The plan is coming together
The Republicans are challenging the ability of Democratic leaning organizations like MoveOn and Media Fund to run ads attacking Bush. It is possible that they may ultimately prevail in their attempts to shut these organizations down (I don't know campaign finance law enough to render an opinion on this). But by then it may not matter:
Attack ads against President Bush paid for by unregulated liberal organizations could help cash-strapped John Kerry maintain a media presence until he can raise his own money this summer.
These organizations – Moveon.org, Media Fund – are already being challenged in court by the Bush-Cheney campaign. But even if the courts rule with the President, the ads will have served Kerry in March, April and May when he is cash poor.
That last point is key. MoveOn and others may provide the kind of cover Kerry will need during the next few months when he will be least capable of defending himself against the Bush/Rove smear machine. If MoveOn, Media Fund and others can keep Bush on the defense through the end of May then Kerry can step in by that point and take the lead in the assault (money-wise).
“My own view on this is that the Democrats have mistakenly inflated this to say that if they don’t have these 527s and their large contributors they lose the election,” [Trevor Potter, a former Chairman of the FEC] said. “The Democratic candidates raised a $177 million, the president has only raised $150 million, and what did they do with that money, they basically campaigned against George Bush.”
I've pointed this out as well. The media liked to push the fact that Bush was outstripping all his Democratic rivals individually, but they conveniently forgot to compare the totals. And Potter is right that a large portion of that money was spent attacking Bush and may go part of the way towards explaining why Bush is feeling the heat now.
Dean, Clark, Kerry and Edwards did the job through Q1 2004. MoveOn and others can do it through the end of Q2. Then Kerry can finish the job in the Summer and Fall.
Sounds like a plan.