“If the White House gets its political way, ‘trust’ will be a word President Obama and his surrogates use in the next few weeks as often as Obama has talked about ‘fairness,’ and Mitt Romney, once dubbed as hollow to the core, will increasingly be ID’d as a card-carrying ultra-conservative who bobbles into Etch A Sketch moments because his core is causing him problems…
“Romney’s core has been filling in with far-right positions on education, gay marriage, immigration, Afghanistan, Iraq, taxes, the economy, energy and the environment, one of the officials asserted. Those policies, together with Romney’s remarkable degree of secrecy (imagine more quote marks) when it comes to his personal and professional approaches to problem-solving, will poison voters’ trust in the governance Romney would bring to the White House, the officials added.”
“The events of the last week make it clear that the two campaigns have been carefully constructed to seize on the slightest gaffe, misstatement or political opening to create a mini-scandal, even if the flurry of news coverage lasts just days or even a matter of hours…
“Monday’s eruption of Democratic outrage began when Mr. Romney’s comments about cutting tax deductions and government programs, made at a backyard gathering of donors on Sunday, were reported by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal.
“Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for Mr. Obama’s campaign, jumped on the comments — overheard by the reporters — in an e-mail just before midnight on Sunday. ‘Apparently Gov. Romney Believes Only High Dollar Donors Have a Right to Know What Programs He Will Cut,’ Mr. LaBolt wrote in his message, sent to political reporters.”
“Everyone understands why Republicans are mounting this attack. They are responding to weeks of Democratic charges that they are waging a ‘war on women.’ A recent USA Today/Gallup poll that found Romney losing support among women younger than 50 in swing states has especially alarmed them.
“But what’s mystifying is just which women Republicans are trying to reach. The number of voters who are deeply concerned about the treatment of Democratic women in the White House and will vote for a Republican as a result has to be, as a rough approximation, zero. Ditto for the number of voters who are especially concerned about high gas prices not because they themselves are paying them or because everyone is but because women, as a group, are. I suspect that not many people think that way, and those who do lean pretty strongly Democratic.
“The evidence that Romney is lagging in the polls because voters are upset about a ‘war on women’ — rather than because of a bruisingly negative primary campaign or the recovering economy — is pretty thin. But Republicans are responding not just to the polls but to the persistent mythology of the gender gap.”
“I was telling people months ago, back when Mitt Romney still seemed like a strong and resolute candidate who made liberals nervous and led the occasional national general-election poll, that Barack Obama was going to win reelection fairly easily. I still basically think that. But now I’m jumpy because everybody else, and I mean everybody, seems to think this now, too. And I get especially jumpy when I see signs that the Obama campaign is sounding ridiculously overconfident. There’s a line between swagger that keeps the other side on the defensive and swagger that just doesn’t quite sound credible, and I’m hearing a little too much of the latter…
“Here’s another thing I’ve been noticing quietly, which not enough people seem to be focused on. Obama’s fund-raising numbers aren’t really that strong. Sure, on the one hand, it’s an obscene amount of money, $53 million raised in March And it’s far more than Romney has raised. But Obama’s several million behind where he was in 2008, and is probably not on track to raise the $1 billion that some of his people used to brag about. Obama’s own Super-Pac got off to a rocky start. The conservative Super-Pacs, meanwhile, are going to be throwing tens of millions of dollars’ worth of ads on the air in late October and early November. Now I tend to believe that money, even in the form of scorching negative ads, stops making a difference after a certain saturation point has been hit. There is such a thing as overkill, even in politics. But we’ll certainly see a new testing of the boundaries this fall. We can’t discount the possibility, which is real, that anonymous millions might play a big role in deciding this race.”
“Now, the president’s likability doesn’t mean Mr. Romney shouldn’t go on the offensive. It does mean he ought to attack hardest where Mr. Obama is at his weakest: his failed policies. For all the carping about Mr. Romney, this part he gets. We can see it reflected in both his embrace of the opportunity-oriented Republicanism of Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan — and his repeated refrain that Mr. Obama is simply ‘in over his head.’
“Mr. Romney is hardly the first Republican presidential aspirant to take that tack against a Democratic incumbent. In 1980, Ronald Reagan zeroed in on Jimmy Carter’s competence. Plenty of Americans thought President Carter was a good and decent man too—but by election day Mr. Reagan had persuaded them that his rival just wasn’t up to the job.
“The day after that election, Mr. Reagan’s pollster, Richard Wirthlin, explained the campaign this way: ‘We saw the opportunity for a role reversal—that is, by the end of the campaign, I think we came very close to having people look upon Ronald Reagan as more presidential than Jimmy Carter.’
“Mr. Romney now has a similar opportunity.”
“Romney was making an appearance on Breitbart TV and was asked by host Larry O’Connor whether he was ready to take on ‘the media and these nonprofits groups that are working together.’
“‘There will be an effort by the quote vast left wing conspiracy to work together to put out their message and to attack me,’ Romney said in response. ‘They’re going to do everything they can to divert from the message people care about, which is a growing economy that creates more jobs and rising incomes. That’s what people care about.'”
Via Breitbart TV.