No stranger to being submarined by attack ads and smear campaigns, Sen. John Kerry is set to launch an online effort that will work to protect Barack Obama from suffering the same fate.
On Wednesday, the Massachusetts Democrat's political action committee will launch TruthFightsBack.com, a website that encourages voters to flag and counterattack smears when they see them.
The site, in its nascent stages, signals a recognition that character and political attacks -- even the most outrageous -- all contain an inherent capacity to go viral and cause electoral ripples. Already, the Obama campaign has launched a counter-smear site of its own, titled "Fight The Smears."
Kerry's effort will be slightly different. The Senator won't print "the attack" directly alongside "the truth." But he will, according to Kerry's Internet Director Brian Young, put more emphasis on the attacker and allow the site's directors to decided how best to combat the attack.
Much of the campaign is drawn from Kerry's own experience in 2004 and the parallels he sees to the current campaign. As a media advisory notes: "From the hard negative turn of the McCain campaign to the return of fringe author and smear merchant Jerome Corsi, from the millions of dollars of attack ads promised by the rightwing group Freedom's Watch to the emergence of many organizations focused on attacking Democrats in individual races, we've got our work cut out for us to make sure 2008 is not a replay of 2004."