Jonathan Chait

How Low Can One Man Sink?

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[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner]

In one of the least surprising stories ever reported, it appears that Clinton-era hack Lanny Davis is shilling for a dictator. Anyone who has followed Davis' career with even passing notice will find this to be less noteable than the sun rising every morning. But Davis' rationalizations to the Times are beneath even his standards, and thus deserve some attention. Davis' client here is Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, who has clung to power despite losing an election last month. Davis originally registered as a lobbyist by speaking of the "documentary evidence" that Gbagbo actually won the election. Now Davis is reduced to saying he is merely a "conveyor belt" passing information about the Ivory Coast's president to the rest of humanity. While human rights groups report the arrest and murder of opposition figures, Davis is comparing himself to "a paid George Mitchell." This is all pathetically predictable, but here is the amusing part, from the Times' story:

Of Mr. Gbagbo, Mr. Davis said he was working through liaisons to “try to persuade him to move to the middle”

Just like Clinton after he lost an election! If Gbagbo can just find the vital center, peace and calm can be restored to the Ivory Coast. Perhaps all those years spinning for the White House really did help Davis thrive in what is obviously his true calling.

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