Skip to comments.Klein: Obama is winning the general election
Posted on 05/03/2012 7:18:28 AM PDT by Qbert
The general election unofficially began nearly a month ago, and so far President Obama is winning.
This has nothing to do with poll numbers. Sure, Obama enjoys a statistically insignificant 3.7 percent edge over presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney in an average of polls compiled by RealClearPolitics, and several analyses give the president a bigger advantage when it comes to the Electoral College. But every honest observer knows that polling will only become meaningful in the fall.
It's been widely agreed that given Obama's vulnerabilities, Romney's chances of winning hinge on his ability to make the election a referendum on Obama's record. And here is where Romney is failing. His campaign is allowing the president to change the subject.
Though the general election won't begin in earnest until September, after both Romney and Obama have formally accepted their respective parties' nominations, it effectively began when Rick Santorum suspended his presidential campaign on April 10.
Since that time, three stories have dominated the political news cycle. The first came when Hilary Rosen, a Democratic operative, said Ann Romney "never worked a day in her life." The next came when the Romney campaign promoted a Daily Caller story recounting that Obama had eaten dog as a child in Indonesia. The most recent came as Obama decided to spike the football before the anniversary of Osama bin Laden's killing, releasing an ad suggesting Romney wouldn't have made the same call.
In all of these cases, the Romney campaign has taken the bait, reacting to whatever Team Obama has decided to make an issue.
The hoopla surrounding Rosen came as a response to the Democrats' "War on Women" campaign, begun when conservatives opposed the administration's policy of forcing religious institutions to purchase drugs to which they had moral objections. The Romney campaign is still on the defensive about the gender issue, having releasing a statement on Wednesday blasting Obama's economic record on working women.
Conservatives have had a lot of fun with the story about Obama having eaten dog, but it only comes in response to a story about Romney having put his dog on the roof for a family road trip, which the Obama campaign highlighted to make Romney seem callous.
As for the bin Laden killing, when Romney said "even Jimmy Carter" would have ordered the raid, it made him seem very petty. It made it much easier for the Obama campaign to continue to exploit it as a political issue.
While these stories continued to dominate the political headlines, negative economic news poured in. Just in the past week, the Commerce Department reported that the pace of economic growth slowed to an anemic 2.2 percent in the first quarter and payroll processor ADP reported the private sector added just 119,000 jobs in April, far lower than expectations. The Labor Department releases its monthly report Friday.
Meanwhile, total U.S. debt approached $15.7 trillion and Obama still stubbornly refuses to lay out a long-term plan to put the nation on a sustainable fiscal course.
If the campaign is about bin Laden, identity politics and silly controversies about dogs, an Obama victory is a lot more likely. To seize control of the campaign, instead of merely being reactive, Romney has to put Obama on the defensive about his own record.
The rules of GOP Establishment politics: You viciously attack your opponents in the primary... and then you graciously hand the Democrat the victory in the general to show you're a nice guy.
Who is Phillip Klein and why is he so stupid? Was Romney just supposed to ignore the disgraceful ad and hope it would just go away? Idiot.
Once again, the dems own the narrative and the GOPers are playing defense... 24/7.
Today’s RCP electoral vote totals:
Obama — 253
Romney — 170
With “friends” like these who needs enemas? ;-)
Romney will lose.
The goal has to be to get strong conservatives in the House/Senate to prevent too much damage from Obama’s second term.
(Indeed, the goal would be same even if Romney had a chance, given that he’s Obama-white.)
"Who is Phillip Klein and why is he so stupid? Was Romney just supposed to ignore the disgraceful ad and hope it would just go away? Idiot."
Hey, I agree with you on this point. People have to defend themselves against attacks, and I think Romney, for all of his faults, did well on that one. The problem is, as Klein notes, Romney's always on the defensive.
This guy is so fundamentally wrong, it is humorous. the Rosen/Ann Romney thing is a huge win for Romney. It allowed Ann Romney a chance to take the stage and she is very impressive. It also nullified any effect the ‘War on Women’ would have. This is a central tenet to the Obama reelection, and the rug was ripped out from under then when Rosen over-reached. This election is won by Romney if he wins the suburban female vote, and this event helped in that effort...in a big way.
The dog issue is a side issue, but the left sure has been hammering Romney on the ‘dog on the car roof’ thing. It is a meaningless event, but they seemed to think it important enough to repeat it, fundraise off it, and even create a special website about it. The Romney campaign effectively squelched this attack with the eating dog thing. Once again, great politics.
