Seeking to attract Democrats and independents who supported the last Democratic president, Romney has taken to lavishing praise at every turn on Clinton’s boom-era ’90s policies while contrasting them unfavorably with President Barack Obama’s old-school, Big Government ways.
The tactic is designed to drive a wedge between the group of Democrats who supported Obama during the epic 2008 primary battle between Obama and Hillary Clinton: the white, working-class voters who hold the key to many swing states, like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
It’s also a simple way for Romneyland to poke a stick in the eye of Team Obama, using one of its most prominent surrogates but a man who has had a complicated personal history with Obama…
But veterans of the Clinton administration warn that Romney’s love letters to the former president — who has appeared at fundraisers and in TV ads for Obama — could backfire with voters.
“Maybe it’s a good one-liner for today, though I’m not sure that the public doesn’t see through it,” said John Podesta, who was a White House chief of staff under Clinton and co-chaired Obama’s transition team. “All it does is, in the long term, all it will do is elevate President Clinton’s views of the economy.”