As Katie reported yesterday, the Wasserman-Schultz led, Obama campaign-directed Democratic National Committee is test driving one of its first direct attacks on a GOP presidential candidate this week. In case you missed it, here's the DNC's marathon "Mitt vs. Mitt" web ad hitting Romney:
Ignore, for a moment, that fact-checkers have already declared numerous elements of the ad misleading and false. How the Obama/DNC machine distorts this particular Republican's record is almost immaterial at this stage. What's important is internalizing the nature of this very early salvo in what I predicted would be a character-based, issue-avoiding, negative re-election campaign. This is "slash and burn" chapter one, if you will. Whether he's facing Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, or anyone else, this president simply cannot run on his record, so his campaign and media accomplices will set out to utterly destroy his opponent. (Which isn't to say that various GOP candidates haven't done a fine job at demolishing themselves).
One thought on Romney, as he and Gingrich spar over who's most electable: Some of the Massachusetts Governor's detractors will suggest that he's the second coming of John Kerry -- an aloof, fabulously rich flip-flopper. We all remember what happened to John Kerry, they'll say. And they'll be right, to a certain extent. But Kerry lost to a more popular incumbent presiding over a much healthier economy than the nightmare with which Obama has saddled himself. Kerry was mercilessly branded as a weak leader and an opportunist who would say anything to get elected, yet he still came within roughly 100,000 Buckeye votes of becoming the 44th President of the United States. Team Obama surely realizes this, which is why "he's a flip-flopper" will seem almost quaint by the time the Democrat machine is through with whomever emerges as the nominee. The question for primary voters is whether Romney is any less vulnerable than Gingrich, Perry, or anyone else in the field.
While we're on the topics of Ohio and nasty campaigning, the New York Times is reporting that the Obama campaign is "explicitly abandoning" white working class voters:
For decades, Democrats have suffered continuous and increasingly severe losses among white voters. But preparations by Democratic operatives for the 2012 election make it clear for the first time that the party will explicitly abandon the white working class. All pretense of trying to win a majority of the white working class has been effectively jettisoned in favor of cementing a center-left coalition made up, on the one hand, of voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment — professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists — and a second, substantial constituency of lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic.
In 2008, candidate Obama infamously belittled these voters as bitter clingers. In 2012, he'll complete the kiss-off. It's a risky strategy, particularly in the hardscrabble Midwest. White working class voters comprise a fair share of the electorate in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, and of course Ohio -- all of which Obama carried last time around. Instead, Obama will seek to consolidate support among wealthier liberals and racial minorities. For that coalition to be sufficient, he'll have to disqualify his opponent as totally radioactive. For all of the Left's bellyaching about Republicans' Lee Atwater-style negativity (they genuinely believe their side doesn't play dirty enough), Team Obama is openly preparing to conduct a "sharply partisan" campaign based on "fear and loathing:"
Forget hope and change. President Obama’s reelection campaign is going to be based on fear and loathing: fear of what a Republican takeover would mean, and loathing of whomever the Republican nominee turns out to be. Of course the Obama campaign will attempt to present the affirmative case for his reelection, citing legislative achievements, foreign policy successes and the current flurry of executive actions. But his strategists have clearly concluded that selling the president will not be enough, and the contours of the ugly months ahead are becoming increasingly apparent.
Prepare for impact; this is going to get very ugly.
UPDATE - Look at Obama's dreadful numbers among indies. Desperate times call for desperate measures:
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography