“When you mention Jimmy Carter, that lightens up certain regions of the mind and brings to mind ineptness and incompetence,” said Peter Wehrer, who worked in the Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations. “That’s going to be one of the things that Romney is going to try and tie to Obama.”…

And then there’s the best part: If you can frame yourself as Carter’s foe, you get to lay claim to becoming Ronald Reagan.

It’s unclear whether sticking Obama with a Carter label is an effective campaign tactic. A senior Romney aide said the campaign has not poll-tested Carter’s name as a campaign touchstone and warned not to put too much stock in Carter as a Republican boogeyman…

“Not that you want to give up the under-40s, but we know that people over 50 vote five times as often as people 24 and under,” said Tyler, who is 47. “To the average Republican who does remember him, Carter is shorthand for weakness in foreign policy, appeasement and policies that lead to joblessness, inflation, higher taxes, more regulation, more government. It’s a quick shorthand, and it’s a way of saying those things failed.”