Yesterday we highlighted a characteristically mendacious Medicare ad the Obama campaign has started running in targeted swing states. The Romney camp has fired right back, using Obama's own words as a battering ram against the consequences of his policies. We brought this speech to your attention last week, describing it as a gold mine for GOP attacks. And away we go:
Ten bucks says someone on MSNBC will accuse Team Romney of "racist dogwhistles" for clipping Obama's use of "ain't." They hear all sorts of secret dogwhistles, then accuse conservatives of being the dogs. In any case, this spot is extremely effective because of the devastating juxtaposition of Obama's words and deeds. I only wish they'd managed to squeeze in this additional comment, which makes the hypocrisy even more glaring:
$882 billion in Medicare cuts to pay for an ill-conceived, badly-thought-through healthcare plan...even though Medicare is already facing a looming shortfall...
Including the "ill-conceived, badly-thought-through" comment would have been a delicious dig at Obamacare, in addition to the Medicare cuts. But I recognize that 30 seconds is a very small window to work with; perhaps they'll add a full minute version of this ad at some point. Lefties will protest that Romney's assertions on this topic are false. They'd be wrong. Obama absolutely slashed $716 Billion from Medicare to partially finance his new entitlement adventure, and those cuts unquestionably affect current seniors (unlike the bipartisan Romney reforms to save the program). Don't ask me. Ask Medicare's chief actuary and the director of CBO. These are facts, as irritating and frustrating as they may be for the Obama crew. I'll leave you with an indication of how close this election is at the moment. As is so often the case, it looks like the key state in 2012 will be Ohio. Without it, Romney's path to victory essentially runs into a brick wall. If Obama loses it, he'll be in grave danger of becoming a one-term president. With that in mind, we turn to the Columbus Dispatch's latest Buckeye poll:
The closest Dispatch Poll in modern history shows the races for president and U.S. Senate in a dead heat in battleground Ohio. For the record, Republican Mitt Romney holds a “lead” of 0.22 percentage point over President Barack Obama. That’s a mere 2 votes out of more than 1,730 cast for president in the mail poll. By comparison, Sen. Sherrod Brown has a landslide going over GOP state Treasurer Josh Mandel with a margin of 0.87 point. That’s a whopping 15-ballot bulge. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 2.1 percentage points, so the takeaway is that the presidential matchup is tied at 45 percent and the Senate struggle at 44 percent among likely voters. As the intense and expensive presidential campaign rounds the corner through two weeks of political conventions and heads for the fall home stretch, the candidates must try to win over the 10 percent of Ohio voters who remain undecided.
I'm a bit suspicious of mail polls (vs. telephone polls), but this result aligns very closely with other recent Ohio surveys -- Quinnipiac's stupid sample notwithstanding. Nail-biter.