Friday, August 12, 2011

Obama Campaign Uses Huckabee's Passive Agressive Strategy Against Mitt Romney

Mike Huckabee is famous for his passive aggressive attacks against Mitt Romney. It was an effective strategy that manipulated certain segments of the religious right to swing away from supporting the former govenor of Massachusetts in the 2008 Presidential election.
Recently, a story broke out about how Obama's campaign had a scorched earth plan to "destroy" Mitt Romney if he becomes the Republican nominee in 2012. Steven Colbert made fun of that strategy on his television show.
Now, David Axlerod claims he will fire anyone who attacks Romney for being weird. Yet, they are being passive aggressive about their plans for how to compete against Mitt in 2012:
While that “kill Romney” quote cannot reasonably be hung on the Obama campaign, the “weirdness” quotes, while anonymously sourced, all have very strong attribution. Axelrod didn’t use the word himself, but made the observation that “When he makes jokes about being unemployed or a waitress pinching him on the butt, it does snap your head back, and you say, ‘What’s he talking about?’”
To me, this appears to be an example of good, insightful reporting on Politico’s part. It is quite possible that Team Obama didn’t intend to put such a fine point on the “weirdness” thing, as evidenced by the fact that the on-the-record quotes deal more with the contradictions in Romney’s record and rhetoric. But by interviewing “about a dozen” Obama advisers, Jonathan Martin and Ben Smith were able to distill something that broke through the spoon-feeding.
This is a prime example of the tension between messaging and truth. The Obama campaign wants you to know that Romney is weird, but they don’t necessarily want you to know that they want you to know that Romney is weird.
Huckabee's strategies against Mitt Romney may have worked in 2008 but the Obama campaign will find it will be useless in  2012 because they'll discover that the American people are willing to vote for a “weird” candidate over an incompetent President in 2012. 

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