I’ve argued many times that Team Obama will have a field day with Mitt Romney should Republicans be dumb enough to make him their nominee. He’ll fit in perfectly with Obama’s "us versus them", Occupy Wall Street campaign strategy. Indeed Obama couldn’t ask for a better face of the opposition for his class warfare campaign if he called Hollywood central casting. Our esteemed Republican Establishment, evidently, is more than willing to assist the Obama campaign by doing everything possible to smooth the way for the Mittens to win the nomination and give Obama the perfect foil. Not that Obama’s campaign will need any help given the billion dollars they’ll have to spend on ads to paint Mitt Romney as, well, Mitt Romney. In a post yesterday, Dan Riehl discussed just how easy — and effective — this will be:
I get it. Romney’s world was one of high-finance, creating efficiencies, thereby freeing up capital – while raking in hefty profits. But try and sell that to blue collar conservatives in swing states still suffering high unemployment and doing it on the part of an unlikeable guy who looks to have been born with a silver spoon in his mouth, spending the Vietnam years in a French villa on a religious mission. Oh yeah, Team Obama is going to have a blast painting Republicans like Romney as part of their alleged greedy 1% that doesn’t care about people, or American industry. Good luck with that. Lacking in charisma, Mitt will look like a deer in the headlights in some critical swing states and both Democrats and blue collar conservatives love to hunt. Video below. Now, stack Perry’s bio against that, or those of the other more genuine conservatives still in the race, and it all goes away.
Reuters published a blockbuster story today on GS Technologies, a steel mill in Kansas City that was acquired by Bain Capital, leading to the layoffs of some 750 workers. In this case, the workers lost promised severance pay and health insurance; their pension benefits were slashed. and a federal government insurance agency had to bail out the company’s pension plan — even as Bain raked in millions and millions of dollars in profits.
Now a man who says he worked at the plant for 34 years — a self-described conservative — is speaking out about Romney.
To be sure, we don’t know how accurate the video is as it was produced by Obama surrogate Moveon-org. But does it really matter? Political ads are not measured by accuracy, but by effectiveness. Ask Newt Gingrich, who bore the brunt of Romney’s multi-million dollar negative ad campaign in Iowa. I would also note that factories do (and should) close, that being a natural economic process to which the great Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter referred as creative destruction. It’s a good thing we no longer have factories which produce buggy whips and typewriters, for example. But that said, in this anemic Obama economy abstract economic theories, regardless of how sound they may be, are no match for people’s insecurities, especially for those who are unemployed or know someone who is.
As Riehl notes, this devastating line of attack for Obama would disappear if his opponent were anybody but Romney. Why, then, do the Republican powers that be insist on giving it to Obama on a silver platter? Obama’s two biggest vulnerabilities are ObamaCare and the economy/unemployment. We already knew a Romney nomination would take ObamaCare off the table. Now it’s becoming increasingly clear that it would also make an attack on Obama over unemployment a dicey proposition, as the above ad illustrates. Any other Republican candidate could go after Obama with both barrels on these issues. Not the Mittster. In short, he will be unable to credibly go after Obama on two huge issues. How does this make him the "electable" candidate?
Update: (h/t blackbird) Here’s a similar ad with the same basic theme:
Effective? No question. Fair? Probably not. But that really doesn’t matter, does it?
Update II: The video in the update above, "When Mitt Came to Town", has been removed by the user. I’ll leave the link intact in case they put it back up.
Update III: (h/t MT4P) A couple more "When Mitt Came to Town" videos can be found here and here. Again, I don’t condone this class warfare crap and believe it to be against everything our Founding Fathers stood for. Why some of the non-Mitt GOP candidates are resorting to it is beyond baffling, especially when there are so many legitimate reasons to attack Mandate Mitt.
But the general election will be against Democrats, and they’ve all but told us that they’re going to base their entire campaign on class warfare…it’s not like they can run on Obama’s "great" record. No Republican candidate in memory is as vulnerable to this as Romney. A blue-blood patrician like Mitt will have no defense that can pass political muster. Get used to these types of ads, because we’ll see them every time the Mittster attacks Obama for his record on unemployment, effectively neutralizing the issue.
Update IV: (h/t BostonBruin) More on the "When Mitt Came to Town" ads here.
Update V: My colleague, Steve Flesher, makes an excellent point in the comments:
The article portrays it as Obama coming down hard on Wall Street so now they are supporting Romney. If Romney is our nominee, and with the MSM on Obama’s side, they just might be able to pull off the crony capitalism line as a left idea.
This is not farfetched. With a billion dollars at his disposal, how difficult would it be for Obama, ironically the king of crony capitalism (see Solyndra or the Chevy Volt, for example), to co-opt this issue and throw it back in Mitt’s face? Not difficult at all, I suspect, as he’ll easily be able to portray himself as Mr. Working Class Hero, fighting for us little people against Mr. Bain Capital. Count on it.
Update VI: (h/t TT) James Pethokoukis on Romney’s inability to explain his record at Bain here.