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Monday, October 29, 2012

Not the campaign of a winner

Rick Wilson says that the election comes down to the candidate who is closing big rather than the one who is closing ugly.
His campaign grows more shambolic, vicious and noisy by the day. And you might say I’m characterizing the President’s homestretch message this way just because I’m a Republican and strong Romney backer; that’s your right.
But the evidence is clear. More than any policy or issue, the closing month of Obama’s campaign death spasm will be remembered for Big Bird, binders, bayonets and the word “bullsh--ter” (that’s what Obama called Romney in a Rolling Stone interview) — a succession of absurd attempts to mock Romney on the smallest terms, at a time when the stakes couldn’t be larger.
His attempt to get the term “Romnesia” to catch on — the President pushing a too-clever-by-half meme about his opponent supposedly forgetting his own stances — was especially pitiful.
If you really want to know what a campaign cares about, you look at what it’s spending money on. And ad after ad from his campaign seems to address smaller and smaller issues. Obama’s campaign spots of the last month are unintentionally hilarious, and almost entirely tone-deaf. I’ll leave the Lena Dunham ad, which compares voting for the President to having sex, to history, but if Obama doesn’t have the waifish Brooklyn female TV hipster vote locked down, he’s got larger problems than even I suspected.
This isn't the Obama who sent thrills up the legs of the electorate four years ago. This is not the guy who was touted as "the adult in the room" when we were staring into the abyss of economic collapse four years ago.

As Victor Davis Hanson writes, Obama's "appeal to Cool, Inc." may do more to turnoff middle-of-the-road voters than it does to whip up enthusiasm with his young base.
The uncertainty with all this, however, is whether the appeal to Cool, Inc., will really energize the base more than it turns off the undecided middle-of-the-road voter who gets wind of all this pizzazz and thus wonders why Obama jets to Vegas (once an Obama no-no) after the Libyan attack, or why he talks to disc jockeys and not the prime minister of Israel, or why he goes on chat talk shows but does not hold press conferences — and, of course, identifies more with a Lena Dunham’s psychotherapeutic inner voice and angst than with a woman in Ohio or Michigan who may have lost her job or is married to someone who is unemployed, or can’t afford filling her car up at the pump or has no equity in her home or lacks the ability to help her jobless kids pay down their growing student loans. There is a reason, after all, why Sandra Fluke draws ten people to a Vegas shopping center, and why to millions Lena Dunham will sound more self-obsessed than empathetic.
Now all Obama has left is to demonize and ridicule his opponents. He rushed out a glossy pamphlet when even the media started to notice that he didn't have any real proposals for a second term. He is not running as if he's ahead and has a vision of where to take the country. He's trying to energize an enervated and disenchanted base by being the cool guy on Jon Stewart, David Letterman, or in Rolling Stone. But all he has to promise those young people is more free stuff to paid for by themselves if they ever do get a job.


stan said...

Demonization and ridicule have been page 1 of the Democratic playbook for years. BO is just doing what Dems do.

elkh1 said...

BO's demise is brought to him by the letter B: Big Bird, binder, bayonet, bullshitter, Bengahzi, banality, and BO.

mark said...

Obama is spending the last week of the campaign working to help people affected by the storm. Romney is spending the last week lying about his role in the auto bailout and lying about Jeep sending jobs to China. If he has a shred of decency, he'll pull his latest auto ad in Ohio.

mark said...

More on the lying ads that Romney is running. After all the ventilating that people here done over Obama lies (some real, some not), I wonder if one conservative here has the decency to acknowledge that Romney is lying about this. Or will you continue to disgrace yourselves by looking the other way?

equitus said...

OK, I'll bite. I looked at the ad, and I read GM's rebuttals. Digging further, I discovered the WaPo fact-checker calls the ads "factually defensible" and "technically correct." Still, he gave it four Pinocchios because he didn't like the impression it made on Obama.

mark, is that what's considered a "lie" a democratic underground these days?

mark said...

Pretty simple. Romney is saying that Jeep is moving U.S. jobs to China. That is a lie. I don't want to play this idiotic "who is more desperate" game. I wouldn't bet money on either candidate. But Romney is stooping to sleazy tactics, and even the CEOs are calling him on it. Obama is doing his job and Romney is reduced to lying about the car industry and ducking questions about wanting to abolish FEMA, I hope people are finally wising up.