What Hillary Needs is a Good Swiftboating

by Richard Poe
Friday, January 26, 2007

8:03 pm Eastern Time

Former PayPal executive and conservative activist Rod Martin is whipping up a firestorm of controversy with his new website In the last few days, he has set the blogosphere aflame over such provocative questions as the definition of “swiftboating”; whether or not Martin and his website intend to engage in “swiftboating; whether or not Martin has targeted Hillary Clinton for a “swiftboating” campaign: and whether or not Martin or anyone else owes an apology to anyone for any of the above.

The new “swiftboating” controversy erupted January 18, when Human Events ran a front-page feature touting Martin’s site,, (which it styled “the next MoveOn”). In the article, Human Events noted cryptically:

Martin refuses to confirm or deny rumors that Jerome Corsi — co-founder of 2004’s “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth,” which irreparably damaged John Kerry’s Presidential hopes — has signed on for a similar effort against Hillary. The ubiquitous Corsi could not be reached for comment. (1)

This news elicited a shriek of outrage from leftist blogger Markos Moulitsas, who wrote on his Daily Kos blog:

It doesn’t matter whether Hillary is the nominee or not. Whoever the nominee is will get the same treatment. These people specialize in character assassination. And like cornered, wounded animals, expect them to get even more vicious than before.

In fact, Human Events erred in reporting that Jerome Corsi co-founded Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVFT). He did not. SBVFT is a veterans’ organization, and Dr. Corsi is not a veteran, having been turned down for military service for medical reasons. However, Corsi did co-write (with John O’Neill) the New York Times number one bestseller Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry. Human Events duly corrected the error. The passage in question now reads:

Martin refuses to confirm or deny rumors that Jerome Corsi–co-author of 2004’s “Unfit for Command,” which irreparably damaged John Kerry’s presidential hopes–has signed on for a similar effort against Hillary. (3)

Far more important was the question of whether or not had indeed hired Dr. Corsi, as originally insinuated by Human Events. It turns out that it had. Dr. Corsi confirmed the story on Tuesday, January 23, divulging in a Human Events column that Rod Martin’s website had hired him as a Senior Political Strategist, tasked with “researching and writing aggressively to advance conservative themes…”

Stung by Markos Moulitsas’ earlier remarks about “character assassination” and “cornered, wounded animals”, Corsi went out of his way to make clear that his work with will be independent of John O’Neill and the Swifties. Corsi added:

Still, I am sure that attack pieces such as that written on January 18, 2006 by Kos will keep referring to the efforts of as “Swiftboating Hillary,” etc. I just want to be clear from the start that I do not approve of the SBVFT being made into a verb and applied to the work I do with (4)

I commend Dr. Corsi for his noble effort to shield John O’Neill and the Swifties from any Bolshevist mudslinging that may come Corsi’s way as a result of his work with At the same time, I urge Dr. Corsi — and all of us on the political right — to rethink our reflexive aversion to the term “swiftboating.”

The leftists use this word to denote defamation and calumny. But the Swifties were guilty of neither. They told the truth about John Kerry, and exposed him as a dangerous charlatan. What we need in this country is more “swiftboating”, not less.

As for the junior senator from New York, I can only say, “Let the swiftboating begin.”

Cross-posted from 01.26.07


1. Stephanie Dube, “The Next Another PayPal Alumnus Makes His Move. If His Peers Are Any Indication, It Could Be a Big One”, Human Events, 18 January 2007

2. Markos Moulitsas, “Swiftboating Hillary“, Daily Kos, 18 January 2007, 10:14:28 AM PST

3. Dube, “The Next”

4. Jerome R. Corsi, “ Plans Conservative Challenge to”, Human Events, 23 January 2007,

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