A new Americans for Prosperity (The Koch Bothers funded SuperPAC) campaign ad has just been released featuring former Obama voters saying – in essence – that President Obama is a “nice guy” and that they basically bought into the “Hope and Change” message that propelled Obama to the White House, but that he “just hasn’t earned” reelection. One of the former Obama voters acknowledges that the president inherited a bad situation but “made it worse.” It is a powerful message, low-key in tone, with soft, soothing backgroud music. It tries to leave the viewer with a sense of sorrow that the man they helped put into office has, somehow, simply let them down and they just can’t bring themselves to vote for him again. Here’s the ad:
Slick and potent in it’s non-vitriolic tone and, I think, likely to have the effect of reaching a lot of voters and give them reasons to just stay home, rather than actually motivating people to vote for Romney/Ryan. If it succeeds, it may cause people of that mindset to not pay much close attention to the rancor and debate going on in the campaign as it heats up and, just as the Obama team tries to focus the public’s attention on the devastating repercussions of a Romney presidency to all things that matter to these people. In short, I think its goal is yet a further form of voter disenfranchisement. I think the Republicans are playing a very cynical game here. Despite what every politician says (especially when they’re losing on message), they all pay attention to the polls.
A recent poll showing Obama being favored 2-1 by the 90 million eligible voters who are expected to NOT VOTE has got to scare the hell out of the Romney/Ryan team. Heavy turnout means certain defeat. Short of an economic meltdown on the order of 2008 or some other catastrophic world event, the Romney campaign is just not capable of swaying a majority of ALL Americans – even with 8% unemployment – to dump the president. He’s just too nice a guy. Too many Americans still remember the Bush/Cheney years and, it’s no accident that those two miscreants will be nowhere near the upcoming Republican Convention in Florida.
You may see John McCain, but you won’t see Sarah Palin, the Republican strategists have rightly (shrewdly) concluded that “Caribou Barbie” Dubya & Cheney just won’t play well in prime time, when forty or fifty million Americans…many of them independent swing voters will be watching. There will be more than enough anti-Obama “fire and brimstone” delivered by keynoter New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and the other usual suspects. So there’s no sense in also reminding America how we got where we are by trotting out those who got us there. They need to depress voter turnout with messaging as well as voter disenfranchisement measures like the Photo I.D. laws sweeping the nation just in time for the election.
So the campaign is now shifting somewhat…away from the reasoned debate (we were promised) between two competing ideologies and into the pre-convention mud-slinging phase. With Vice President Biden’s controversial (some say over-the-top) stump speeches as attack dog, I think we’re starting to see the same from Paul Ryan on the other side. You remember all those early season ads and comments by Romney reflecting that, ‘sure, Obama’s a nice guy, but he’s just in over his head.’ I really don’t think you’ll see any more of that from the Republican candidates themselves. They’ll leave that to the slick ads like the one I mentioned earlier, along with a mix of vitriolic attack ads from other Super PACs. A “mix and match” message to different audiences in different states.
Republican V.P. Candidare, Paul Ryan announced to a crowd at his alma mater, Miami University of Ohio, yesterday, that they welcome the debate about Medicare and that they intend to “win that debate.” How? By vicious attacks on Obama being the onetrying to destroy Medicare by “stealing” $716 billion from it to create…wait for it…Obamacare! So, it all comes down to lies and distortion and the single-minded Republican obsession with repealing Obamacare. Obama has created this ill-conceived unpopular socialized entitlement at the expense of America’s other well-conceived, popular entitlement…Medicare and we’re here to save it (contrary of course to every single thing we’ve done over the years to destroy it!…shhh, don’t tell anyone).
Not that the Republicans haven’t already – in fact – begun to play rough. The bull crap distortion ad about Obama eliminating the work requirement for welfare was just the opening shot in this back-and-forth, a sinister attack, timed to try and take the focus off of Romney’s taxes and Bain Capital problems. I noticed yesterday that Romney has even trotted out his wife, Ann (again) to defend the tax issue with another TV interview. What a weasel of a man, “hiding behind his wife” is one comment I heard. I don’t like to see things in sexist terms like that. I see Romney’s using Ann to answer reporters’ questions more as a cynical ploy that sets up the old historic campaign no-no problem for the Democrats…attacking the candidates wife. It’s just not done. But, putting her out there like that – as his tax-issue shield from public scrutiny – certainly opens that door and she seems to relish the role, calling Romney an “honest man” in a recent interview.
And Joe Biden? He just keeps on being Joe. Stay interested my friends.
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