Saturday, June 2, 2012
Will Latest Economic News Accelerate the Negative Campaigning from the President?
After an unexpected slowdown in hiring last month, economic news will make reelection even more difficult for President Obama. Although former NBA All-Star Charles Barkley seems convinced that Mitt Romney does not have a chance, the economic mood in the country is going to make reelection that much more difficult for a president that is already hovering in the high 40’s in job approval ratings.
The “grim” job numbers sunk markets; however, does that mean it will sink the presidents reelecting chances.
President Obama and his team in Chicago have already gone after Romney hard. His record at Bain capital was first. Which has caused a backlash with many prominent Democrats, coming out harshly against the tactic.
Bill Clinton told Harvey Weinstein - whom is a top Obama fundraiser – that Romney had a good business career, and that “There's no question that in terms of getting up and going to the office and, you know, basically performing the essential functions of the office, the man who has been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold."
That is a glowing endorsement for the Romney candidacy, coming from Democrat Bill Clinton. One has to wonder if Clinton doesn't want to see Obama lose.
Clinton was not the only Democrat to criticize team Obama’s Bain attacks. Newark Mayor Cory Booker also said he was "uncomfortable" with the Obama campaign's Bain attacks. Overall, the Bain attacks have not hit the mark. Now that there is a worsening economic situation going on, what will team Obama come out with next? Obama's campaign team has begun to go after Romney’s time as Governor of Massachusetts. Even this is going to be a weak attack considering the president lacks economic good news to run on.
Even though Bill Clinton had followed his comment by saying, “"The Obama proposals and the Obama record will be far better for the American economy and most Americans than those that Gov. Romney has laid out,” Romney will attempt to make this campaign be about what Clinton said in the first quote above.
Since the president cannot say the economy has approved greatly under his stewardship, he is going to have to try to make a Romney administration unacceptable to the American voter. The only way he can accomplish this is by going ultra-negative and steering the conversation towards fictional wars against woman. It is clear that the president understands this, because he is running his reelection campaign in a Rovian manner. Remember, Karl Rove “the architect” – who was George W. Bush’s Deputy Chief of Staff – had successfully torn down the Democratic nominee, John Kerry in 2004.
At this point in his reelection campaign, Bush had middle of the road approval ratings as well, but his campaign was able to stake out a win, arguably because of the negative campaigning designed by Rove. We should expect the Obama campaign team to use a similar strategy, even down to running on foreign policy, and stressing that his opponent is not fit to run the country. No one can deny the effectiveness of the swift boat attack ads, and there is not doubt that this fact is not missed in the White House.
We should expect the Obama campaign to adjust the negative tone based on the economic news. He will likely use more character assassinations, instead of talking about each of the candidates vision for the future.
If that continues to be the case, maybe Barkley should be glad that he did not respond to John McCain, who tweeted “Dear Charles Barkley, ‘don’t take it personally, you seem like a nice guy,’ but you’re clueless – @MittRomney wins. Wanna bet?” McCain sure seems to like Romney a lot these days, nothing maverick must want to see his former opponent beat this time around, which is starting to become more likely as these months go by.
Will in matter how negative Obama gets? Romney, in the interview above said that "The president's policies and his handling of the economy has been dealt a harsh indictment," and that in "many respects their policies have made it harder for the economy to recover." Romney also iterated that the president did not immediately focus on the economy, instead he focused on "legislative achievements" which kept him form creating jobs. This is a powerful argument, one that will not be easy for the president to just brush aside.