-18, and there are 8 retiring members; five are Democrats. All of those D seats are contested, and we should hang on to most of them, but anything might happen this year.

  15. I’m surprised you’d have a greater objection to a Republican being liberal than to a Republican being conservative but incompetent.

  16. Come to think of it, I’ve heard extremely little about who’s in that race.

  17. (If I understand his comments correctly, he’s from Louisiana.)

    Talk about a rare breed. (Or at least a breed that I rarely see.) User GOPVOTER must be interested in governing, as opposed to rhethoric. I would really oppose his political positions, but would be pleased to have the opportunity to buy him a beer and talk politics. Sounds so much like an old friend of mine, a Navy Lt Col (ret) from VA who moved to AL.

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