Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Politico Does a Slash and Burn Story on Obama

Politico's narrative: "And so the candidate who ran on “hope” in 2008 has little choice four years later but to run a slashing, personal campaign aimed at disqualifying his likeliest opponent."
Really? Obama has nothing else to run on? No accomplishments? It's as if Politico was saving this story for a special day, you know, like the day after a U.S. downgrade sends stocks into a freefall (stocks are back up today, of course). Note the anonymous sources in the story mixed with legitimate sources, such as David Axelrod.
In a move that will make some Democrats shudder, Obama’s high command has even studied President George W. Bush’s 2004 takedown of Sen. John F. Kerry, a senior campaign adviser told POLITICO, for clues on how a president with middling approval ratings can defeat a challenger.

“Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney,” said a prominent Democratic strategist aligned with the White House.

The onslaught would have two aspects. The first is personal: Obama’s reelection campaign will portray the public Romney as inauthentic, unprincipled and, in a word used repeatedly by Obama’s advisers in about a dozen interviews, “weird.”

Read the whole thing if you want. But this story can be dismissed based on its silly premise that Obama has nothing to run on. But not silly enough for the Romney campaign to respond, as they should.
The anonymous sources are mixed in with on-the-record sources with legitimate criticisms of Romney:
“There’s a question of public character,” said Axelrod. “Are you principled, consistent — are you who you say you are? Can you be counted on?”
“People already knew that he’s a political opportunist of the highest order — changing his positions to suit the day’s polling,” said Bill Burton, Obama’s former White House deputy press secretary who now heads Priorities USA, an independent group expected to lead Democratic attacks on the Republican nominee. “But the last couple weeks, this lack of principles has translated into a total lack of leadership on issues like the debt ceiling.”