Quote of the Day: Why the Obama Campaign Is Confident About Defeating Mitt Romney

When Presidential campaigns this early in the election year start talking to reporters about why they feel confident they’re going to win, it’s usually a case of (a) spin, or (b)dangerous overconfidence. Nonetheless, the reasons Time’s Mark Halperin reports as to why Camp Obama feels they’ll win in the longrun make sense — and make up our political Quote of the Day:

First, in the view of the Obamans, Romney is still a weak candidate. His stump skills continue to be uneven at best, with speeches plagued by awkward jargon and passionless rhetoric. They believe his tenure as head of Bain Capital and his term as governor of Massachusetts conceal vulnerabilities yet to be unveiled. “No one’s ever looked at Romney’s record, and there’s a lot there,” said one senior campaign official. “He developed this set of values at Bain about what the economy is all about … Whatever it took to make money … He took that same philosophy to Massachusetts [as governor].” Obama’s team is sitting on a multimedia treasure trove of research about both phases of Romney’s career and expects to launch powerful missiles at key moments throughout the campaign, discombobulating the Republican each time.

This has been reported in one form or another for many months now: the Obama camp has lots of material on Romney and intends to release it. In politics, as in comedy, timing is everything. It’s hard to believe there is some major, new revelation about Obama or his background.

Second, they maintain, their research suggests Romney has exactly one rhetorical path to victory, as a can-do businessman able to fix what’s broken. Chicago intends to focus as much of its formidable firepower as necessary to dismantle Romney on that front and prevent the election from becoming a referendum on the President’s economic tenure.

As Romney tries to define Obama as a nice guy who is basically over his head, the Obama campaign will do what Karl Rove has done to Democrats for years: find Romney’s perceived strength and hammer away so it’s not seen as a strength anymore.

Third, the Obama team argues, Romney has taken many positions to the right of public opinion. The President’s team plans to throw two years’ worth of provocative statements in Romney’s face, using sophisticated micro-targeting to impacted demographics. On an unrelenting messaging loop, Hispanics will hear about Romney’s ties to the country’s most controversial anti-illegal immigration leaders and laws. Senior citizens dependent on Medicare will be told again and again about Romney’s backing of Paul Ryan’s House budget plan. Women will be warned about the threat to reproductive freedom. And on and on.

I personally feel this will be Romney’s downfall. Since September 4, I have been on the road on a national car trip, spending only four weeks total at home in San Diego (this trip ends at the end of May). As I have noted many times here, on TMV, I’ve come across many current more moderate Republicans, traditional conservatives and authentic independents who rather liked the old version of Mitt Romney. Even so, they could have lived with a George W. Bush style Mitt Romney. But the current incarnation of Mitt Romney is trying to blend in with the GOP’s polarizing talk radio political culture and the Tea Party movement.

This is the Romney that seems to be afraid of taking Rush Limbaugh to task, defending a gay foreign policy staffer or emulating Arizona Gov. John McCain and drawing a line on the public over-the-top-rhetoric of supporters (McCain corrected a voter who called Obama “an Arab,” Romney glossed over a voter who said Obama should be tried for treason).

Romney needs to project an aura of political consistency and leadership strength; at present he is doing neither, and if he wins it’ll be because many voters feel Obama is not up to the job.

Due to the “Etch a Sketch” controversy, if Romney tries to move to the center he could be hammered by GOPers to his right and also slammed by the news media who are not going to not report him making a major shift in position. My bet is he’ll keep trying to win over his party’s base and write off more moderate Republicans (hey, they’re a dying breed and Indiana Senator Richard Lugar is on political execution row tomorrow).

Fourth and finally, presidential politics, in the end, is all about the Electoral College. The Obama campaign’s analysis, matching recent media number crunching, indicates that Romney has a paper-thin margin of error to get to the magical 270. The map is littered with states the Republicans must take from the 2008 Democratic column in order to win, and in many of them, such as Ohio and Virginia, they are behind.

Lest you think the Obamaoans are hanging in the precipice of dangerous analytical one-sidedness, be assured: they’re not. If you go to the original link it’s clear they have stood back and analyzed what they have working in their favor. It’s just that, in the end, they think the four factors above will trump (excuse the expression) the factors working against them.

It really comes down to which party and candidate can turn off more voters. And I suspect if it comes down to that, it could be Romney since there are few signs that he is seriously trying to expand his tent, only keep those he has in his tent from leaving. He could get more inside his tent if they seek refuge from stagnant or worsening financial conditions. But there seems to be little outreach on his part and — at this point — he seems like one of the potentially weakest GOP Presidential candidates in many years.

FOOTNOTE: Be sure to read Dean Esmay’s take on the same article, which is different than mine.

         

7 Comments

  1. Romney’s worst enemy is Romney. Like GWB he was always rich and never wanting. Unlike GWB he is incapable of doing the folksy thing and at this point that’s not something he can change. Charley Pierce refers to him as Romneybot 2.0 and I think that’s about right.
    In addition I’m sure it’s correct that the Obama campaign has an unending supply of documented flips and flops and flips.

  2. What I appreciate about Obama Inc is that they understand what needs to be done to win and will not be afraid to act as dirty as Reps in order to win.

    The only way to beat Rove is to get down into the mud with Rove…maybe accuse Mitt of having a black baby somewhere in SC.

  3. @ShannonLeee

    The only way to beat Rove is to get down into the mud with Rove…maybe accuse Mitt of having a black baby somewhere in SC.

    No-that would be the worst thing you could do against Romneybot 2.0. He may be unlikable but he is squishy clean.

  4. I think the Obama people will be well prepared for the usual GOP staple of well-funded demonization and BS – without which Romney won’t have much to work with. Frankly I wouldn’t want to be Mitt.

