“The thing with politicians,” Prescott Robinson tells an undercover Project Veritas operative, “is that they’re politicians.” Heidi Heitkamp’s staff assistant left out one important detail, which is that when they’re losing politicians, their true compasses are more or less moot anyway. The latest report from Project Veritas Action takes aim at Heitkamp well after she took aim at herself — repeatedly:
Featured in the report is Senator Heitkamp’s Digital Director, Jesse Overton, who says that Senator Heitkamp will be “super liberal” should she be re-elected:
OVERTON: “It’s an election year for her. She’s being careful about pissing people off, and … said basically like, after the election, if and when she gets re-elected, she’s going to be super liberal.”
Overton alleges that during the campaign, Senator Heitkamp plays politics “safe,” but if she wins a third term “she’d probably be a little more bolder about it.”
For the first four years, sure, Heitkamp would let her progressive flag fly, especially “if the country moved further to the left,” as Robinson adds in another clip. In the last two years, Heitkamp would have done what she has ever since Donald Trump got elected while winning North Dakota by 36 points … triangulate, baby. The thing about politicians isn’t just that they’re politicians, but that their highest priority is winning re-election.
Or usually so, anyway. Heitkamp for some reason forgot that when voting against Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation while already falling behind in polling against Kevin Cramer in her re-election bid. That was probably a fatal error, but Heitkamp then shot herself in the foot by claiming she reached that decision based on body language, turning the sound down while replaying Kavanaugh’s testimony, and arguing that her judgment was more sound than that of her constituents. That too was likely a fatal display of hubris, but then Heitkamp compounded all of this with an ad naming domestic-violence survivors without permission, and in some cases misidentifying women as such.
In this context, a Project Veritas exposé isn’t the worst thing to happen to Heitkamp. It can’t be any worse than, well, being Heitkamp itself. The reports on Phil Bredesen and Claire McCaskill turned into major stories about those races; this will be a footnote in her collapse, a final kick to the rear on Heitkamp’s long journey to political oblivion.
So yes, this is a ten-minute exercise in kicking a dead horse, although that’s not the fault of Project Veritas. When they started this project, Heitkamp looked like a competitive candidate. Who knew that Brett Kavanaugh would come along to force Democrats to lose their minds, Heitkamp among them? It doesn’t mean we can’t get a few laughs out of it, though. For instance, PV catches Team Heitkamp redecorating the office when the press comes to visit:
JOURNALIST: “I don’t like that you took the Obama poster down [in the Fargo campaign office.]”
SKRIPAK-GORDON: “It’s because the press was here. When Trump was here… the day that Trump was, we had press in here because we had a lot of volunteers. So we take it down when the press comes.”
May as well put it back up now. Barack Obama couldn’t hurt their campaign worse than Heitkamp already has. And for that matter, neither can James O’Keefe, but he gave it a good effort.