Obama is on a Whole Different Level than Romney

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.

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4 Responses to Obama is on a Whole Different Level than Romney

  1. Jarret R. says:

    You’re not underestimating Romney at all. As a politician, he’s downright incompetent and appears to hold not identifiable core positions or values. What you may be underestimating is movement conservatism itself. If, as Corey Robin convincingly argues, conservatism is the ideological justification for the powerful to resist the expansion of the rights of the lower orders, then its easy to see why the movement coalesced around a guy like Romney. He represents the interests of the small but extremely powerful group who have gradually tightened their grip on the share of public wealth, and by extension, the U.S. political system since the 1970s. Thus, it doesn’t matter how he governed during his brief tenure in office, it doesn’t matter that he constantly switches positions, sometimes literally on the SAME DAY, it doesn’t even matter that he is a member of a polytheistic religion in a party dominated by Christian fundamentalism, all that matters is that he will defend the power of the super-wealthy to control the political system at all costs. Movement conservatism doesn’t have to like him to back him in this goal. His “47 percent” comment was no slip or gaff: its a fundamental core belief of conservatism itself, it is a belief that is inimical to democracy, and it is a belief that conservatives will fight for until the end.

  2. Interesting article. I think you underestimate Romney, but interesting perspective.
    In other news, my name is Frank. I’m a 23 year old conservative acting student. Weird, right? I love politics, and I just began writing. I would absolutely love it if you would take a look at my blog and give your thoughts, subscribe or follow. The address is franklypolitics.wordpress.com
    Thanks so much for your time.

    – Frank

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