The Countertop Chronicles

"Run by a gun zealot who's too blinded by the NRA" - Sam Penney of

Friday, September 10, 2004

My Lucky Number

Like many others out there, 7 is my lucky number.

Knowing that, I have to say that this is the best news I've heard in a long time.
In the spirit of camaraderie, the speechwriters discussed making T-shirts for themselves.

One suggested a design featuring the slogan "Reverse the Curse" over a picture of Bob Shrum, the Democratic strategist whom many perceived to be presidential candidate John Kerry's closest adviser. "The Curse" referred to Shrum's career-long slump in presidential campaigns, a well-catalogued losing streak that runs from George McGovern to Al Gore.

The shirts were never made for fear of offending Shrum. But the slogan endures as a joke among Kerry staffers. The implication is that Kerry is battling not just President Bush, but also the history of his ever-present aide-de-camp. It also underscores the degree to which Shrum's 0-7 win-loss record in presidential elections has become ensconced in the psyches of the campaigns he orchestrates.

I had no idea Shrum was that much of a loser. While the fact that Kerry stands by his man after sooooo many loses might be evidence of his being a dependable friend, it certainly doesn't gain him any points in my book for being an effective executive.
Brash, vehement and often brilliant, Shrum, 61, has been an institution in Democratic politics for more than three decades. He has evolved from a one-dimensional speechwriter to a full-service adviser to all manner of Democratic hyper-strivers. He keeps a hand in nearly every facet of a candidate's marketing -- making ads, writing speeches, crafting the message, preparing them for debates. He was a constant in Gore's orbit in 2000 and is ubiquitous in Kerry's now.
Like I said, some of the best news (eeerrr, I mean information) I've learned yet.


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