If there are any common issues upon which the low-information, swing-able, independent-to-moderate voters can likely agree, I’d reckon that “too much partisanship and gridlock” is one of them. Congress is pretty deeply unpopular, and after their recent low-output performance, it makes sense that a message about bipartisanship, working together, and getting things done would resonate with a lot of people. In that light, I think this is probably a pretty smart ad:
It’s positive, it’s encouraging, and it points out one of President Obama’s most glaring failures: As much as Obama likes to hem and haw about how Republicans are blocking his agenda items just to be spiteful, he’s the president of the United States, for goodness’ sake. People want to see some leadership, and that excuse only gets you so far for so long. You can accuse the GOP of being unyielding as much as you want, but in our democracy it takes two to tango, and everybody knows it.
In the past couple of presidential debates, I thought Mitt Romney skillfully navigated a few tricky areas by reverting to a “I worked with the other side and we passed legislation on a bipartisan basis during my Massachusetts governorship” line. As Dick Morris pointed out, people seemed to respond positively to the idea — and it highlights yet another of President “If you’re looking for just a bunch of partisan rhetoric, I’m probably not your guy” Obama’s promises gone awry.