Obama plan: Destroy Romney
Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin, Politico
Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011
The dramatic and unabashedly negative turn is the product of political reality. Obama remains personally popular, but pluralities in recent polling disapprove of his handling of his job, and Americans fear the country is on the wrong track. His aides are increasingly resigned to running for reelection in a glum nation. And so the candidate who ran on “hope” in 2008 has little choice four years later but to run a slashing, personal campaign aimed at disqualifying his likeliest opponent.
“Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney,” said a prominent Democratic strategist aligned with the White House.
“There’s so many wonderful ironies here: Obama spent his whole political career perfecting the best argument against Bush 43, and now he’s going to run as 43?” said Romney strategist Stuart Stevens, who also worked for Bush. “They can try anything they want – but this race is going to be about the economy.”
The Democrats who are planning the assault on Romney believe they can avoid a referendum on Obama’s handling of the economy, in part, because both political parties are in such poor public favor.
“People already knew that he’s a political opportunist of the highest order – changing his positions to suit the day’s polling,” said Bill Burton, Obama’s former White House deputy press secretary who now heads Priorities USA, an independent group expected to lead Democratic attacks on the Republican nominee. “But the last couple weeks, this lack of principles has translated into a total lack of leadership on issues like the debt ceiling.”
Oh wait, that last guy was talking about Romney.
Obama’s 2008 Hope Morphs Into 2012 Slash-and-Burn
By: Jane Hamsher, Firedog Lake
Tuesday August 9, 2011 9:47 am
(G)oing negative may be the only path available to Obama right now. He can’t hope to activate true grassroots support and deliver what Wall Street oligarchs want at the same time. So he is appealing to the people who stand to benefit – wealthy donors – and asking for their support to impose austerity measures on the country.
It’s also a tell about how Obama’s campaign team views the political landscape between now and the election. They would not be going negative if his campaign gurus thought there was any possibility of turning around the Independents who have tracked with Republicans on the debt ceiling debate, and according to Gallup, now have a 34% approval rating of the President (down from 43% in early July). It’s an indication that they think their only hope is to suppress independent voter turnout with a “slash and burn” campaign.
You ride to the White House on a campaign to rise above intolerance, negativity and partisanship, and without a moment of self-reflection, announce a campaign based on … intolerance, negativity and partisanship? Rather than fix the economy by having the political courage to do what you said needed to be done when you were stoking people’s hope in 2008, you now plan to impose the austerity measures they overwhelmingly oppose and raise hundreds of millions of dollars to tell people your “weird” opponent in his “skinny jeans” is not “principled and consistent”? You want to fan the same bigotry and cultural biases the President promised to rise above, hoping win reelection by virtue (of) suppressing turnout?
And your message is that the other guy is not principled or consistent?