At a recent fundraiser in New York City, President Obama told his high-dollar donors that he wanted to enter a new phase of this race, different from the negative campaigning that has thoroughly defined his reelection effort thus far. Is it a sign that all his attacks on Romney aren’t working?
At his July 30 funder in the Big Apple, Obama assured his audience that he was about to pivot to a more positive campaign.
“There is going to be, though, as the summer winds down and we get into the fall, the need for voters in these swing states to know not just what they’re voting against but also what they’re voting for,” he said. “And so we’ll be spending a lot of time talking about the specific agenda that I intend to pursue in the second term, which I think will make sure that this economy is going full guns.”
Leaving aside his use of “guns” (there’s that “violent imagery” that the Old Media is always braying about), it is interesting to note that this issues-based campaign is exactly the sort of race Obama claimed he would initiate back in 2007 when he was running for his first term.
In 2007, then-Senator Obama was so adamant about running a clean campaign that he claimed he’d fire any staffer that performed opposition research into his opponents’ private lives.
Obama has been drowning in unforced gaffes of his own making. His revealing message to America’s achievers that “you didn’t build that” has dogged him since he said it. On foreign issues, he told Poland that they had “Polish death camps” in WWII instead of properly noting they were Nazi Death camps. Then there was the howler that his plan for the economy was successful — “it worked,” despite the continued downturn in nearly every category.
With all these troubles, apparently the President’s pledge to run a kinder, gentler, issues-based campaign didn’t make a dent in the efforts of his Chicago-based attack machine. Team Obama has attacked Ann Romney because she rides horses for therapy as she battles Multiple Sclerosis. Team Obama has also compiled an enemies list of Romney donors and used their influence to have these donors attacked in the media and by government entities.
Looks like lots of opposition research is going on, Mr. Obama.
It’s been so vicious that even Obama’s top hatchet man, David Axelrod, is astonished that Obama isn’t getting “blown away.”
Are those the sort of “Chicago values” that Mayor Emanuel was talking about?
But maybe there is a reason Obama is floating the idea of pivoting to this new issue-oriented campaign. A recent poll from The Hill shows that Romney leads Obama with 48 percent of voters on strength of leadership. Obama has fallen to 44 percent on the question. 47 percent of voters also say that Romney shares their values, compared to 44 percent that think Obama does. Also alarming for Obama, a majority said that they trusted Romney more than they do Obama, 46 percent to 44 percent.
With all these bad signs for his campaign, perhaps Obama feels that his avalanche of negative campaigning isn’t working?