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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Obama’s Team of Amateurs

Commentary Magazine
Back in April I wrote, “My sense is that [Mitt Romney will] be a better general election candidate than he was a GOP primary candidate, that a contest against Obama will play to his strengths better than a contest against other Republicans. We’ll find out in due course. But if I were David Axelrod, I’d be concerned.”

As of now, that intuition seems to have been correct. As this New York Times article makes clear, Governor Romney has been on the offensive for most of May. “Mr. Romney is already running the campaign he and top aides say they envisioned more than a year ago,” according to the Times, “forcing Mr. Obama to defend his economic record in a gloomy environment.” The story goes on to report on the strengths of the Romney operation: discipline, efficiency and execution. In addition, according to the most recent CNN-ORC poll, Governor Romney’s favorable ratings have surged, having risen 14 points since February.

If the Romney campaign has shown itself far superior to the John McCain campaign, then the Obama campaign of 2012 has shown itself far inferior to the Obama campaign of 2008.

Right now, it seems to be run by amateurs

The Bain attacks against Romney – which we were told would be the poison-tipped arrow in the Obama quiver – have been strikingly ineffective. So has the effort to portray the GOP as engaged in a “war on women.” Even their effort to make Seamus the Dog an issue in this campaign hasn’t worked. Some of Obama’s leading surrogates – including Mayor Cory Booker, Governor Deval Patrick, and former President Bill Clinton – are saying things that are helping, not hurting, Romney, to the point that they’re making cameo appearances in Romney ads.

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