Today’s Chicago Tribune article described how Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are going about their campaigns.
Romney focused on the economy.
Obama focused on a rape comment some other Republican said, and also unsealed some private records.
Is it any surprise why Romney is now surging ahead of Obama in some of the latest polls?
Let’s take a closer look and see why the Obama team is flopping around like a fish on a fishing boat.
Reason #1: focus on women’s issues
When Indiana Republican Richard Mourdock said that pregnancies resulting from rape were “something that God intended to happen,” Obama seized the issue.
Romney had supported Mourdock prior to Mourdock’s terrible comment, so Obama has raised the issue everywhere he has gone—from a Jay Leno appearance to the campaign trail in Richmond, Va, saying:
We’ve seen again this week, I don’t think any male politicians should be making health care decisions for women.
Abortion is far beyond the scope of this post so let’s just say this: the reason this tactic is a failed strategy is because Obama is preaching to the choir.
That is, women who support abortion have already decided to vote for Obama. Hammering on this issue at this point in the race isn’t going to drive away swing voters from Romney or draw new voters to Obama.
Romney has wisely made a one-time repudiation of Mourdock’s remarks and ignored repeated questions on the matter afterwards. That dealt with the issue without making it a persistent problem.
Instead, Romney addresses women’s issues a different way than Obama does: he continues to hammer away at the economy theme. More specifically, that women fear lost income/jobs—for either themselves or their husbands—as a more significantly more important and realistic issue for their families than discussions of rare cases of pregnancies as a result of rape.
Even on women’s issues, Obama can’t be trusted
Responding to a question regarding how he would preserve reproductive rights in a speech given to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund on July 17, 2007, Obama declared, “The first thing I’d do, as president, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That’s the first thing that I’d do.”
[But] in a press conference on April 29, 2009, President Obama said that although he supports a woman’s right to choose, passage of the Freedom of Choice Act was “not highest legislative priority.”
Remember, Obama promised that the “first thing” he’d do as president was pull American troops out of Iraq. But he also promised the “first thing” he’d do as president as sign the Freedom of Choice Act.
As president, Obama did neither of those as his “first thing”—or his second thing, twentieth thing, or fiftieth thing.
In fact, the Freedom of Choice Act isn’t even in Congress anymore.
[And for the record, the ballyhooed Iraqi troop pullout—which some describe as an illusion (read: non-transparent) because there are still 17,000 American military people there, some of which were simply renamed to not sound like troops—didn’t happen until nearly three years after Obama took office.]
Reason #2: focus on unsealing private records
In the past, a major strategy—highly immoral, mind you—of the Obama campaign team has been to doggedly unseal his opponents’ private records.
Obama’s team does this for the sole purpose of smearing them through exaggerations of what is in those sealed records.
Ann Coulter—whether you like her or hate her, you can’t deny the facts she presents—shows how Obama used this sleazy campaign tactic in his past elections.
This too says a lot about Obama.
This time, the Chicago Tribune reports that “previously sealed testimony related to the Staples founder [Tom] Stemberg’s divorce was released Thursday in which Romney…created a special class of company stock for Stemberg’s then-wife as a ‘favor’.”
Surprise, surprise. Gee, I wonder how—and why—that happened.
To Romney’s credit, he is ignoring this too. In his Friday address to an Iowa crowd, Romney kept the heat on the economy while admonishing Obama for campaigning on “the smallest [issues]”:
Four years ago, candidate Obama spoke to the scale of the times. Today, he shrinks from it, trying instead to distract our attention from the biggest issues to the smallest — from characters on Sesame Street and silly word games to misdirected personal attacks he knows are false.
Reason #3: Not appearing presidential
During the last two debates, the American people saw a bitter, combative and snide side to President Obama. He’s still in that mode on the post-debate campaign trail. And we continue to see that un-presidential side of him in the cover story of the latest Rolling Stone magazine, where:
Obama dismissed his GOP rival as “a bullsh***er.”
The ironic thing is that, as we’ve discussed, the same could easily be said of Obama.
But the President of the United States shows how classless and un-presidential he is in using a vulgar word to describe his political opponent as if Obama was at a local tavern.
The bottom line
Obama knows he has no standing to campaign on the economy, or even on foreign policy—the two biggest issues a sitting president typically campaigns on for re-election. That explains why he rarely talks about those two subjects on the campaign trail.
Rather, Obama has recently been campaigning on scatter-brained small-potato issues and smear tactics. For a campaign whose official slogan is “Forward”, there’s nothing forward-thinking about his campaign stumps.