devastating Obama ad on Mitt Romney and outsourcing

This is probably the most effective ad I have ever seen:

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But frankly I wonder if it will really make any difference. The target is swing voters in swing states, who have been bombarded with spin from both sides. At this point, people have either made up their minds or are too confused to decide. I think the real tipping point in the polls won’t happen until after the debates, which all happen in October.

As far as policy substance goes, I found Ezra Klein’s observations about Romney and the Bain Capital/outsourcing issue quite compelling:

The best-world version of Mitt Romney is running a campaign that embraces creative destruction and outsourcing and buyouts and all the rest of it because these things help our economy become more dynamic. That’s where his business experience at Bain might actually help him understand the economy — he has seen the costs of firm-level sclerosis and stagnation firsthand. Think something along the lines of this essay by Reihan Salam. The problem is that the candidate running that campaign needs to have a real answer for the workers who are hurt by that dynamism. Part of that answer would need to be a larger safety net — something akin to Denmark’s “flexicurity” system. But the modern GOP won’t permit Romney to run a campaign that embraces a larger safety net. And so he can’t embrace his own economic experience without appearing cruel.

The irony is that the candidate who could have squared this circle is … Mitt Romney. He would have been perfect, in fact. As the former CEO of Bain Capital, he would have been credible on the economic argument in a way most politicians simply aren’t. As the first governor to successfully pass and implement a universal health care program in the United States, he would have been credible on the safety net in a way most Republicans simply aren’t. But rather than merging Bain and Massachusetts into one campaign, he’s running from both.

Ultimately Romney has made the political calculation that he has to kowtow to the tea party conservative line to mobilize the base to vote. IMHO however, antipathy towards Obama will trump all else in GOP GOTV, and if Romney ran on his record for health care and tenure at Bain rather than away from it, he would make a much more compelling case to independents.

Then again, Romney’s chosen strategy is paying off in a huge financial advantage over Obama. This may be the first election in which the incumbent is outraised by the challenger. So maybe Romney’s doing something right after all. It’s a post-Citizens United world, after all… And Romney is no fool.


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