Two things are evident: O’Keefe still understands the power of online video, and he still understands the power of timing.
The ethics charges flying around various Democrats are starting to look like a trend – much like Republican scandals leading up to the 2006 election painted the picture of a power-happy party inviting a rude awakening at the hands of voters. Getting Waters on camera in a sting operation like this could make the ethics violations very real to voter and underscore the broken promises of Democratic gains in 2006 and 2008.
But on top of that, you can’t say enough about O’Keefe’s media-savvy release strategy, either.
By releasing a teaser, O’Keefe capitalizes on this week’s news cycle about Waters and her ethics charges. After controversy surrounding his presence in a Senate office earlier this year (and the storm surrounding his associate Andrew Breitbart’s role in the Shirley Sherrod affair), he can expect that this initial release will lead to a round of denouncement from left-leaning talking heads; for a while the story will be that James O’Keefe has a Waters video. The Congresswoman’s office will likely be asked to comment; maybe she’ll even say something embarrassing and unwittingly drum up more coverage.
True, O’Keefe could have gotten just as much coverage this week by releasing a completed video. But what about next week? This strategy allows O’Keefe, after the initial frenzy, to drop a second video and get another round of coverage. And, the vile and hatred he receives from the left this week may make the release of the full video that much more newsworthy.
If it sounds familiar, it should – it’s exactly how O’Keefe and Breitbart set up ACORN to take itself down.