It occurs to me that in the 2012 Presidential, we’ve seen this movie before, produced by some of the same people. It’s the “Shock and Awe” strategy. And just like before, it isn’t working.
The Romney campaign and SuperPACs that support him operated under the assumption that their money would simply bomb the Obama campaign into oblivion…that their overwhelming advantage in ammunition would be enough to carry the day and sweep up “hearts and minds”, and they wouldn’t ever have to have a debate about the merits of their candidate.
They also assumed that the “real” campaign would happen in the fall, so they could spend months making the whole debate about the state of the economy and the need for a “business mind” to take over, figuring that Obama would want to talk about anything except the economy.
They did not expect that the Obama campaign would jump in early to define Romney before they could, doing as Karl Rove has done in the past: go after what appears to be your opponent’s strength, and turn it into a weakness. Polls tell us that Romney’s supposed business prowess has now been framed in the minds of a majority of voters as exactly the predatory, unaccountable Wall Street mindset that got the country into this mess.
The proof of this is that they are scrambling to change the subject, first with the disastrous foreign policy trip and now with the fact that they have started talking about Romney’s stint as Governor of Massachusetts again, which they have been fleeing for two years. They have learned that talking up “Romney the Businessman” has been taken away from them by smart, pre-emptive, surgical incisions.
But they can’t change the subject, because they can’t put the tax return issue to rest. It’s not going away. Try as he might, he can’t put it behind him without releasing his returns, and it seems pretty clear that he has something to hide, or he would have revealed them. Now Reid has upped the ante, and his only response is his now-familiar whining and apology-demanding (weak), and attempts to shout “squirrel!” and point elsewhere.
This is far from over. But recent polling in battleground states appears to be showing some stable daylight between the President and Romney. The challenger has very few ways of putting together a winning electoral map, while Obama has multiple ways to win (synopsis here)
Shock and Awe failed in Iraq, and it’s failing in 2012. However many weapons you have, the people you are claiming to “liberate” have been lost to you once they have formed a negative conclusion about your character. Barring significant vote suppression or an unforeseen calamity, it’s hard to imagine how Romney pulls this out.
At publication, the Dragon was CONTEMPLATIVE