paints himself into mean corner:
posterboy of divisive, negative campaigning, hires Lynton Crosby, who for years has been helping guide Harper.
"We were fans of Lynton Crosby before many people knew who Lynton Crosby was," Harper campaign spokesperson Kory Teneycke told the Guardian, which goes on to report:
"Teneycke said Crosby has given the party 'formal and informal advice' over many years, adding that the Australian adviser met with the campaign team a couple of months ago and has been helped the party with analysis of research and polling.
"'I'm not going to comment on the specific nature of the relationship but it's a close one and an ongoing one and one that predates this campaign,' he said."
5. Lynton Crosby is no stranger to smearing refugees.
His Australian Liberal leader candidate John Howard claimed in 2001 that "Afghan boat people were throwing their children into the sea -- using moral blackmail to enter Australia.* The myth was disproved and claims that the tactic had dragged Australian politics to a new low continue to haunt the retired prime minister – and Crosby," reports the Guardian.
6. Lynton Crosby is cut from the Rupert Murdoch mold.
He managed four campaigns for Australia's Liberal Party (the conservative party there) and masterminded Conservative London mayor Boris Johnson's 2008 and 2012 victories, while also hiring on to steer Conservative PM David Cameron to a majority win last May. In short, an Australian who can't resist a good fight against Labour.*
7. Lynton Crosby likes to fire off "abusive" texts.
At least according to a politician who employed him. London mayor Boris Johnson has described Crosby as "a man who never lets an abusive thought form in his mind without immediately forming it into a text and sending it to the object of his wrath."
8. Lynton Crosby specializes in divisive "wedge" politics.
"Crosby, who has drawn comparisons to George W. Bush's campaign chief Karl Rove, is known for bringing a sharp focus to campaign messaging," reports the Guardian.
"But he also comes with a reputation for an aggressive style and a playbook that includes negative campaigning and so-called 'wedge politics' -- a tactic using often controversial social issues to split voter opinion in their favour."
A second Guardian piece includes this: "There are those who think that Crosby's cynical, divide-and-rule approach to elections will be bad for the Conservatives in the long term. 'He has conjured up memories of the nasty party,' says Tim Bale of Queen Mary University of London, a leading historian of the Tories. 'That's not going to help them in 2020, 2025, 2030.'"
Another Guardian profile quotes one of Crosby's opposing strategists: "The hallmarks of the Crosby campaign are negative campaigning, often around race or immigration. It's the type of campaigning that involves really tearing at the fabric of society for shorter term political gains."
He added: "A political party doesn't take that road unless it feels like it's in quite a lot of trouble… In politics, it is entirely possible to excite negative attitudes in the community and turn them into votes, but that can come at a terrible price. It can undermine community harmony and attitudes towards tolerance. He has probably one of the world's best capacities to utilise this sort of campaigning."