Bob Clarke was a political consultant from Chicago that Alaska Governor Jay Hammond hired in 1978 to work on his reelection campaign. Bob came up, looked at Hammond’s approval ratings, and asked him “What have you been doing to the people of this state?” It looked grim, but Bob got to work. In truth, he was a political hit man.
If you’re going to take a politician down, you have to have the goods on him. With Hammond’s opponent, former Governor and former Interior Secretary Walter F. Hickel, that was the easy part. He was a top filer, and in Alaska, not that long ago, if you filed a claim on top of another man’s, you were liable to get shot.
Bob became Hammond’s closest friend in politics, the editor of his autobiography, “Tales of Alaska’s Bush Rat Governor”, his director of communications and his body man. Bob would have taken a bullet for Hammond.
I was a volunteer on that campaign, and helped Bob out on one of the hits he did on Hickel. Nobody else had the balls to do it, and it made me one of Bob’s best friends.
In 1982, when I was elected to the State Senate, it didn’t make sense for me to move my young family to Juneau for the legislative session. These things lasted four or five months, but I was trying to save as much money as I could. Bob offered me a spare room in his house rent free, and that’s where I stayed almost the whole eight years I spent in the legislature.
Bob was divorced, and liked his whiskey. I drank a lot of beer, and we eventually got pretty tight with each other. Bob told me the secrets of his trade, and these were lessons I’ve used for my entire political career. We began working as a real team in 1986, doing a second hit job on Hickel, and we did some really awesome hits together.
When I say you need to have the goods on your opponent, I’m talking about:
- Stupidity. Sometimes your opponent is a moron.
- Corruption. There are dirty politicians, believe it or not.
- Ignorance. Candidates for public office are required to know at least a few things. Some don’t.
- Falsehoods. It’s true. Politicians lie.
- Immorality. Sexual deviants are more common than you think.
To perform a political hit is to use this information to take down your opponent. This is where you have to use your imagination. Bob taught me all the various techniques. This is the sort of tactic we’d use:
- Full page newspaper ad
- A broadsheet, spelling out the attack in detail, and mailed to voters.
- Press Conference
- Press Release
- Debate question
I may very well do a hit as long as I’m in Montana. I’d like to pass my skills along to my sons, and they’ll both have a ringside seat. I’ve got the goods on this guy, that’s no problem. What do I do with it?
Maybe social media. My son’s company spends all of its very limited advertising budget on social media, so maybe that’s the new thing. Old foxes sometimes have to learn new tricks.
This guy may go down on his own, and I wouldn’t be needed. But if he’s a serious threat to win, he’ll have to be taken out.
By the way, this is not dirty politics. Bob and I always told the truth, and we obeyed every law.
Dirty politics is described in the title to this article in Breitbart Tech, “Google search manipulation can swing nearly 80 percent of Undecided Voters”.
What Google is doing is dirty politics. Somebody needs to do a hit on them. I’m going to think about that.