The parallels are sufficient enough that Mr. Obama and his team have studied, and to a striking degree are replicating, the Bush re-election playbook.
Already they are building a narrative in which Mr. Obama made politically brave decisions to do what was right for the economy, even if those decisions were unpopular. It’s a theme that echoes Mr. Bush’s argument in 2004 that he did what it took to keep the country safe, and that even if you disagreed with him, you knew where he stood.
As for defining the opponent, Mr. Obama’s supporters are already hard at work hammering home the idea that Mr. Romney is an inveterate flip-flopper, a man without core or convictions who says and does whatever is necessary to advance his political interests. It’s an approach that bears a passing similarity to the Bush re-election campaign’s efforts to paint Mr. Kerry as an inveterate flip-flopper, a man with core or convictions who. … You get the idea.
The similarities – and differences — between the two re-election efforts are a regular topic of conversation and debate among strategists in both parties.