Thursday, October 11, 2012


You know the Romney campaign is still worried about being charged with flip-flopping because the Romney press office -- otherwise known as Fox News -- gave us this a couple of hours ago:

Wow. But when you see projection like this from the right, it's tactical, not psychological. This is part of an effort to neutralize the flip-flop charge against Romney -- so you know it still worries the right.

You also know because the Romney campaign keeps trying to inject into news stories the notion that charging people with flip-flopping is so last decade. There's a story at BuzzFeed right now called "The End of Flip-Flops": of the candidates, Mitt Romney, is staking his campaign on a very different gamble: that the era of the flip-flop as untenable, campaign-ending, non-starter is over....

For Romney, the calculus appears to be that voters will care more that he enunciate the "right" position now, and less about the journey it took to get him there. In other words, better to be viewed as a flip-flopper than as too extreme.
That's clearly from the campaign's lips to the BuzzFeed reporter's ear. And then there's this in today's New York Times:
The Romney campaign, which once winced at the mere suggestion that he had changed a position and hounded journalists who used the word "flip-flop," seemed largely unbothered by claims that he is reorienting himself for a general election audience.

"Those concerns have receded," said Gary Marx, executive director of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and a former Romney counselor on conservative issues. "He is being intentional about reaching out to a broader cross-section of voters on these issues."

He added: "He is delivering multiple messages to different groups. That is a sophisticated campaign at work late in the game."
Yeah! People don't care about those silly charges of flip-flopping! No, really, they don't!

If I were the Obama campaign right now, I'd do a flip-flop ad -- well, I'd do a lot of flip-flop ads -- and pull out part of that Gary Marx quote: the boast that "He is delivering multiple messages to different groups." If you say that "a key Romney adviser" said that, in the context of pointing out Romney flip-flops, that could sound quite sinister. Oh, and I'd add this quote from the Times story:
Steve Deace, a conservative radio host in Iowa, told listeners on Wednesday, "I'm running out of fingers and toes to count the number of positions he has taken on abortion."
Cue sinister music.


And speaking of trying to rule out Obama lines of attack, how coordinated is this Murdoch media message?

* Rich Lowry in the New York Post two days ago: "Team O's Pathetic 'Liar, Liar' Attack"
* Michael Goodwin at two days ago: "Calling Romney a 'Liar' Makes Obama Look Crude and Unpresidential"
* Daniel Henninger in The Wall Street Journal today: "Obama and the L-Word: 'Liar' Is Potent and Ugly -- with a Sleazy Political Pedigree"

The Henninger piece is getting attention for its assertion that the tactic of accusing your opponent of lying "dates to the sleazy world of fascist and totalitarian propaganda in the 1930s" -- as if no one in the history of politics ever did this before Hitler, and everyone who ever did it was the moral equivalent of Hitler.

Obama hasn't actually called Romney a liar. Neither has Joe Biden. Surrogates have.

And clearly Team Romney, which includes the Murdoch media, wants to distract voters from the facts and make this about the tone.

I don't think Obama and Biden should use any form of the word "lie" -- it is regarded as de trop. But I think they should use synonyms -- a lot of synonyms.

1 comment:

Victor said...

Well then, we're screwed.

"Lie" is a one syllable word that even the biggest morons in our country can understand.

To them, "prevaricating" is something you might do if you were 'varicating,' and "mendacity" is 'da-city' that chicks can't go into.

"Hey, Sam, you start varicating yet, or you wanna make it boys day out, and go with me to the da-city?"