RNC ‘talking points’ are ‘accidentally’ leaked

RNC ‘TALKING POINTS’ ARE ‘ACCIDENTALLY’ LEAKED…. Once in a while, a “leak” is made to look like an accident. This one, for example, seems a little odd.

Whoops. The Republican National Committee (RNC) has released to the media its list of talking points on the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.

The talking points went to 500 influential Republicans who were the intended recipients. Unfortunately for the RNC, members of the media were also on the list.

With that kind of lead in, one might think the talking points are going to be pretty rough, at a minimum the kind of thing that might embarrass the RNC.

But looking over the list of talking points, it’s quite tame. The word “liberal” is thrown around, and there are a few misleading claims, but in general, this is one of the mildest set of arguments the RNC has put together in a very long time.

For example, “Republicans are committed to a fair confirmation process and will reserve judgment until more is known about Judge Sotomayor’s legal views, judicial record and qualifications,” is one of the first points. It was soon followed by, “Republicans will avoid partisanship and knee-jerk judgments.”

Do you suppose this is one of those deliberate “accidents,” intended to make the party appear more responsible?

For that matter, given the tenor of the talking points, it’s a reminder of what the larger Republican strategy is likely to look like — if the party is going to mount a serious challenge to the Sotomayor nomination, it’s going to rely more on surrogates and media allies to do the heavy lifting, and less on GOP elected officials.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.