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Ed Ross | Monday, May 14, 2012

Election Day is still more than six months away, but already the negative approach President Obama and his cohorts in the mainstream media are pursuing is faltering.

President Barack Obamaís reelection campaign strategy is to define Gov. Mitt Romney as someone who will make the United States and the American people worse off than they are already.

It attempts to brand Gov. Romney as a homophobic, anti-women, out of touch country-club Republican who wants to take America back to the protect-the-rich policies that got the country into the mess that itís in. So why isnít the strategy working?

The ďRepublican war on womenĒ campaign fizzled.

There are just too many successful, high-profile conservative Republican women to sell the idea that Republicans want to cut off access to contraceptives and keep women dumb, barefoot, and pregnant.

The ďBuffet ruleĒ everyone-should-pay-their-fair-share-in-taxes strategy isnít working.

There may be a growing class of government-dependent people who donít pay taxes and want to spread the wealth around; however, the overwhelming majority of Americans donít resent the rich, they want to become one of them. A growing number of the Hollywood elite donít like the idea of increasing taxes on the rich either.

The Washington Post treating questionable reports about Gov. Mitt Romney assaulting a fellow high-school student because Romney thought he was gay, as if it was the equivalent of the Watergate scandal, doesnít wash.

Just about everyone did something stupid in high school, and thereís little evidence to support the Postís biased slant on the storyóthat Romney knew the student was gay.

President Obamaís election campaign openly intimidating contributors to a superpack that supports the governor, by publishing their names and encouraging personal attacks on them, is beginning to backfire.

Americans understand that attacking private citizens because of who they support is what Russiaís Vladimir Putin and Venezuelaís Hugo Chavez do, not the President of the United States.

American presidential politics has never been a white-glove affair; itís a bare-knuckle boxing match. Nevertheless, there are rules, the most important of which is that you donít intentionally strike your opponent below the belt. Thatís cowardly and un-American.

The growing belief that President Obama isnít playing by the rules and his policies are taking the country in the wrong direction is evident in the polls. Daily presidential tracking polls are trending toward Gov. Romney. The Rasmussen Reports May 10-11 overnight tracking poll showed a Romney with a seven percent lead over President Obama (50 to 43 percent).

President Obama may believe that he and his campaign donít have to play by the rules because the liberal-leaning mainstream media wonít call him on it and because not enough people listen to conservative talk radio or the Fox News channel. That would be a big mistake.

Itís true that the mainstream media is complicit in the Presidentís strategy. Itís not only that most journalists are Democrats, they believe that itís so important for the first black-American president to succeed that they are loathe to report on anything that reflects negatively on the Presidentís character and that might damage his reelection chances.

To this day we still know very little about Barack Obamaís activities and associations during his youth and college years. We know by the Presidentís own admission that he experimented with drugs. We know he associated with Bill Ayers and other anti-capitalist radicals. We know he joined and sat in Rev. Jeremiah Wrightís church for 20 years listening to the pastor's racist, anti-America rants because thatís what he believed was necessary to win acceptance in the black community. We know all this, however, not because the main stream media has reported on it but in spite of the fact that they havenít.

Itís no different than the media generally ignoring black-on-black crime while making a national sensation out of the Trevon Martin shooting by ďwhite HispanicĒ George Zimmerman. Liberals have a paternalistic attitude toward African-Americans. They tend to suppress facts that show blacks, especially a black president, in a negative light. They believe it only feeds the racists in our society; and African-Americans have had too long a record of slavery, mistreatment and abuse that itís necessary to tip the scales in their favor.

Attacking Gov. Romney, however, is a different matter. Anything that puts him in a negative light is fair game. The news media sees no compelling reason not to; rich white people, after all, have all the advantages. Moreover, helping defeat Romney allows the news media to ensure the Presidentís success; and, in the news mediaís mind, thatís just doing the right thing.

What can or should Gov. Romneyís campaign and Republicans do to counter the Presidentís negative campaign strategy? The last thing they should do is adopt a similar strategy. Republicans shouldnít allow themselves to be taunted into the mud pit.

Conservative talk-show hosts and others likely will attempt to dig up dirt on President Obama as Sean Hannity attempted to do during the 2008 election and is doing now. But this tactic is unlikely to have any more success than it did in 2008. Americans now are more concerned about what Barack Obama has done as president than they are about what he did before he entered politics.

Tough criticism of President Obamaís dismal record and his failing policies are fair game, while emphasizing Gov. Romneyís positive vision for restoring America. But when your opponent is digging a deep hole for himself, donít take away his shovel. If President Obama continues on the low road heís currently on, he almost certainly will lose the 2012 election.


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Related Links

Republicans' War on Women

The Buffet Rule

Washington Post: Romney's Prep School Classmates Recall Pranks, but also Troubling Incidents

Strassel: The President has a List (of Enemies)





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