When A Haircut Is More Than A Haircut

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Politico’s Ben Smith has, alas, confessed, more or less, that the Obama Campaign was his source of the John Edwards $400 haircut scoop. Back in March of 2007, I wrote a story for Salon.com about the role of opposition research in shaping the primary news cycle, which I termed the “Matt Drudge Primary.” At the time, Smith, a fine reporter loyal to his sources, declined to admit what was then fairly obvious–the news of Edwards’ silly haircut had been fed to him from a rival campaign.

But Smith’s source eventually outed himself. As Obama Campaign Manager David Plouffe writes in his book,

We did much less of this [opposition research] than other campaigns did, but there were times we indulged — it was our researchers who found John Edwards’s infamous $400 hair cut expenditures.

As Ice T put it, “Don’t hate the player. Hate the game.”

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