Obama: You know, that John McCain was pretty reasonable compared to Romney

Via BuzzFeed, here’s O hitting the eternal Democratic talking point that Republicans who no longer pose a threat to them were pretty sensible in hindsight but the new guy who might just beat them at the polls is the most radical wingnut yet.

One thing both campaigns can agree on this year: Neither wants the public to perceive Romney as another McCain.

Many of the current [Romney] strategy discussions are centered on not falling into the traps McCain did: looking wobbly as a leader and weak on the economy in the final weeks of the campaign. The private discussions include ruling out any vice presidential possibilities who could be seen as even remotely risky or unprepared; wrapping the entire campaign around economic issues, knowing this topic alone will swing undecided voters in the final days; and, slowly but steadily, building up Romney as a safe and competent alternative to President Barack Obama…

McCain officials said they ran a traditional V.P. search process for months – long list, short list, extensive vetting – but it broke down at the end when the senator decided he was far enough behind that he had to shake up the race. But a Republican official familiar with the Romney campaign’s thinking says the vice-presidential search will be more rigorous, and likely produce a candidate a lot less flashy than McCain’s running mate, then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

“If not [Sen. Rob] Portman [R-Ohio], [former Minnesota governor Tim] Pawlenty, [Indiana governor Mitch] Daniels — some other incredibly boring white guy,” the official said. “If there was a fourth name on the list, it’s [Virginia Gov.] Bob McDonnell.”

Yeah, I would bet that that’s how they’re leaning. Between the economy and now Romney’s apparent advantage on the gay-marriage issue, his team’s strategy is obvious: Take no risks. Keep your head down and let unemployment and SSM turn the election into as pure a referendum on Obama as possible. The “incredibly boring white guy” strategy is part of that insofar as it keeps the spotlight on O to the greatest extent possible.

Exit question: What nice things about Romney will the next Democratic nominee be saying circa 2016 or 2020 in order to demonize the then-current GOP nominee? E.g., “Say what you will about Mitt Romney but he was no ideologue. He passed universal health care in Massachusetts. He believed in making government work, not in tearing it down. Compare that to Marco Rubio/Paul Ryan/Chris Christie/Bobby Jindal/Your Candidate Here.”

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