The Obama campaign strategy: Convincing America that Mitt Romney will suck worse than Barack Obama, baiting Mitt Romney into premature response

When you don’t have a record worth anything to run on that an incumbent needs, convince the populace that your opponent will be infinitely worse than what you are.  That seems to be the strategy of the Obama campaign and given how bad Obama has been as President, that is going to be a very tough sale to make.  As is  known, Obama has spent more than $100 million in the swing states to try to put some positive distance in the form of a lead that will act as a cushion to soften the blow of a massive Romney counterattack over the air waves that will come in due time.  As Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post notes:

The Obama team knew months ago that the economy would not sufficiently improve before Election Day to justify his reelection. Its polling showed simply blaming President George W. Bush wouldn’t be sufficient. The president and his political hacks concluded that it was too late and too risky to adopt a whole new second-term agenda. (It would risk offending either the base or centrists and reveal his first-term agenda to have been entirely inadequate.) So what to do?

Extend the Republican primary by running ads hitting Romney and encouraging Democrats to vote against Romney in Michigan and elsewhere. Then, before Romney could fully get his bearings, unload a barrage of negative attacks, scare mongering and thinly disguised oppo attacks through the mainstream media, taking advantage of many political reporters’ relative ignorance about the private equity field and their inclination to accept whole-hog President Obama’s version of “facts.”

The extent of that effort is only now becoming clear. The Associated Press reports: “President Barack Obama’s campaign has spent nearly $100 million on television commercials in selected battleground states so far, unleashing a sustained early barrage designed to create lasting, negative impressions of Republican Mitt Romney before he and his allies ramp up for the fall.” Think of it like the Confederacy’s artillery barrage on the third day of Gettysburg before Pickett’s charge — you have to in essence disable the other side before the charge begins or its curtains.

Virtually all of the ads were viciously negative, and judging from the number of Pinocchios they’ve racked up, continually and materially false.

But it didn’t work. Romney and Obama are still deadlocked.

Spot on.  And with Romney now outraising Obama for two straight months, forcing Obama to fundraise in other countries (rhetorical hypocrisy from the Obama campaign is commonplace), the Obama campaign and the MSM have been trying to bait Mitt Romney into attacking when people really aren’t paying attention.  They want Mitt to act early because Mitt is likely to outraise Obama every month from now until Election Day.  Want proof?  Here is a Politico article trying to use Republican governors to persuade Mitt Romney in acting too early:

But as they chatted this weekend between sessions of the summer meeting of the National Governors Association in Virginia’s colonial capital, the Republican leaders said the time was coming for Romney to go on the offensive.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who last month fought back a recall effort, said the GOP nominee could take a lesson from that contest, one in which Democrats similarly launched a relentless series of attacks. Walker urged Romney to respond to Obama’s assault like he did against Democrat Tom Barrett, first portraying the president as desperate, then quickly laying out what his plans are on the economy and spending.

Nothing against Scott Walker, but why hit back right now?  If your opponent’s attacks are falling on a turned off public, this tells me that the American people are waiting for Mitt Romney to outline what he will do and to give them reasons to vote for Romney.  The Romney campaign is handling this with a very focused discipline and patience.  It kind of reminds me of the buildup that happened in England in the months prior to D-Day in 1944.  The Germans knew an attack was coming.  They just didn’t know when or where, but could only wait in dread knowing it was going to come.  It has to be gnawing psychologically at the Obama campaign. One of the hardest things to do as a person, team, or campaign is to have the discipline to resist the impulse to punch back.  To the GOP governors and other anxious GOP leaders, this is what Obama wants.  Please don’t play along.  Obama has given Romney some wonderful gifts, saying that the private sector is fine and that “If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
This is going to dovetail beautifully into a positive campaign theme and vision Romney will lay out and also attack President Obama as being against the most vital part of our economic engine that has made this country great.  I can imagine that the campaign ad blitz will be very positive and then….after giving the American people the reason to vote for him, the campaign will unload on Obama, driving his negatives up.  They will do so by throwing his entire four year record of forcing Obamacare down the country’s throat when the people didn’t want it, the brazen misrepresentations, the tax hikes on the middle class, weakening the standing of America around the world, his indifference to foreign dangers, his poor treatment of our friends and his submissiveness to geopolitical foes, his Administrations criminal abuses of obstruction and fights with states of the Union.  I can go on and on.  And that is where you will start to hear the caterwauling from the Democrats of how mean, how racist, how unfair the attacks are.  The wait will be worth it once Romney gives his campaign the green light.  The longer Romney waits, the harder the punch back is going to be.  I hope Romney waits right through the convention and keeps building up his ground game infrastructure and networks.  We’re just six weeks away from the GOP convention.  Mitt will make the final push after the convention and it will be well worth the wait.  Get your popcorn ready because it is going to be fun to see how Obama defends against someone who is going to take the fight to him.

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