There’s a new article in Salon about political consultant Rachel Bitecofer that’s getting some online attention today.
My first response, when I heard about it, was to assume that it had to be a joke because Salon surely went out of business years ago. When was the last time anyone read or cared about Salon? I remember, back in the 90s and the early part of the 21st Century, Salon was a big deal because it was one of the few online magazines and, at that time, the thought of an entirely online publication was still an exotic one. Salon was big during the Bush years and the first part of the Obama administration but, as more and more publications went online and Salon drifted further and further into clickbait and lefty fanfic, it seemed like people stopped paying attention to it. What was once unique to Salon was now available on every corner of the internet. As a result of never hearing anything about it, I assumed that Salon was no longer around.
I was wrong, though. Salon does still exist and today, they published an amazingly slobbery article in praise of Rachel Bitecofer.
If you’re a normal person who doesn’t spend all of their time following politics on twitter, you’ve probably never heard of Rachel Bitecofer. Bitecofer is a political consultant whose claim to fame is that she predicted 2018’s blue wave, along with hundreds of other academics and consultants. After 2018, she predicted another blue wave in the House and the Senate which didn’t happen despite the election of Joe Biden. (A 50-50 Senate is not a blue wave, particularly when you consider just how unpopular the Republican presidential nominee was.) When I first became aware of Bitecofer in 2020, she was still bragging about being affiliated with the Lincoln Project. She now claims that she was never really a part of the Lincoln Project, despite the fact that she used to list her affiliation with them in her twitter bio.
(As a sidenote, it’s interesting how the most obnoxious political people on twitter all worked with the Lincoln Project in 2020 and now claim that they actually didn’t.)
Like most Lincoln Project associates, Bitecofer is someone who is best known for talking shit on twitter. I think most of us really became aware of her when, shortly after the 2020 election, she announced that she was so mad at Marco Rubio that she personally was going to find a candidate to defeat him in either the Republican primary or the general election. (“I might have to run a candidate,” she announced, as if she was a Koch, a Soros, or a Murdoch as opposed to a twitter troll.) Considering that this was shortly after the Republicans dominated the 2020 Florida elections (and that most of the candidates that Bitecofer bragged about advising ended up losing), this made Bitecofer appear more than a little foolish.
(Even worse was that she mentioned Ana Navarro as being a possible candidate, a move that showed Bitecofer’s instinct for ass kissing was superior to her intuition for politics.)
Since then, Bitecofer has continued to be twitter famous. Though she no longer claims to be with the Lincoln Project, she still tweets in that organization’s trademark style of condescension and rage. She’s very good at getting retweets and she’s also good at upsetting hardcore Trumpists, who inevitably overreact to every stupid thing she tweets and, as a result, allow her to brand herself as someone who scares MAGA. She does not, however, appear to be a very good political consultant but actually being able to do your job is no longer a requirement when it come to presenting yourself as being an expert. You just have to have the right people on your side and considering that Salon has published more than a few stories about her, it’s obvious that she has a few media friends out there.
Bitecofer’s current argument is that the Democrats would have had a 2020 Blue Wave if they had been willing to fight as dirty as the Republicans. (Certainly, if there’s anything Democrats are known for, it’s being polite and unwilling to drag their opponents through the mud.) Bitecofer has come up with Strikepac, which will attack Republicans in much the same style as the Lincoln Project but with the main difference being that it’ll be Bitecofer getting rich and famous off of the grift as opposed to Rick Wilson. For all the attention that was given to the Lincoln Project, their “viral” videos were mostly just popular with people who were never planning on voting for Trump or any other Republican in the first place. The videos suckered a lot of liberals into donating a lot of money but there’s been very little evidence that they changed a single vote. Strikepac sounds like more of the same.
The grift will probably work for her for a while. If the Democrats actually manage to keep their damages to a minimum in 2022, expect Bitecofer to take credit for it and extend her act for another few years. Eventually, though, people will move on. They always do. Whether they’re on the right or the left, political consultants just don’t inspire that much loyalty.