Tuesday, April 03, 2012


I think I understand why this happened today:

President Barack Obama jumped fully into the 2012 race Tuesday, naming his likely Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, for the first time in an official presidential speech that accused the Republican establishment of embracing polices that threaten the middle class and economic fairness.

In an election-year appeal to middle-class voters, Obama shredded the spending plan written by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, backed by Romney and supported by the House Republican caucus....

And then he mockingly turned to his likely opponent in November.

"One of my potential opponents, Gov. Romney, has said that he hopes a similar version of this plan from last year, will be introduced as a bill on Day One of his presidency," Obama said. "He even called it 'Marvelous,' which is a word you don't often hear when it comes to describing a budget."

"This is the party's platform," Obama added....

I think the president is concerned that Romney is going to sweep the contests today and then shake the Etch A Sketch, tacking to the center and trying to distance himself from all that icky conservatism. I'm guessing that Team Obama believes this may literally be the last day Romney will sound as conservative as he has through the primaries.

I have my doubts -- Romney is probably going to try to go a bit moderate, but he's going to hear howls from the right if he does this, and I imagine some really high-profile righties are going to have no qualms about declaring that conservatives shouldn't vote for Romney if he modifies his views too much (which, for them, may be at all).

On the other hand, the press may decide that Romney is tacking to the center even if he isn't, just because that's what the press wants him to do so we can all go back to pretending that the GOP is a responsible party and not a dangerous crackpot cult.

So the Obama campaign is trying to tie Romney to Ryan and radical rightism while it's sure it still can, while Romney still has no choice but to stand by the positions Obama's attacking him for.


: smintheus :: said...

Obama can keep attacking Romney for any and all extremist positions he's taken at any point. Whatever he chooses to attack, it hardly matters whether or not Romney cares to defend those positions; they're out there, and they'll stick as long as Obama decides to make them stick.

And if Romney were to try to renounce them explicitly, he'd just look pathetic.

BH said...

Agree with you, smintheus, but now does seem an especially good time to attack, since Mitty can't quite yet afford to chuckle condescendingly at the lumpenright positions he's endorsed. He will in time, no doubt with plenty of enabling from Politico et al., but the GOPrimitives aren't corraled just yet.

Danp said...

It would be funny if the media started to report that Gov. Etch-a-sketch is tacking to the center, since they have positioned him there from the beginning. I suspect they will merely ignore his inconsistencies, as they have throughout the primaries.