Despite claiming her campaign would "go high" in response to personal attacks from GOP nominee Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton's team actually planned as far back as February to go low when the time came.
In one of the illegally obtained emails from WikiLeaks, Joel Johnson, managing director of a political consulting firm, asked Clinton's communications director about creating a "Trump swift boat project" to begin attacking the GOP candidate after the primaries.
"I know you can't look past Bernie and March primaries — but who is in charge of the Trump swift boat project?" Johnson asked Clinton Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri. "Needs to be ready, funded and unleashed when we decide – but not a half assed scramble."
To "swift boat" someone means to target them with personal attacks that may be unfair or untrue. The term originated in 2004, after a group calling themselves "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" began telling stories that contradicted then presidential candidate John Kerry's claims about his time in the military.
Palmieri responded to Johnson sarcastically.
"Gee. Thanks, Joel. We thought we could half-ass it," she said. "Let's discuss."
Johnson fired back several hours later: "Sorry. I've been behind too many curtains in my day …"
During the second presidential debate, Clinton quoted Michelle Obama as saying "When they go low, you go high." There's that, and then there's the real world ...
Ashe Schow is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.