In which a guy with a famously short resume, who got elected on the strength of vacuous can-do slogans like “Hope and Change” and “Yes, We Can,” decides to point fingers about the alleged thinness of his opponent’s case.
President Barack Obama criticized the Romney campaign today, dismissing their campaign vision as concise enough to be tweeted.
“You can pretty much put their campaign on a tweet and have some characters to spare,” Obama said at a fundraiser, per the Los Angeles Times. Tweets cannot be longer than 140 characters.
“The good news is, the American people generally agree with our vision,” Obama added. “If you just put it in front of them, issue after issue, and you present the Democratic approach and the Republican approach, we win. The challenge is because folks are still hurting right now, the other side feels that it’s enough for them to just sit back and say, ‘Things aren’t as good as they should be and it’s Obama’s fault.’”
I’m torn between criticizing him for being unfair — Romney’s famously a fan of Paul Ryan’s entitlement reform plan, for example — and criticizing him for the sheer banality of what he’s saying. Go figure that the challenger in a presidential race might try to make the election a referendum on an incumbent who’s had a very tough three years. The only voters out there who’d be impressed with that as a serious critique of Romney are the lovable naifs at PolitiFact. Besides, for all of O’s windage four years ago about slowing the rise of the oceans, etc, his greatest asset was the country’s profound, protracted Bush fatigue. Hence the Obama strategy: Convince the public that McCain was a new Bush in the making and let the “Change” message do the rest, bolstered by the prospect of a sunnier, Hope-ier political atmosphere to follow. (In that context, you can see why the left’s most devout Bush-haters view Obama’s counterterror policies as a terrible betrayal.) To this day, one of his few economic defenses that still resonates with people is the idea that he inherited an irredeemable situation from Bush. By October, you won’t need 140 characters for O’s message. You’ll be able to fit it on a bumper sticker: “Romney = Bush.” Any sentient politician would do the same. When you don’t have a glowing record to run on, pick an unpopular figure and try to make the election about him. Obama 2008 knew something about that.
As always when Obama or his underlings turn to Twitter, conservatives are having a grand time making the new meme blow up in his face. Go forth, my friends, and enjoy the #CharactersToSpare hashtag.