Green Room

Obama’s new message: “You don’t scare hardworking Americans just to scare up some votes”

posted at 3:31 pm on November 2, 2012 by

So speaketh President Above The Fray, mastermind of one of the most relentlessly negative campaigns in modern history because he didn’t have enough actual accomplishments to dare risk running as Hopenchange version 2.0. As Michael Gerson reminds us, that was the plan from the very beginning. Obama didn’t stumble into the “kill Romney” strategy; it was his blueprint all along.

In November 2011, former Democratic pollsters — and current gadflies — Doug Schoen and Pat Caddell made a much-discussed argument in the pages of the Wall Street Journal. The miserable state of the economy, they claimed, restricted the options for President Obama’s reelection strategy. He could still win. “But the kind of campaign required for the president’s political survival,” they said, “would make it almost impossible for him to govern — not only during the campaign, but throughout a second term. Put simply, it seems that the White House has concluded that if the president cannot run on his record, he will need to wage the most negative campaign in history to stand any chance.”…

The Obama campaign fully internalized this political reality. It could not talk of “morning in America” during a continuing economic twilight. In a remarkable New York magazine article by John Heilemann this May, senior Obama aides frankly described the task ahead — delegitimizing Romney. He would be attacked as a vulture capitalist, a cultural revanchist, a social Darwinist. “For anyone still starry-eyed about Obama,” said Heilemann, “the months ahead will provide a bracing revelation about what he truly is: not a savior, not a saint, not a man above the fray, but a brass-knuckled, pipe-hitting, red-in-tooth-and-claw brawler.”

“Bracing” does not fully capture it. Throughout the summer, the Obama campaign and its allies accused Romney of not paying taxes, of possibly committing a felony, of personally outsourcing jobs to China and India, of stashing money in the Cayman Islands, of bearing responsibility for a woman’s death from cancer. The attempt to discredit Romney had an added political benefit. A presidential campaign consumed by the jabs and parries of the 24-hour news cycle was less focused on larger matters such as the economy.

Sullivan said recently that if you don’t vote for Obama 2012, then you never really voted for Obama in 2008. Problem is, they’re two different candidates. Obama 2008 was a post-partisan healer who deplored the politics of negativity and division. Obama 2012 has a Super PAC that runs ads accusing Mitt Romney of giving people cancer. Hopenchange is long gone, no matter what happens on Tuesday. Here he is today on the trail, neatly capturing the spirit of what his old movement has decayed into.

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Revenge?

Classy

cmsinaz on November 2, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Angry, bitter, petulant, divisive…what a leader. /

changer1701 on November 2, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Cannot wait for this to be over…

OmahaConservative on November 2, 2012 at 3:44 PM

“But you don’t scare hardworking Americans just to scare up some votes.”

I don’t have to hear a word from Romney about Obama. When I woke up this morning, I started thinking about the horror that would be unleashed by an Obama second term. Obama built that all by himself.

INC on November 2, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Obama is certainly becoming the “Angry Black guy” they always accuse republicans of accusing him of being.

portlandon on November 2, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Obama 2008 was a post-partisan healer who deplored the politics of negativity and division.

Are you on drugs???

Blake on November 2, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Are you on drugs???

Blake on November 2, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Got to be crystal meth… yeyup.

Turtle317 on November 2, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Oh wait… I had to re-read that statement AP published very carefully. He’s saying that is what Obama was portraying of himself, not that AP was advocating that remark.

Silly me.

Turtle317 on November 2, 2012 at 3:55 PM

“would make it almost impossible for him to govern…”

I don’t think Obama is much concerned about that. Presidents govern. Kings reign.

jwolf on November 2, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Obama is what he is: an incompetent tw*t who lied about his history and is a committed socialist intent on destroying this country. This was true in 2008 as it is true in 2012. People refused to see it because they were so effin intent on voting for the first black president. What idiots!

Blake on November 2, 2012 at 4:00 PM

“You don’t scare hardworking Americans just to scare up some votes”

Brought to you by the same people who had an ad of Paul Ryan pushing an old woman off a cliff.

Mitoch55 on November 2, 2012 at 4:07 PM

oh but the indies supposed love how he handle the NYC flood thing. who knew people shitting in the hallways was a indication of a job well done

gsherin on November 2, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Obama’s new message: “You don’t scare hardworking Americans just to scare up some votes”

I guess we know what Obama thinks of the work ethic of his voters.

sadarj on November 2, 2012 at 4:14 PM

He is bitter. Voting is revenge?

tj4osu on November 2, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Obama’s new message: “You don’t scare hardworking Americans just to scare up some votes”

What he should have said next:

“YOU don’t. I do.”

Red Cloud on November 2, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Blake on November 2, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Is that not an accurate description of how O sold himself? That’s a big part of how he brought indies and even some “Obamicans” into his tent. He was the post-partisan who didn’t care about red states and blue states. It’s nonsense, but that was his image and he used it to maximum effect. Not this year.

Allahpundit on November 2, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Why is AllahP posting in the green room?

Obama’s new message: “You don’t scare hardworking Americans just to scare up some votes”

Throw Grandma over the cliff.

What a kidder that Obama guy is, huh?

BobMbx on November 2, 2012 at 4:55 PM