On the cusp of Wednesday’s first Presidential Debate, Mitt Romney’s peripatetic campaign is thrashing about for a game-changing event. With new polls showing him trailing President Obama nationally and—most critically—in all nine battleground swing states, the desperation in Romney-land is beginning to show.
The now infamous 47% ‘secret video’ has taken its toll and is being featured in nearly every campaign ad for the president because it cements the narrative that Team Obama has hammered on since the campaign began—‘Mitt Romney, above it all and out-of-touch with average Americans.’ These ads write themselves and as conventional political wisdom suggests, the most effective campaign ads are those which use the opponent’s own words against him.
Now, it an effort to ‘shake things up’ and counter the negative image, Mitt Romney has decided to revisit his signature political achievement, the Massachusetts healthcare plan he got enacted as governor and which served as the model for the Affordable Care Act…or as Republicans have derisively named ObamaCare. In an effort to defuse the powerful image—now seemingly played over and over in an endless loop—of the Republican challenger dismissing and dissing nearly half of the American Electorate, Romney is reintroducing himself (or trying to) as caring and empathetic, pointing to RomneyCare providing healthcare to Massachusetts. As reported by talkingpointsmemo.com:
Romney raised the law unprompted during a Wednesday interview with NBC, saying the Massachusetts law — which is very much like the national health care reform law he hopes to eliminate — is evidence that he has a heart.
“[D]on’t forget — I got everybody in my state insured,” Romney said. “One hundred percent of the kids in our state had health insurance. I don’t think there’s anything that shows more empathy and care about the people of this country than that kind of record.”
The truly amazing thing here, is that the right-wing has been largely silent on previous criticism of RomneyCare or their candidate’s new tack in touting the law. It appears that—more and more—they see the handwriting on the wall…that their candidate is going down in flames. This new strategy may prove an impossible ‘row to hoe’ when it comes down to the Wednesday debate stage.
Proclaiming–for months–how he and his vice president, Paul Ryan will move to repeal ObamaCare on “Day One” of a Romney/Ryan Administration, how will he weave through that certain minefield of common logic that awaits him, i.e., that RomneyCare/ObamaCare is terrific on the state level but an abomination as a federal plan? Or, how is the ‘individual mandate,’ which allowed it to succeed in Massachusetts, is somehow “unconstitutional” when applied to the nation? I just don’t think Romney’s considerable debating skills (which the Republicans are now trying to downplay) are up to the task.
Moreover, it is certain that Team Obama is gearing up all sorts of campaign ads pointing out all the many flip-flopping stands and policy positions Romney has taken on his healthcare law, presented here in a revealing–almost comical–flip-flop Romney timeline courtesy of talkingpointsmemo.com.
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