The OBL thing is Obama’s one event to brag about, and he and the media have spent an entire week on it. The right has done a nice job using this to help their narrative that Obama is a self-absorbed narcissist, celebrity. As another poster puts it, what is the right to do? Ignore and let the media and White House make this entire election about Obama the war hero? That narrative is a joke, and needed a response.
Meanwhile, the economy is getting worse and people will continue to be hit with joblessness, low wages, high cost of living, and high gas prices for the next 5 months. Plenty of time to make hay on those issues.
I don’t have idea who this particular MouthWithAPlatform is, but I’m stepping up by tactical preparations, across the board, for a second term for the radical RaceMarxist.
The voting populace has proved itself, REPEATEDLY, to be too lazy/stupid/parastic to trust.
"Meanwhile, the economy is getting worse and people will continue to be hit with joblessness, low wages, high cost of living, and high gas prices for the next 5 months. Plenty of time to make hay on those issues."
I have not seen any indication for the past year that Romney has the ability to make that argument (what should be an easy one) effectively. (Perhaps his band of surrogates can do that for him, but that remains to be seen.)
Romney can talk till he’s blue in the face about 8.2% unemployment, ever increasing deficits etc..it’s not up to him what the media decides is important.
as long as Movies, almost all Newspapers, colleges, High schools and MSM television decide the agenda, then we are going to lose.
with half the country not even paying federal taxes, I don’t see much hope.
I don’t understand the guy’s point. I think the phony war on women, the dog story, and the bin Laden killing, all blew up in Obama’s face. Hillary Rosen, Obama’s mentioning of dog eating in his book, and the Navy SEAL’s speaking out about spiking the football all worked to Romney’s advantage.
Not among likely voters.
When brain-dead zombies can vote, what hope does this country have?
If Obama were playing US politics, this approach would work. Obama does not view himself as President, he intends to lead a revolution which will overthrow the US political system. Think more along the lines of Russia's second revolution, or Hitler's machinations to gain ever more power and establish the thousand year Reich.
Obama and company are thinking in Hegelian, world historical terms and the longer he stays in power, the more his followers will infiltrate the government, subvert the legal system, and undermine the rule of law. Already he has Congress bamboozled. He daily creates laws though Imperial fiat (EPA standards, IRS regulations, DOJ, DHS, and INS selective enforcement, etc.) He usurps constitutional authority concerning war powers, he avoids 'advise and consent' powers by appointing czars and making recess appointments. His goals are not driven by political ideology, although he is Marxist ideologically, and he uses ideology to motivate his base, obfuscate issues, and hide his true intentions.
His only ambition, and the end game in Obama's strategy, is power. Absolute control of the state in a fashion enjoyed by Chavez, or Castro. Absolute power obtained by the means employed by Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler.
Congress hasn't even slowed him down. They issue a subpena, his people ignore it. He wins every round of the 'blame' game in the press. And by 2016 he will be installed in such a way that he will never be removed.
Good luck on Congress or SCOTUS thwarting his plans. Half of them are complicate, the other half don't even know the rules they are playing against.
I will be able to make a better guess after the Wisconsin Recall. If Walker loses, Obama’s stock will rise considerably. If Walker wins, the GOP’s stock rises likewise.
I would have voted for Newt....
It is all about controlling the narrative and in todays media world that is so ever hard for the right as the deck is heavily stacked against them. And when you add up electoral votes now it looks bad because NY and CA give Obama a HUGE lead from the get go..... Mitt must win the heart of America as well as a few more more Freepers.
Obama must have released more stimulus money.
Phillip Klein is Senior Editorial Writer for the Washington Examiner, which endorsed Romney December 14 in an editorial with the subtitle “The only Republican who can beat Obama.” Klein probably wrote it.
Hubris, it’s called.
Speaking of which, if Sacha and Malia's dog, Bo, hadn't disappeared, he'd taste like this bowl of gumbo.
“Once again, the dems own the narrative and the GOPers are playing defense... 24/7.”
Yes, but the libs like Klein MAKE the narrative, and we either fight it or channel it. It seems the liberals and the left are recycling anti-Romney themes used in the primary, so people should be mindful of becoming shills for the left inadvertently when they attack Romney.
If everyone who wants obama defeated is not 24/7 focussed on expressing the narrative to make it happen - we lose.
Klein is gonna be crying on election night.