Team O shifts direction as more Dems balk at Bain attacks

posted at 12:41 pm on May 23, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Remember when the media kept insisting that the unity problem in the presidential election belonged entirely to Mitt Romney and the GOP?  Good times, good timesThe Hill reports this morning that Team Obama’s strategy of demonizing Bain Capital has two high-profile members of the Democratic Senate Caucus backing away from their party leader:

Some influential Democrats on and off Capitol Hill are refusing to give President Obama political cover for his attacks on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital.

Despite pushback from more than a half-dozen Democrats, the Obama campaign on Tuesday defended how it has scrutinized Romney’s business background.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a widely respected member of Congress, stopped short of criticizing the president, but made it clear that the campaign should pivot.

“It’s done,” she said. “Go on to other things now.”

Feinstein has always been considered the more moderate of the two Senators from California.  What about a Senator who identifies more with the class-warfare Left — like, say, Chris Coons of Delaware, who cruised to victory in 2010 over Christine O’Donnell?  He’s not biting, either:

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) told The Hill, “I think the average American … hopes that this campaign will focus on competing visions for how to strengthen our economy, help create jobs and move the country forward.”

Pressed on whether he thought Obama’s campaign had operated within those guidelines, Coons paused.

“I’m not going to comment on President Obama’s ad,” he said, shaking his head vigorously.

Former Democratic Representative Artur Davis of Alabama continued his criticism last night on Politico, calling the Obama campaign “a cult of personality that tolerates no dissent.”  Fealty to Team O has already damaged Cory Booker, Davis wrote, saying that the mayor of Newark and rising star “already looks a little less brave and a lot more conventional after the forgive me video from the bunker he released on Sunday.”

With all of this backlash within their own ranks and the media asking tough questions about hypocrisy, is it any wonder that the Obama campaign has decided to shift directions today?

Two new ads from President Obama focus on benefits for veterans and senior citizens, a marked shift from the campaign’s recent ads attacking former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

Obama says he is not dropping its campaign against Romney’s private equity experience, a line of attack that has led to blowback from some Democrats. “This is not a distraction,” Obama said Monday afternoon. “This is what this campaign is going to be about.” In fact, the campaign is buying more air timefor “Steel,” a hard-hitting ad about Bain.

But Obama is adding some positive spots to the mix in key swing states.

Here’s a question.  Didn’t the Obama campaign think to reach out to their own surrogates and party leaders before launching this attack?  Many of these Democrats have to raise money from the private-equity industry; more than a few corporations choose Delaware for their home base, too, thanks to favorable incorporation laws in the state.  Or did Team Obama simply assume that Democrats would automatically fall in line with whatever strategy they concocted, regardless of whether the campaign consulted with other Democrats or not?

Of course, Obama also got a lot of cash from the private-equity industry, and the financial world in general.  Nate Beeler gives us a look at the hypocrisy of the attack in his latest editorial cartoon for the Columbus Dispatch:

Be sure to check out Nate’s blog for more of his excellent work, featured at the indispensable Examiner as well as the Dispatch.


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They’ll be Going Galt should he win re-election.

Great cartoon.

cane_loader on May 23, 2012 at 3:49 PM

They already have. Businesses are refusing to reinvest in equipment manpower. They are sitting on their cash until we get a POTUS like Romney who will give them a fighting chance to earn a profit. Until then, they are not participating in this economy. They’re sitting on their hands.

MJBrutus on May 23, 2012 at 4:57 PM

Here’s a question. Didn’t the Obama campaign think to reach out to their own surrogates and party leaders before launching this attack?

No. They’re too arrogant and insular (although I’m convinced they think they have all the answers).

disa on May 23, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Just like Bain, Obama’s a master of the turnaround.

hepcat on May 23, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Hey – maybe Hillary has some more of those fabulous reset buttons handy.

NeoDawg on May 23, 2012 at 5:49 PM

They already have. Businesses are refusing to reinvest in equipment manpower. They are sitting on their cash until we get a POTUS like Romney who will give them a fighting chance to earn a profit. Until then, they are not participating in this economy. They’re sitting on their hands.

MJBrutus on May 23, 2012 at 4:57 PM

They are participating, just not in the USA. 0bama has made it clear not to do business here.

jukin3 on May 23, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Bain will be back. In force. In September and October of this year. This was simply testing the waters, people. Mitt’s too good a class warfare target to pass up.

spiritof61 on May 23, 2012 at 8:09 PM

They completely mis-read the public reaction to OWS and figured the Bain attacks were a can’t-miss.

The other Dems are simple reacting to the fact that their fundraisers are being told to go pound sand when they call on Wall Street.

Unfortunately, this election will come down to PA, OH, FL, and VA. I believe the other states are pretty much decided barring an October surprise, like Romney raped a kitten in college or something.

goflyers on May 24, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Feinstein has always been considered the more moderate of the two Senators from California

That’s like being the prettiest chimpanzee in the zoo.

Mini-14 on May 23, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Or the World’s Tallest Midget.

Myron Falwell on May 24, 2012 at 12:24 PM

I hate that term it sounds as if his prehensile tail just dropped off or something.

Happy Nomad on May 23, 2012 at 2:37 PM

I wouldn’t be surprised. So much of Obama’s life is still hidden from public view.

Myron Falwell on May 24, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a widely respected member of Congress,

wait, what?

FineasFinn on May 25, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Comment pages: 1 2