When Tim Pawlenty confused Iraq with Iran during a press availability in Washington, it wasn’t a rival 2012 Republican campaign or Democratic Party operative who caught the mistake and blasted out a transcript to reporters on Thursday.
It was a tracker for American Bridge 21st Century, the outside independent expenditure group founded by David Brock, the force behind the left-wing Media Matters.
If you’re wondering where all the footage for Democratic attack ads will come from, look no further. For 2012, American Bridge will be the Democrats’ unofficial opposition research wing.
American Bridge’s tracking arm is led by Kelli Farr, who worked with Harris at Progressive Accountability, a similar but much smaller tracking effort that operated during the 2008 campaign. Her title is “tracking director” — and as recently as last week she was advertising on left-wing job boards for more trackers to hire.
Leading the overall effort is Rodell Mollineau, who until recently ran the Democratic communications war room in the Senate for Majority Leader Harry Reid.
American Bridge already has trackers on the ground in Iowa, South Carolina and Florida — and in New Hampshire, where a rugby shirt-clad American Bridge tracker followed Jon Huntsman for four days of his retail campaign swing through the state. The only other tracker on the trip was from the New Hampshire Democratic Party.
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