ELECTION 2014 | CONGRESS | 17TH DISTRICT | Looks like Rep. Mike Honda’s campaign team has be mining the Internet for gold and found it. A few days after the campaign struggled to defend against an aggressive pair of offensives moves by Khanna, a new video has surfaced showing Khanna doing the worst thing possible. He said something nice about his future opponent!
Honda’s campaign released a minute-long YouTube video from March 2012 of Khanna praising Honda. Khanna says, “Mike Honda is an outstanding congressman for our area” and goes on to describe him as Washington’s go-to-guy for Asian American-related issues. The video ends with the tagline : “Mike hasn’t changed.”
At the time of the remarks, Khanna was contemplating a run for Pete Stark’s seat in the 15th District. Despite impressive fundraising totals, he relented. Last year, he announced his candidacy for Honda’s Fremont and South Bay 17th District seat.
Despite the excellent framing of the video to portray Khanna’s current criticisms of Honda as disingenuous, its may not be clear what type of voters it might attract. Surely, the rank-and-file Honda supporters will eat it up. There is already a bit of crowing on social media today following the video's release. And then there are the realists. What was Khanna suppose to say that fateful night almost two years ago? Look at that guy over there, doesn’t he looks like a white-haired Care Bear? I should probably run against him next year. No. The cynical among us will undoubtedly add, never believe anything a politician says, but those people probably don't even bother to vote.
Khanna’s problem is this: how do you explain away what you said about your current opponent within the narrative framed by Honda? It’s though and frankly, if you can’t neutralize it in a sentence, it just sounds like stammering and may linger for much of the election.
UPDATE: Tyler Law, the press secretary for Khanna's campaign, responded Thursday afternoon: "His campaign touts that 'Mike hasn't changed.' That's exactly the problem, and it's clear with this kind of silly attack. What the people of the 17th district don't need is more stale, tired political games. They need, and deserve, a real debate about ideas for the future. That's a debate Ro is ready to have. We hope Congressman Honda can 'change' enough to allow for that."