Are Two Losers Better than One?

Ok, Kerry and Gephardt aren’t really losers, they’re just losing the primary race. One has no chance and the other has a small chance. But they’re hoping not to go down alone:

These two presidential contenders, who for months have been eclipsed by the surging campaign of Howard Dean, have been fairly chummy of late — at Dr. Dean’s expense.

At a debate two weeks ago in New York, for example, when Mr. Gephardt questioned Dr. Dean’s support for Medicare, it was Mr. Kerry who came to Mr. Gephardt’s side, saying his tactic was fair.

Aides to both men say there is no overt conspiracy, but they acknowledge that at least at a staff level, the Gephardt and Kerry campaigns are more than friendly: they are sharing information about Dr. Dean that helps fuel each another’s attacks.

Campaign aides say their back-channel communications do not exactly constitute an unholy alliance. Such contacts are to be expected, after all, in an insular political world where nearly everyone has worked with everyone else at one time or another.

The underlined sentence is some strong reporting by David Halbfinger. Here’s the exchange that must have lead to this sentence:

HALBFINGER: Would you say that your back-channel communications with the Kerry (or Gephardt) camp represent an unholy alliance?

KERRY [or GEPHARDT] STAFFER: Not exactly.

AB

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