The problem with Obama's 'revenge'

Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama participates in a campaign rally in Lima, Ohio, November 2, 2012.

My Examiner colleague Byron York has a splendid piece on how the Romney campaign capitalized on Barack Obama’s un-telepromptered remark Friday urging voters in Springfield, Ohio, that “voting is the best revenge.” Byron was at the big (30,000 crowd) Romney event in West Chester, Ohio, and in the crowd ran into Romney media maven Stuart Stevens. It seems that the Romney people heard the Obama speech on a campaign bus and quickly incorporated it into Romney’s speech later Friday in West Chester. “And today—did you see what President Obama said today,” Romney told the cheering crowd. “He asked his supporters to vote—to vote for revenge. Instead, I ask the American people to vote for love of country.”

The Romney campaign quickly put up a spot, linked to in Byron’s blogpost, showing the first part of Romney’s statement, then Obama’s, then the second part of Romney’s statement. Byron got the whole story, before (I think) anyone else in the media. I think the spot is very strong. It shows Romney as presidential and Obama as resentful. Romney is reminiscent of Ronald Reagan, while Obama is reminiscent of Saul Alinsky. The spot undercuts the appeal Obama gained from his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech and his many speeches in the 2008 campaign. “Revenge” is not something sought by most American voters, and 2008 Obama voters who are disappointed in his performance. They are not looking for an Alinsky acolyte to attack enemies for them. Voters want someone who will serve the country. The moment when Obama said "revenge" could turn out to be a pivotal moment in the campaign.

By the way, Springfield is in Clark County. That’s the county that readers of the British left-wing paper the Guardian were urged to bombard with emails urging voters to vote for John Kerry. But Clark County, which voted narrowly for Al Gore in 2000, voted narrowly for George W. Bush in 2004. West Chester is in Butler County, just north of Cincinnati, home base of Speaker John Boehner, who was among the many big names at the Romney rally.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine

What's new on AEI

Making Ryan's tax plan smarter
image The teacher evaluation confronts the future
image How to reform the US immigration system
image Inversion hysteria
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 01
    MON
  • 02
    TUE
  • 03
    WED
  • 04
    THU
  • 05
    FRI
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
From anarchy to Augustus: Lessons on dealing with disorder, from Rome’s first emperor

We invite you to join us for two panel discussions on how Augustus created order from chaos 2,000 years ago, and what makes for durable domestic and international political systems in the 21st century.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Multiple choice: Expanding opportunity through innovation in K–12 education

Please join us for a book launch event and panel discussion about how a marketplace of education options can help today's students succeed in tomorrow's economy. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the featured book.

Thursday, September 04, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
How conservatives can save the safety net

Please join us for a luncheon event in which our panel will discuss what conservatives can learn from how liberals talk and think about the safety net and where free-market economics, federalism, and social responsibility intersect to lift people out of poverty.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.