Implausible deniability

Updated
 
Implausible deniability
Implausible deniability
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The only thing sillier than a CEO denying responsibility for his own company’s actions is a U.S. senator denying responsibility for his own campaign messages.

Take Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), for example, whose campaign has attacked Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) over a House Ethics Committee investigation. Asked about the allegations against his Democratic challenger, Heller said, “I haven’t made any comments on it. It’s one of those things that I let the Ethics Committee do its job and I’ll do my job.”

What he neglected to mention is what his campaign is doing in his name.

When The Hill pointed out he was running attack ads that say Berkley “pushed legislation and twisted arms of federal regulators, advocating policies for financial gain, saving her husband’s industry millions,” Heller interjected.

“The campaign is. If you have any questions or comments it’d probably be better if you directed those towards the campaign,” he said. “Just talk to the campaign, they’re the ones dealing specifically with this issue.”

I see. So, Dean Heller isn’t attacking his opponent; Dean Heller’s aides are using his name to attack his opponent. It’s totally different – he’s just the innocent bystander, minding his own business while the folks wearing “Heller for Senate” shirts do their own thing

I’m not sure whether to be annoyed or impressed with the senator’s creativity. Indeed, if this works, I can’t imagine why other politicians won’t try the same thing.

Postscript: This is not Heller’s first foray into strange communications strategies – he’s the same senator who has very different messages in the English and Spanish versions of his website.

Dean Heller

Implausible deniability

Updated