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Lamorinda Democratic activist gets national attention

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Thursday, May 8th, 2008 at 12:39 pm in 2008 presidential election.

The indomitable Lamorinda Democratic Club President Terry Leach saw one of her blog posts go viral this week after her piece appeared on The Environmentalist about the possible impacts during the Pennsylvania presidential primary of conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos.”

Leach began with a post on The Environmentalist, which got picked up by the Huffington Post and the Chicago Sun-Times. From there, comments and debate started pouring in. The Orinda Democrat says Limbaugh even talked about her on his radio show.

Okay, for non-Limbaugh listeners, what’s “Operation Chaos?”

It’s a code name for Limbaugh’s campaign to persuade Republicans to temporarily re-register as Democrats in some of the later state primaries. On Election Day, his political soldiers were instructed to cast votes for Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., not Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.

Limbaugh wants to keep the Democratic Party’s nomination process in the political fog and, in theory, help presumptive GOP nominee and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., win the presidency in November. With the GOP nomination settled months ago, Republicans have nothing to lose by jumping into the enemy camp.

Leach theorizes in her piece that Limbaugh’s tactic may have had some success in Pennsylvania on April 22, where an disproportionately high number of Republicans switched parties at the last minute and voted in the Democratic primary.

A lot of Democrats pooh-pooh the notion that one radio host could alter the outcome of an election.

But Leach isn’t so sure.

“Conventional Democratic wisdom discredits the tactics of individuals like Rush,” Leach wrote to me in an e-mail. “My feeling is that while we disavow the tactician, we ignore the tactics at our peril.”

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  • RR

    Golly gee, that Rush-bo is a clever dude! Too slick for straight-as-an-arrow libs! And Barack learned politics in Chicago??!

  • RR

    Golly gee, that Rush-bo is a clever dude! Too slick for straight-as-an-arrow libs! And Barack learned politics in Chicago??!

  • Rich Verrilli

    There is both truth and relevance here. Limbaugh’s chaos was to have Republicans vote for Hillary with the effect of prolonging the Democratic contest for the Presidential nomination. Considering the closeness of the vote in Indiana this may have been the precise result. Had Obama won Indiana I think Hillary would have had to withdraw, thus allowing Obama to concentrate on McCain.
    Rich Verrilli

  • Rich Verrilli

    There is both truth and relevance here. Limbaugh’s chaos was to have Republicans vote for Hillary with the effect of prolonging the Democratic contest for the Presidential nomination. Considering the closeness of the vote in Indiana this may have been the precise result. Had Obama won Indiana I think Hillary would have had to withdraw, thus allowing Obama to concentrate on McCain.
    Rich Verrilli