Finding a Lethal Label for Romney
Presidential campaigns need a pithy phrase to nail the opposition, and the President is edging toward a killer label for Mitt Romney.
In 1940, FDR won reelection against a likable corporate lawyer, Wendell Willkie, who was dubbed the Barefoot Boy from Wall Street and easily defeated.
Four years later, Thomas E. Dewey, a buttoned-down former prosecutor with a campaign strategy of not being “prematurely specific” on issues, was described as an opportunist who “changes his views from hour to hour.” Pictured by his own aide as “cold as a February iceberg,” Dewey was dispatched as the Little Man on the Wedding Cake.
Now, Obama is running for reelection against a changeable Wall Street insider with current views that make Willkie and Dewey look like flaming radicals, one who claims that his experience as a venture capitalist qualifies him to be President.
Democrats have floated Vulture Capitalist, but the label has not stuck. Now Obama is working on another, Clueless Capitalist.
On the stump, the President tells of Romney’s answer to a question about financial struggles, “right out of an economic textbook. He said, ‘Our productivity equals our income.’ And the notion was that somehow the reason people can’t pay their bills is because they’re not working hard enough.
“If they got more productive, suddenly their incomes would go up. Well, those of us who’ve spent time in the real world (laughter) know that the problem isn’t that the American people aren’t productive enough…”