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.
Arrogant, tendentious babbling is no way to preserve liberty, hoss.
It means it’s time to put on your big boy pants and get in the actual game.
They were both good athletes, military veterans, and both proven as physically courageous with their own lives.
Still don’t know what you are talking about. I’m not good at riddles I guess. I’ll go back and try and figure this one out.
Romney was CHOSEN by the GOPe, MSM, and DNC
because he is a PROVEN LOSER,
and has a terrible record that makes
complaints about the undocumented tyrant, simply moot.
Romney was chosen to given Obama a second term.
A good Athlete? Did you see him throw a Baseball,Basketball Player? what a Joke,the Guy is a Spaz,he is no more a Basketball player than Hugo Chavez. The Guy is a Fraud,you will succeed in selling that Meme
Show me. Wimp so far.
Well so far 0 is doing a really good job of running his campaign, he’s been constantly shooting himself in the foot and engaging in never ending snafus.
Far more people have voted for Romney in the GOP primaries this year than have voted for any of the other candidates. The people had a choice and they chose as they did.
This is not at all true and I expect you know it.
Barry is in deep trouble and he knows it.
In his panic he's hurting himself even more.
Time to pile on.
If Romney is the nominee, not only will will I vote for him, but I will break legs in any trailer park in the country that doesn't vote for him.
However, in all candor I must tell you that when the guy speaks, I personally have a tough time telling whether he is among the quick or the dead. Ain't nothing wrong with plain vanilla ... just not every day ... and not the artificial flavor.
I don't think the Mombasa MF can be beaten with plain yogurt. Louisiana Hot Sauce is called for. How can we spice him up?
“Useless and repetitive is no way to preserve liberty, hoss. “
Truthful and accurate beats sticking your head up your nether-regions, hoss.
The decision in November is between collectivism and conservatism.
American patriots will oppose collectivism and embrace conservatism.
There is also the issue of Obama’s actions and character in particular. We will need to point out that he is incompetent, wrongheaded, corrupt, and obnoxious.
Romney is doing all of this in his own way. We will not defeat Obama by trashing Romney or by somehow “forcing” him to try to be someone he’s not.
We will beat Obama by taking the fight to him ourselves.
Cowards and traitors always excuse their treachery as “realism”.
Not really. Maybe on the legislative side, but the presidential race is purely Trotsky vs Lenin.
“Arrogant, tendentious babbling is no way to preserve liberty, hoss.”
I will take that to mean that you are unable to distinguish and explain the policy differences between Obama and Romney on Gay marriage.
Nobody believes this. Not you, not anybody else. You lie because you have allowed evil to control your thoughts and words.
Speaking of Trotsky & Lenin keeps my mind on Axelrod’s family roots.
When you start to call FReepers “cowards and traitors”
because they state the truth about Romney, you’ve jumped the shark.
It is not treachery to clearly state what Willard Romney is.
It is not cowardice. It is not being a traitor.
It is not treachery.
It is fact.
cc: Jim, “Clean up in Aisle 6!”
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