You’d be surprised: even under the powerful microscope of the national media, country-wide politicking is as much about trial and error as it is about staying the course. That’s a lesson Mitt Romney’s team finally seems to be learning.
Romney’s suffered a major deficit among women and minority voters. From a demographics standpoint, his hefty lead with white male voters is the only reason he’s kept the race close so far.
Mitt’s continued attacks on the Obama economy haven’t helped him too much, either. It’s not that the economy isn’t a winning issue for the Romney campaign; it’s that the attacks they’ve formulated so far have been subpar.
Team Mitt has so far ignored the President’s high “likability” ratings, chastising his character by calling him as a “crony capitalist” or a “european socialist.” Many voters don’t see the president that way at all. Whether or not you think those are correct descriptors is up to you; the point is, they’re not working. But another line of attack is.
No one can say with a straight face that the Obama administration has heralded a new area of bipartisan cooperation. If anything, the mood of the public is more divided than when he took office. Around the country, people aren’t necessarily calling Obama a failure – but most of them do feel disappointed.
Jonathan Allen’s front-page story on Politico today focuses on just how effective that argument can be:
You can hammer Obama on health care. Mock his golf outings. Demand to see his birth certificate and Harvard transcript, and call him a European socialist bent on turning the American Dream into a Belgian nightmare. He’ll throw his head back and laugh at you like a Bond villain.
But tell voters he’s not the man America fell in love with in 2008 — and pine, however disingenuously, about his unfulfilled potential — and a shiver runs through his Chicago campaign headquarters.
Calling Obama a disappointment instead of an enemy is a clear tactical departure from the GOP’s earlier “kitchen sink” technique of tweaking every presidential action, but that wasn’t working anyway. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – and if it is, please do.
You can read Mr. Allen’s full Politico masterpiece after the jump here.