Skip to comments.Is Barack Obama Using Republican Political Techniques to Run Against Romney?
Posted on 05/13/2012 6:38:40 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Is Barack Obama using the Republican playbook to run against Mitt Romney? The Huffington Posts Howard Fineman thinks he is and outlines why in fascinating piece. I agree with him but have two other thoughts as well as we head into Election 2012.
Here are some chunks from Finemans post, but it needs to be read in full. His intro:
As he tries to become only the second Democratic president since Franklin Roosevelt to win reelection, Barack Obama is adopting much of the strategic playbook Republicans have developed and used for 40 years.
Of course, on the core substance of policy tax rates, regulation and the size and role of government in the economy Obama and the post-Reagan Tea Party Republicans couldnt be further apart as the fall campaign begins. And no matter how shrewd or cold-blooded his game plan, the president probably will lose if the economic outlook does not improve more by fall.
But campaign strategy does matter, and there the GOP has a track record and a theory that Obama has always found to his liking as a candidate.
It is more confrontational and definitive than the model used by Bill Clinton, who won election twice (but never with an outright majority) essentially by blurring his partys differences with a conservative GOP.
Starting with Richard Nixon in 1972, and moving on to Ronald Reagan in 1984 and George W. Bush in 2004, Republican incumbents assembled a strategic doctrine that includes the following basic plays: Stress culture, and exploit cultural and regional divisions, especially if doing so helps detract attention from a so-so (or worse) economic record. Declare ones own strength as commander in chief and the opponents ignorance or weakness (or both) in military and foreign affairs. Paint the foe as out of the mainstream and/or elitist in terms of money, education or both. Highlight wedge issues to expand fissures in the other party. Where possible, speak in sweeping historical terms about the greatness and uniqueness of the country. And evoke symbols of manly recreational endeavor.
In one way or another, Barack Obama already has used all of those, and it is only May. Consider: Here are some highlights from his points:
Single-Sex Marriage. By declaring his personal belief in the full right of gays and lesbians to marry, the president turned the four-decades-long culture war on its head. He is betting, and there are data to back him up, that the country has changed on this issue.
Osama Victory Lap ..But for the first time since 1972, when Nixon successfully labeled George McGovern an anti-war appeaser, a Democratic presidential candidate has the upper hand on defense and foreign policy . Whos the Elitist? For a generation or more, Republicans have managed to use cultural attacks as a way to paint Democrats as out of touch and out of the mainstream. Obama and his allies are now doing the same thing to Romney
Wedge Issues. The phrase is often misused. It means forcing the other party to defend an idea, policy or person in such a way that it divides the other partys base. The classic example, used for years if not decades by Reagan, was welfare, which split white and black working-class Democrats. Obama is trying to do the same thing to the GOP on immigration
Transitions in American History. President Obama has, from time to time, expressed his admiration for what he calls Ronald Reagans transformational role in American life
Macho Symbolism. Obama isnt a Sunday rancher like Reagan or George W. Bush. But he is a good athlete and a fanatical fan, and uses both to burnish his regular-guy image on ESPN and elsewhere
Go to the link and read it in its entirety.
Id add two additional thoughts on this race:
1. Obama is also trying to emulate Harry Truman. A great new book The Candidate: What it Takes to Win and Hold the White House by Samuel L. Popkin notes that Truman did NOT rpt NOT win just because GOPer Thomas E. Dewey was stiff and a bad campaigner (he actually was not) or due to only his do nothing Congress charge but due to a whole series of political chess game moves. Its clear some of those fit in with what Obama is trying to do with the Republicans and that the Republicans know it (Karl Rove praises this new book on the cover so they have also studied Truman).
2. During this campaign more and more ironically there will be pitfalls on getting good info and analysis on this race due to the disintegrating line between outright partisans and analysts (new and old media). This morning for instance I got emails and saw stories of polls putting Romney 7 points ahead. These writers failed to note that a)it was one poll, Rasmussen b) other polls do NOT agree and continue to find this a close race and both Pollster HERE and Real Clear Politics HERE confirm this as well. Increasingly, partisan analysis isnt even partisan analysis but cherry picking party propaganda. I still read some lively ideological sites and blogs but some websites now are like reading DNC or RNC press releases. I increasingly advise people to surf Google News when they find topic and read a variety of news stories.
Refreshingly, I find that 20 somethings Ive met are doing just that.
Policy-wise, he's indistinguishable from the usurper.
I’m no Romney fan but...
Romney won’t lie down and take a beating like Bush and McLame.
And he won’t be blackmailed like Hillary was.
I’m betting there’s a squad of Mormon detectives that are going to produce a data dump on Baraq come September that will be pretty impressive.
I understand that Howard Hughes's caregivers are looking for work.
This election is driving me crazy!!!!! I went to the grocery store, and people were talking about the candidates! I grabbed a box of Lucky Charms and ripped it in half! I did the same with a box of Corn Flakes! Next, a box of Fruit Loops was ripped apart! It had finally happened! I had turned into a cereal killer! Hide your Frosted Flakes!
What this guy says is true but he’s making it too complicated.
Obama is running for re-election as a self-acknowledged leftist. ‘Rats usually lie and claim to be centrists as Obama did in 2008. Obama’s patent leftism makes it easier to beat him and it makes it all the more important to beat him.
We need to run a nationwide campaign against leftism. All across the country, all up and down the ballot. Leftism results in poverty, tyranny, and eventual collapse everywhere it has ever been tried. We need to ditch Obama, ditch leftism, and get back to business.
You keep saying this but everyone here, including you, knows that it just isn't so.
I wonder if Lee Atwater came back to life and became a Democrat ?
I think the Israelis are going to play a part in this election.
Let's hope they release their taps on his Blackberry.
I agree but would emphasize that Obama, with the willing aid of the media, is doing everything he can to rile up social conservatives and second amendment supporters in the hope that independents will rally to his support.
republican political tactics equal tell the party base what they want to hear then do nothing.
Ha...in your dreams.....
1. Obambi throws a ball like a girl.....
2. Rides a girls bike with a bed pan on his head.
3. Doesn't know diddly squat about how to handle golf clubs
4. Wields a toy light saber like a nerd.
I could go on but have to muck out the pig pen.
Makes perfect sense... since RINOmney is a Democrat, why wouldn’t Obama use Republican techniques??
That appears to be what he is attempting, but I don't think it will work. Most Americans support the right to keep and bear arms, and most Americans think the gays have already pushed their agenda far enough.
Defeatism is for cowards.
Useless and repetitive is no way to preserve liberty, hoss.
Could you explain the policy differences between Obama’ stance on gay marriage and Romney’s policy stance on gay marriage?
Obama is in favor, Romney is opposed. That is the difference.
Has Romney stated that he favors a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage?
Or has Romney said gay marriage should be left up to the states?
Has Obama stated that he favors a constitutional amendment or law legalizing gay marriage?
Or has Obama said gay marriage should be left up to the states?
what does that mean?