U.S. Consultants on Papal Election
``If ever there were a smoke-filled room, this is it.″
_Democratic consultant Donna Brazile, who remembered the Latin masses from growing up Catholic in the South and her childhood wish to become a priest until learning women cannot be ordained.
``It’s the ultimate whispering campaign with a very large confessional box.″
_Chris Lehane, who worked for Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Wesley Clark in their unsuccessful bids for president in 2004.
``No one here would recognize it as a campaign. No technology. No bumper stickers. It’s quiet, behind-the-scenes positioning.″
_Jano Cabrera, who worked on the White House bids of Democrats Al Gore in 2000 and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman in 2004.
A candidate should be ``seen as not necessarily breaking from John Paul’s general approach. You still have a conservative base making these selections.″
``Be aware of geographic blocs, ideological blocs, more conservative, more liberal, anytime you have an election, the rules of electioneering come into play.″
_Steve Jarding, who advised the presidential campaigns of former Democratic Sens. John Edwards of North Carolina and Bob Graham of Florida and is writing a book on rural politics.