In 1972, Hunter S. Thompson set about covering the presidential campaign, paying special attention to the Democratic Party’s George McGoven as he failed to get into office.
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 was serially published by Rolling Stone throughout the year. In one of the articles Thompson makes a poignant comparison to a campaign that happened in Texas in which Lyndon Johnson attempted to create a rumour to denounce his competitor.
It reads: “This is one of the oldest and most effective tricks in politics. Every hack in the business has used it in times of trouble, and it has even been elevated to the level of political mythology in a story about one of Lyndon Johnson’s early campaigns in Texas.
“The race was close and Johnson was getting worried. Finally he told his campaign manager to start a massive rumour campaign about his opponent’s life-long habit of enjoying carnal knowledge of his barnyard sows.
“Christ, we can’t get away with calling him a pig-f****r,” the campaign manager protested. “Nobody’s going to believe a thing like that.”
“I know,” Johnson replied. “But let’s make the sonofab****h deny it.”
I am reminded this morning of Tommy Perkins’ timeless analogy regarding recruiting in the state of Florida:
Miami: From a Bulldog perspective, if you looked at the state of Florida as though it were Afghanistan (and I do), the Gators, obviously, are the Taliban, while Miami is whatever warlord is running things in the Northeast. The Hurricanes don’t occupy anything remotely resembling moral high ground, but they are useful.
Why this morning, you ask? Welp,
Rumors surfaced Thursday about the Florida football program committing an NCAA recruiting violation.
A source close to the program vehemently dismissed the allegations to SEC Country on Friday. A message board post — which later made the rounds social media — alleged that two UF assistant coaches offered cash to a prospect at Homestead High School. The poster also alleged there’s a video and it was provided to the NCAA.
The program source who spoke with SEC Country said Florida has not offered or recruited anyone from Homestead High School in three years. Florida State’s Ermon Lane, a 5-star prospect in 2014, is the last Homestead player UF recruited, according the source.
SEC Country also learned Friday that verbal commitments for the Gators were contacted by Miami staff members, who asked the recruits if they would reconsider the Hurricanes because of the alleged NCAA violation at Homestead. Members of Florida’s 2017 football recruiting class told SEC Country they received a text message from UF calling the rumors false.[Emphasis added.]
So it turns out Mark Richt is trying to do a solid for both himself and his former employer there, which, of course, is awesome. I’ve got a feeling it’s gonna get pretty damned ugly in the Sunshine State over the next few days. Popcorn, anyone?