The Story So Far: two days ago, the Obama administration - using the fig-leaf/cutout of Super PAC Priorities USA - accused Mitt Romney of being a murderer because a company that Romney used to own closed down a steel mill (several years after Romney left that company) and that meant that the wife of the husband who lost his job at that steel mill (one Joe Soptic) didn't have any insurance after the wife left her job several years after the layoff and several years after all of that the wife was diagnosed with cancer and then died. As Erick notes in the link above: if that's an acceptable logic chain that legitimately leads one to a charge of murder, then (to give just one example) this administration murdered US Border Agent Brian Terry and Eric Holder needs to give himself up right now.
But wait! It gets even more convoluted. You see, the Media is balking - absolutely balking - at taking this line of attack seriously, and the Obama administration has already done its best to distance itself from the Priorities USA ad, to the point where Obama for America (OfA) spokesman Stephanie Cutter denied that they had any knowledge of Soptic's story.
So... who's that voice at the end of this conference call, Stephanie? Your evil twin?
The audio is from Guy Benson; it's from a May 2012 conference call where Mr. Soptic recounted his story - without mentioning the details that Romney wasn't with Bain at the time of the layoff; that his wife still had healthcare until she lost her job, years later; and that five years passed between M'. Soptic's layoff and Mrs. Soptic's cancer diagnosis - and Stephanie Cutter was not only on the call. She introduced Joe Soptic, then wrapped up his testimony. And as to any coordination... Politico(!) notes that Joe Soptic is apparently wearing the same shirt for both the Obama for America and the Priorities USA campaign ads.
It's hard to check, because the OfA people aren't talking about where and when they filmed the ad at all and the Priorities USA people (specifically, Bill Burton) claim that they shot "its Soptic footage at a union hall in early February."
Which is interesting, because that's apparently where Joe Soptic literally hangs his hat:
The first picture is from the OfA ad; the second is from the Priorities USA one. Guess we know where OfA shot its footage, huh?
To sum up, there was an interesting point from @mike_scrimpf: le affaire Soptic does have more than a passing resemblance to an incident from 2010 where soon-to-be-former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland got caught recycling the same professional victim in his campaign ads. Not a point-to-point correspondence, but it does show just how non-spontaneous these spontaneous stories really are. Not to mention how effective they are, too. Which is to say, less than you'd think.
Moe Lane (crosspost)