|President Barack Obama|
I don't spend a lot of time talking about national politics on this blog, so this post is probably a little longer than most. You may or not agree with me, and I get that. Please don't get me wrong. I have been on the Barack Bandwagon from the beginning. When he gave the famous speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, I really began to pay attention to him. When he announced he was running for President in early 2007, I began attending the meetings for his campaign locally. It was fun to feel a part of a movement, and, for the most part, I am proud of the man I voted for. He promised hope and change in 2008, and I think we've seen a lot of change.
His accomplishments are numerous, and he has continued to operate in the Oval Office in a different manner than many of his predecessors. Despite this fact, we all must come to grips with the fact that a reelection campaign is a referendum on the incumbent.
In that regard, Mitt Romney has an easy job. He must simply prove that the incumbent needs to be voted out. It's not so much about him; it's about Obama. Romney has done a fairly decent job of this so far. His message on many things has been, "Obama did A. I'll do B and more with C." For example, his message on the Affordable Care Act has been that Obama passed it, so he will repeal it. After he repeals it, he will replace it.
Obama's job is tougher. He must defend his record, but he must create a narrative that Romney is not right to replace him. It's a two front battlefield. You have to protect your flank, though. That flank is the record. Right now, I see Obama as leaving his flank exposed. Romney has not been so aggressive yet, so it's time to fortify the flank.
I think it's time to fold in a new narrative, and the President already has the tools available. President Obama is very good with the public in one-on-one situations. On his YouTube channel, there are many personal interaction videos showing the President sitting down with ordinary Americans and talking policy. The latest was from a campaign stop in Iowa where President Obama sat down at a family kitchen table over a cup of coffee. These are the kinds of ads and videos we need to start seeing. They will bolster his record and show that the attacks there are unwarranted. Excellent videos like this one can be edited down into 30 second or one minute ads.
Also, no one should underestimate the power of Joe Biden as a campaigner. This is someone who has spent his entire Senate career as one of the most poor legislators in Washington. Biden is a guy who literally took the train back to Delaware every week. He knows how to power the people. Joe Biden must be turned loose on Romney and to defend this administration's record. Here's another excellent video from Obama's YouTube page.
In all of this, the President cannot forget that the true villain in all of this is the Congress. Some may say he's blaming others for his own ability to not get things done. In reality, the Republicans called their shots from nearly day one when the leadership got together and agreed to make life difficult for Obama. Republicans in both houses made it their personal pledge to derail President Obama from day one. This narrative needs to get out. Mitch McConnell's quotes about making the President a one-termer need to be heard by everyone. It will become more clear and apparent what's going on here. Bipartisanship is on life support. That is sad, and it's a message that will resonate.
Obama has an easy job in making Mitt Romney look bad. Romney does a good job of it himself, and I think the President and his surrogates need to keep that story going. It's time to broaden the battlefield and take this fight to Romney and his Republican friends that SETTLED for him.