From here through election day, I'd like to test out a new Friday feature. Anono-Geddon: It's a weekly reader-driven competition, where you judge which of the anonymous quotes that appeared in political stories were completely pointless and un-earned. We spent about 78% of a news cycle this week on one anonymous quote, after Jon Swaine got an "adviser close to the Romney campaign" to muse about how non "Anglo-Saxon" President Obama's thinking was. But that actually moved a story along, didn't it? I want to find quotes that added absolutely nothing new, but were cloaked in secrecy anyway.
1. "Team Romney Readies For 'Saturday Obama Surprise,'" Zeke Miller. A "Romney adviser" gets anonymity to speculate that the Obama campaign is plotting some sneak attack for Saturday. And they ain't gonna stand for it! They are dispatching surrogates to swing states, just in case.
The surrogates — including several of the names mentioned to be on Romney's VP shortlist — "are ready to contribute to driving the economic message – with no apologies," the adviser said. "We understand the other side doesn’t want to talk about the economy, but we're not going to let them get us off message."
2. "After Aurora shooting, low expectations for more campaign civility," Stephanie Condon. Dueling political wags are granted anonymity to say startlingly obvious things about how the shooting won't change anything.
"Even though the tragedy in Colorado shined a light on just how petty some of the campaign has become, I think it will have only a temporary impact on the tone of this race," one Democratic strategist said.
3. "Florida Candidates Aim to Stand Out in Ad Crush," Joshua Miller. One strategist gets anonymity in order to say that there will be a lot of ads this year in a swing state.
“We’re going to have 100 percent saturation by the time Election Day rolls around,” said one plugged-in GOP strategist in Florida. “If you’re a Congressional candidate, you can do a cookie-cutter attack or contrast ad, but ... you have something in there that is quirky, lighthearted, impactful and different in some way.”
Cast your votes! And please, point out any egregious anonymous quotes that I've missed.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Irritating Confidante
John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.
My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s
Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee
Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?
Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?
Driving in Circles
The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.