  5. There are only two places the GOP really can get Obama, and even then they can only get so far because they are guilty of it too. First, the passage of the Defense act authorizing the president to arrest people without trial. I’d vote for Rush Limbaugh if he was running on a platform to abolish that. Of course the passage of that was a bi-partisan thing.

    Second is the lack of accountability for the financial sector for basically screwing over the country and engaging in some pretty questionable activity. Of course since the GOP are as bought and paid for as the Dems, that’s also the pot calling the kettle black.

  6. Actually they should feel confident about beating Romney because he keeps jamming his foot in his mouth. He just said in a speech in Cleveland that he wants to take credit for the positive results of the auto industry bail out. Keep em coming Mittens.

  7. Here is what the Constitutional TEA PARTY immigration reform Americans want: 1) an end to mass LEGAL immigration to the US annually; according to NumbersUSA, over a million more legal immigrants are admitted; and 2) an end to family reunification visas; chain migration refers to the endless and often-snowballing chains of foreign nationals who are allowed to immigrate because the law allows citizens and lawful permanent residents to bring in their extended, non-nuclear family members; and 3) abolish sanctuary city policies and punish all the perpetrators; and 4) improve security over voting and introduce mandatory government photo ID, to cast a vote in all elections; and 5) make it a mandatory felony on stealing or impersonating a U.S. citizen to gain work or use their credit; and 6) Enact mandatory E-Verify nationwide that employers must use or be heavily fined or face imprisonment; and 7) an amendment to the 14th amendment that only children born in the United States, must have at least one parent who is already a citizen, to gain birthright citizenship; and 8) secure our border.

    Arizona and a number of other states have been caught up in the illegal alien invasion financially, while other states like California, New York, Nevada who prefer to ignore the consequences forced on them by ‘Unfunded Mandates” by the courts still carry heavy billion dollar deficits. Arizona has been incessantly hit hard by foreign nationals crossing the borders and taking advantage of welfare programs, but the U.S. government has always remained invulnerable to public outcry and believes they are blameless? With Arizona carrying a burden of $2.4 billion payout for uncompensated health care, education and other free assistance programs, that undermines citizen’s rights by pampering elected officials for unwelcome invaders. All 50 states should stand their ground and its legitimate residents should undertake to evict all lawmakers from their seats in the federal or state capitals, and replace them with TEA PARTY leadership.

    Mitt Romney better be carefully aware, that part of the deciding vote will depend on the gargantuan TEA PARTY vote. Flip Flopping on any immigration enforcement, could have consequences. He had already inspired thousands of usually non voters by stating that self deportation or ‘Attrition through Enforcement’ would be his illegal immigration banner, so he cannot renege upon this ultimatum. Agricultural and farming owners should pay towards Guest Workers who pick crops and furnish the labor a fair wage and well regulated immigration system of temporary workers and that they must leave when their visa expires. In addition, only a special allowance of the most highly credentialed scientists, engineers of this caliber should be allowed expedited and visa fraud must be eliminated and the culprits held responsible. Such is an example of Senator Grassley outlining concerns of abuse within the H-1B visa program that raises questions about Boeing’s use of B-1 visas, to bring Russian contract engineers into the country?

    If you cherish your liberty from the corruption in Congress that benefits all of us, we need a balanced tax code with no subsidies, loopholes for corporations, sugar industry or anybody else; a right to drill on the Peoples public lands and sea with its massive reservoirs of oil, natural gas for the consumer and to alleviate our out-of-control 16 trillion dollar deficit. No more government bail outs for the friends of the Oval Office. Throw out all the profiteering lawmakers and clean house; put familiar TEA PARTY leaders in their place. Introduce a waste and reduction law, which begins the process of shrinking the size of government. Voters need to insist from Congress, specifically from GOP House speaker, John Boehner of Ohio and Dave Camp of Michigan, as the Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee to stop blocking the 50-state E-Verify bill. Call the Washington switchboard at 202-224-3121 Washington, DC. For further truth, not propaganda on this crisis matter, check with NumbersUSA website, where even Congress consults on immigration matters.

    Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) has introduced a major piece of legislation that would require most employers to use E-Verify within two years of enactment. Large employers, federal, state, and local agencies and federal and state contractors would need to conform within six months. The bill would also make the E-Verify program permanent and reinstate the no-match letter program to help identify the 7 million illegal aliens currently holding non-agriculture jobs. “E-Verify is a flourishing program to help ensure that jobs are reserved for citizens and legal workers,” Rep. Smith said. But it’s only on a voluntary basis at this time. It takes just a few minutes to use and easily confirms 99.5% percent of work-eligible employees. There is no other legislation that can be enacted that will create more jobs for American workers.” There is a total 79 Sponsors and we need every American, who believes in the “Rule of Law” to aggressively call their Senators and House Representatives to pass this law.

    The United States government currently recognizes any person born on American soil as a “natural born” citizen and ignores the Constitutional requirement that one must also be “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States in order to automatically gain citizenship. The U.S. is one of only two industrialized nations (Canada) to still grant automatic citizenship to newborns. Despite several media reports, the U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled on whether or not children born to illegal-alien parents, or to parents visiting the United States with temporary visas, are entitled to birthright citizenship. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has introduced the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011 that would, eliminate the practice of Birthright Citizenship by requiring at least one parent of children born in the United States to be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. Birthright citizenship for illegal aliens not only rewards illegal immigration and adds to the population growth, it also acts as a “foothold” for illegal-alien family members to remain in the United States and eventually legalize their status. There are 87 Sponsor for the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011 (H.R.140) and needs every patriotic American assistance to get this amendment passed.

Submit a Comment