Watergate reporter Bob Woodward's recently released book, State of Denial, provides an inside look at how the GOP scurried to fend off a ballot challenge in Ohio in 2004 — and the role Uncle Tom Blackwell played in quashing it.
According to a post at TPM cafe
, a liberal blog, the book reports that Democratic challenger John Kerry initially planned not to concede the election until there was a recount. But the Bushies were tipped off when Democratic strategist James Carville called his wife, Mary Matalin, who was with Bush:
"Carville told her he had some inside news. The Kerry campaign was going to challenge the provisional ballots in Ohio -- perhaps up to 250,000 of them. 'I don't agree with it, Carville said. I'm just telling you that's what they're talking about.'
"Matalin went to Cheney to report . . . You better tell the President Cheney told her."
Matalin does, advising Bush that "somebody in authority needed to get in touch with J. Kenneth Blackwell, the Republican Secretary of State in Ohio who would be in charge of any challenge to the provisional votes." An SOS goes out to Blackwell.
The rest is history.
-- Kevin Hoffman