If the polls are not convincing you that Barack Obama is in trouble, then just look at his actions. With just 10 days remaining until Election Day, the Obama campaign has attempted a number of desperate tactics that are intended to swing the balance and eek out a narrow reelection victory.
Obama’s campaign began this late cycle barrage by jumping on seemingly innocent, off the cuff, comments by Mitt Romney during the debates and blowing them up into major campaign attack spots for TV. One of the first ones featured Sesame Street’s Big Bird. The ad satirizes Romney as standing up to the ‘menace’ that is the adolescent character, emblazoned with Barack Obama’s verbal endorsement at the top of the ad. However, what’s worse than stooping to such a juvenile level, being rebuffed by the bird himself. Sesame Street’s non-profit group issued a statement condemning the ad, “We have approved no campaign ads, and, as is our general practice, have requested that both campaigns remove Sesame Street characters and trademarks from their campaign materials.”
Next was Romney’s seemingly praiseworthy effort to find qualified women to serve in his cabinet as Governor. Romney said he received “binders of women” who were qualified. That too, was seized upon by Obama HQ as a point of ridicule. Virginia Congressman Gerry Connolly even used the prop when introducing the President at his campaign event at George Mason just last week. Obama also debuted his new attack line against Romney last week at Mason, ‘Romnesia’. This immature line of attack has been used over and over again not only by his surrogates, but by the President himself. Even more childish, the Obama Tumblr site this week even featured Romney in a dunce cap.
What all this points to is a long held strategy that the Obama team has had to defeat Romney. They would paint Romney as out of touch, elitist, corny, and an object of ridicule. It was a more personal form of attack than Jimmy Carter attempted to subject Ronald Reagan to. Carter only tried to paint Reagan’s policies as extreme. What the Obama campaign has attempted to do is paint Romney as personally unacceptable; almost like a high school popularity contest. Obama’s hope it seems is that their character assassination of Romney will trump the real issues.
However, much like Reagan beat back Carter’s attacks in a debate, so to did Romney. He showed in front of over 70 million people that he wasn’t quite so dislikeable as Obama had painted. On the contrary, he looked like the only person on the stage that could handle the next four years.
Now Team Obama is becoming more desperate. With no arrows left in the quiver, the Obama team will now be on a mad dash over the next 10 days to do anything they can to smear Romney and sway just enough voters to squeak out a narrow win. However, it seems the tide is set and it’s not going in Obama’s direction. The question does remain unanswered: Will Obama’s last minute distractions work? Only on November 7, when America’s verdict is read, can we know the answer.
*The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.