From Donald Douglas:
BuzzFeed reports on Mitt’s aggressive campaign stance, which has endeared him to the conservative base: “Mitt Romney Wins Over The Right By Confronting Obama.” (Via Memeorandum.)
And this “punch back twice as hard” campaign has the radical left all wee-wee’d up and whining pathetically about how Mitt’s all “mean” and “nasty.” See Jed Lewison at Daily Kos, “Right wing falls in love with Mitt Romney … because they finally realize he’s kind of a jerk“:
And what did former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) do to confront President Obama? He went to Solyndra, the bankrupt solar-panel manufacturer on whom the Obama Administration had lavished loan guarantees. Simply put, Governor Romney put the focus on the President’s economic decisions, which is exactly where he should put his focus.
The Democrats are upset that he didn’t somehow disavow Donald Trump’s questioning of Mr Obama’s actual birthplace, and whether he qualifies for the presidency by being a “natural born citizen,” but Mr Romney isn’t tooting that horn himself, and is staying on message. Mr Lewison’s complaint is that Mr Romney is still that mean ol’ bully from prep school, because he is campaigning hard, much harder than Senator John McCain (R-AZ) was seen as doing in 2008.
BOSTON, Mass. — After a day spent waging bi-coastal combat with the Obama campaign, Mitt Romney’s team in Boston earned the highest compliment Rush Limbaugh has ever paid them Thursday afternoon: “I’m telling you,” he said. “This is not the McCain campaign.”
Once-skeptical conservatives knew exactly what he meant. In the eyes of many on the right, John McCain’s 2008 presidential bid was a disaster not because he lost, but because he refused to fight. Conservatives believe McCain bought into a liberal media narrative that personal attacks on Barack Obama were unseemly and even racist. The conservative caricature of Candidate McCain that emerged in the wake of the Republicans’ defeat wasn’t of an unreliable moderate — rather, it was one of an Establishment figure paralyzed by political correctness, and unwilling to go blow for blow with Obama.
But if the Vietnam veteran disappointed conservatives with his gun-shy campaign in 2008, Romney is uniting the right by playing the role of the bomb-thrower.
The unapologetically aggressive tone of Romney’s campaign is manifest at every turn — from his aides’ fierce Twitter wars, to the candidate’s surprise press conference at failed green solar company Solyndra, and the campaign’s continued refusal to apologize for Donald Trump’s outlandish conspiracy theories about Obama’s birth certificate. It’s all part of a deliberate — and, so far, successful — strategy aimed less at convincing undecided voters, and more at rallying the Republican Party around its candidate.
In that, I think that McKay Coppins was wrong: Mr Romney is being very aggressive, but by staying on message, by hammering at the President’s economic policies, he is hammering on exactly the issue about which the undecided voters are most concerned. “Birtherism” might be red meat thrown to the dogs, and Mr Romney apparently doesn’t have much of a problem with a surrogate doing so, but that’s red meat thrown to the dogs who were already going to vote against President Obama. It keeps the silliness away from the candidate, and keeps the candidate focused on what is important.
Mr Lewison, of course, didn’t like that, but I would note that his article is time stamped 0717 Pacific Daylight Time on Friday, or almost two hours after the Bureau for Labor Statistics released the latest unemployment numbers, showing that the official unemployment rate rose to 8.2%.1 The Democrats realize full well a simple truth that your Editor has mentioned many times: if this race can be focused on something else, anything else other than the economy, President Obama has a decent chance to win re-election, but if this election is focused on the economy, the President is in real trouble. If the economy picks up, to the point at which people can actually see it improving, can feel it in their bones as getting better, then the President will win re-election, but if it does not, he will lose, period.
And few people see much positive happening with the economy in the five months before the election. The official unemployment rate might come down marginally, but few expect it to drop substantially.2
So, what is making Mr Romney mean and nasty as far as our friends on the left are concerned? He’s actually fighting to win, actually fighting to defeat President Obama, and he’s doing so in a manner which has the best chance of him winning the election.
- Interestingly enough, the report called the unemployment rate “essentially unchanged” at 8.2%, up from 8.1% the previous report. One wonders if the rate had dropped 0.1% whether BLS would have called it “essentially unchanged,” or we would have been told that the President’s policies were slowly but surely working. ↩
- Had unemployment decreased from 8.1 to 8.0% in May, and the rate were to drop by 0.1% every month between now and the end of October, it would have been 7.5% in the last report prior to the election. That would still be high, but perhaps the President could successfully claim that it showed his policies were working; now that possibility seems more remote. ↩