This is not an endorsement of President Obama. Nor is it a refutation of Mitt Romney. This is merely the observations of an independent voter trying to dissect the respective campaigns of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
Barack Obama is on a whole different level than Mitt Romney. There, I said it. He’s just better at the game. Its like an NFL team going up against a high school team. Obama’s strategy was to spend money early and fast. He needed to paint a picture of Mitt Romney that would stick throughout the campaign. The picture he needed to paint was an aloof, unethically rich, and ruthlessly capitalistic Romney. He’s the guy who downsized your dad’s company to pay for a mahogany steering wheel on his yacht.
Romney’s strategy has been to conserve his cash. “Slow and steady wins the race,” that sort of thing. The problem is that Obama’s characterization of Romney has been set already. We have been exposed to so many campaign commercials (especially if you live in key swing states like Colorado, Ohio, Florida, or Virginia) that we are simply ignoring them. What sane person wants to watch another campaign commercial? I love this stuff. Politics are endlessly fascinating to me, and even I am bored to death with campaign ads.
While Obama has been setting the agenda and characterizing his opponent, Romney has done his best to reinforce that characterization. Early on in the primaries he gave us gaffes such as, “Corporations are people, my friend,” and “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.” Of course, context matters in these gaffes, but that’s not the point of politics. You don’t give the other side material like this to use against you. Romney is handing Obama gaffes on a platter.
Now we have the latest Romney blunder: hidden video of Romney spouting rhetoric that would make Ayn Rand giddy. He insults half the electorate. He divides the country into makers and takers. There are half who work hard, create jobs, and take care of themselves, and the other half that are parasites, leeching off the makers and not paying taxes. This is pure gold for the President’s campaign and we will not hear the end of it. Obama will hammer this just as he hammered John McCain over his, “fundamentals of our economy are strong comment.”
This is all to state the obvious: Obama is just better at the game of politics. I want to stress: this observation had nothing to do with policy or competency, just politics. Obama is playing chess; Romney, checkers.