The media insist that Mitt Romney is running a bad campaign. Whether that’s true or not, one thing is certain: Barack Obama’s campaign is undoubtedly worse. From day one, Obama’s re-election effort has been a microcosm of his failures in office. Here is a list of the top ten Obama campaign disasters–and there are still six weeks to go!
1. AttackWatch The sequel to Obama’s “Fight the Smears” website from 2008, and his “firstname.lastname@example.org” rat-out-your-neighbors effort during the Obamacare debate, #AttackWatch was part of a larger effort to target Obama’s opponents for confrontation. Conservatives quickly defused AttackWatch by spoofing it–and even the mainstream media was forced to acknowledge (briefly) Obama’s thin-skinned and vindictive tactics.
2. Charlotte Democrats hoped to expand on their gains in 2008 by hosting their 2008 convention in North Carolina. But unions balked at North Carolina’s right-to-work laws, and Democrats–having demonized banks–were embarrassed that Obama was to hold his acceptance speech in the outdoor Bank of America Stadium. In the end, the Obama campaign couldn’t even fill enough seats, and had to move the speech back indoors.
3. Joe Soptic’s Wife How desperate do you have to be to accuse your opponent of killing an innocent woman? That’s what the Obama camp did when Obama’s super PAC aired a commercial featuring untrue claims by Joe Soptic, a man laid off at a company once owned by Bain Capital. The Obama campaign claimed they had no knowledge of Soptic’s crazy story–until it was revealed that they had touted it on a conference call.
4. “Felon” In another sign of desperation, the Obama campaign alleged that Romney may have committed a felony in signing Bain Capital’s reports to the SEC after Romney was no longer actively running the company. Even the Obama-friendly fact-checkers at mainstream news outlets weren’t buying that one. Given the chance to back away from his campaign’s outrageously false accusation, President Obama doubled down on it.
5. “You Didn’t Build That” When Obama decided to mock small business owners and the idea of individual achievement, he gave Romney a much-needed opportunity to clarify his differences with the president, and rally support around his economic policy. “You Didn’t Build That” became the main knock on Obama at the Republican National Convention, and was a consistent punching bag in ads targeted at swing states.
6. Won’t Say if America is Better Off Than Four Years Ago Every single Obama surrogate–even head guru David Axelrod himself–failed to answer the most basic question a president running for re-election must face: are we better off than we were four years ago? In their defense, Obama himself had already acknowledged that we aren’t, so the responsibility for that particular bungle goes straight to the man on top.
7. Biden “Back in Chains” Vice President effectively conceded to newly-nominated Romney running mate Paul Ryan when he embarrassed the Obama campaign in August by warning a largely black audience that Romney would “put y’all back in chains.” The campaign, typically, refused to denounce Biden’s racial scare-mongering. But Biden sealed impressions of him as incompetent–even in the mainstream media.
8. Jerusalem Floor Fight Obama broke his 2008 campaign promise to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital–and Democrats changed their platform to conform to his new policy. When outrage erupted over the omission of pro-Israel language, and any mention of God, in the party platform, Obama forced through amendments–but not before a noisy floor fight made it clear where many in the party actually stood.
9. 9/11 Embassy Attacks Not only did Obama fail to protect the ambassador in Libya and the embassy in Cairo, but he also kowtowed to the attackers over any offense caused by an anti-Muslim film, propagating the lie that the film provoked the attacks, and giving Romney an opening on foreign policy. Obama–campaigning rather than governing–compounded the damage with a gaffe claiming that Egypt was no longer an ally.
10. Giving Up on “Change” Facing tough questions for virtually the first time on the campaign trail, Obama told a Univision audience that, after four years in office, he did not believe he could change Washington “from inside.” Romney immediately pounced–and left-wing critics of Obama agreed–on what became a metaphor for Obama’s failure to fulfill the ambitious, messianic hopes of his 2008 campaign–or even basic promises.