Surprise: Obama's campaign now fundraising off of Rev. Wright attack ad that never ran

Like I said yesterday, given his liabilities on the economy, I think The One’s reasonably comfortable with nearly any change of subject. Even this subject:

Campaign manager Jim Messina sent out a fundraising appeal Thursday night saying that the proposal, submitted to (and rejected by) a Republican super PAC, “shows in vivid and gruesome detail what the President and all of us are up against.”

He adds, “This is going to be worse than we could have imagined … Pitch in today to fight these attacks and show them this only makes us stronger.”…

These Democratic efforts to promote this unaired attack is a good sign that Wright won’t come up much again this cycle. While Romney’s favorability numbers are increasing, personal likability remains solid turf for Obama. A Wright-oriented attack would likely inspire more enthusiasm in the Democratic base than in the Republican one.

Follow the link for Messina’s full message, including the aside about Obama being branded the, er, “metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln.” Their fundraising last month was fully $10 million off the pace from their haul in March so here he is using a little outrageous outrage to get people to dig deep. More from Politico on why the White House is more chipper about a debate over Rev. Wright now than in 2008:

[A] discussion of race also reinforces the historic nature of Obama’s presidency. The election of the first black president was a profoundly meaningful moment for African Americans and an aspirational vote for others. To remind those voters of the history they made — particularly through crude attempts at using Obama’s race against him — is to make them wonder whether they want to turn out the first black family from the White House…

Ken Khachigian, a senior adviser and chief speechwriter to Ronald Reagan, argued that Obama’s campaign has more incentive to discuss race in 2012 than it did in 2008 because then it was an open question whether the American public could select a black man as president. He likened the Obama campaign’s sharp response to the Times story to watching Jimmy Carter invoke Reagan’s “bigotry” in 1980.

“They will want to raise it if they can find anything to divert, whether it’s on racial issues or anything else. They’ll try to find a way to get people’s minds off the economy,” Khachigian said.

Here’s Romney’s new ad, which is effective and very much in line with what he wants to talk about for the next six months. Exit quotation from Alma Adams, a North Carolina Democratic state representative whose party is surely above Wright-style religious attacks: “From what I understand about the Mormon faith you can have multiple wives. That’s sort of a contradiction. There are questions about who Romney is and what he believes in terms of that particular issue.”

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John Sexton 1:00 PM on February 01, 2023