Democratic desperation: Back to Bain-baiting in the final week

posted at 10:51 am on October 30, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

To quote my esteemed co-blogger Allahpundit: It comes to this.  With their electoral strategy in ruins, with everyone laughing at Barack Obama’s attempt to float a last-minute version of a second-term agenda, Democrats will reach back and makes the only pitch they know for the final closing argument.

Did you know that Mitt Romney is riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiich?

For the final days of the 2012 campaign, the Democratic groups pummeling Mitt Romney on television have returned to the weapon they started with last spring: Bain Capital.

The Obama campaign and its super PAC allies have spent months trashing Romney’s policies and personal values across the airwaves, branding him as a job-killing, abortion rights-opposing, Medicare-privatizing tycoon who disdains working-class and poor Americans.

But with a little over a week left in the race, several of the Democrats’ top independent spenders are leaning hard into the Bain message, eschewing a pure policy message for a gut-punch reminder that the former Massachusetts governor made his fortune through controversial deals in the private-equity industry.

The late emphasis on Bain, Democratic strategists say, reflects both the potency of Bain as an attack against Romney in general, and the pivotal significance of Midwestern states such as Ohio where the Bain message is especially resonant. Though Romney remains no better than tied with Obama in most national and swing-state polls, he has gained enough ground since the first debate on Oct. 3 that reinforcing Obama’s standing in states such as Ohio and Wisconsin is of paramount importance.

First, it says something that these groups can’t make an argument for the incumbent.  In the final week, voters usually want a positive argument about why they should vote for a candidate, or at least contrast ads based on policies and records.  Democrats simply don’t have those arguments to make.

Even more to the point, Democrats have already used these arguments for months.  They ran ads all summer when they had the broadcast airwaves mostly to themselves, and swamped voters with this messaging.  It didn’t work even when they had a money advantage, and they don’t even have that any longer.  People already know about Romney’s wealth; Obama even brought it up a few times in the debates, only to have his straw men dismantled by Romney in real time.  The Bain attacks ended up flopping, as the polling surge for Romney in October proved.

The only message this will send will be desperation.  And as Morrissey’s Axiom on Politics and Dating states, desperation is not an aphrodisiac.


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