Via Greg Hengler, let’s wind down the week on the most depressing, eeyorish note possible. (You’re welcome.) Quoth the WSJ, “The entire theory of the Obama campaign seems to be that the more outrageous the claim the better, because the more you repeat it the more the media will talk about it, and the lie will achieve a kind legendary truth.” Yup. That’s Krauthammer’s point exactly, and that’s why, per Major Garrett, Obama’s Super PAC apparently has all sorts of nasty, emotionally charged ads already in the can and ready to roll. If you start from the premise that huge swaths of undecided voters are only half-paying attention even at the best of times, then you can do a lot of damage with an emotional ad that omits key facts. It’s all well and good for Romney’s campaign and Super PACs like American Crossroads to respond (see below), but that assumes that (a) voters much care about politicians being nasty and unfair to each other rather than treating it as S.O.P. and (b) voters are following the campaign closely enough to know which Obama ad the Romney/Crossroads ads are pushing back against. Anyone willing to bet heavily on that? My hunch is that the steelworker ad is a test case for Team O: How much blowback will they get from their friends in the media, and even if it’s a lot, will they gain in the polls anyway? If the answer’s yes, then they’ll keep rolling out the other smear ads they have in the pipe. Right now, if you believe Kraut, the answer’s yes.
Do you believe Kraut, though? As I write this, The One’s job approval stands at a robust 43/51 in Gallup’s daily tracker. They’ve got the race even at 46/46, while Rasmussen has Romney up by four. I hope for The One’s sake that these next smear ads are doozies, because if he’s really -8 on job approval, he’s going to need something on the order of that JonBenet spot to avoid getting blown out in November. Exit quotation from Jay Carney, condemning a conservative Super PAC ad that never actually ran in May 2012: “There are moments when you have to stand up and say that’s not the right way to go.”