From hope & change to fear & loathing

Ruth Marcus (classified as a “left-leaning” columnist on the Washington Post opinion page) looks at the Democratic strategy for re-electing President Obama:

Forget hope and change. President Obama’s reelection campaign is going to be based on fear and loathing: fear of what a Republican takeover would mean, and loathing of whomever the Republican nominee turns out to be.

Of course the Obama campaign will attempt to present the affirmative case for his reelection, citing legislative achievements, foreign policy successes and the current flurry of executive actions. But his strategists have clearly concluded that selling the president will not be enough, and the contours of the ugly months ahead are becoming increasingly apparent. . . .

David Plouffe, Obama’s 2008 campaign manager and now a senior White House adviser, made the reelection campaign’s two-step, fear-and-loathing approach clear in an appearance Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

First, fear: “This country cannot afford to go back to the same policies,” Plouffe said, “that Mitt Romney and Rick Perry and all of these presidential candidates are offering: Let Wall Street write its own rules, make it easier for polluters to foul our air and water, and give millionaires and billionaires more tax cuts paid for by asking the middle class and seniors to do more.”

No matter who wins the Republican nomination, Plouffe said, “they’re offering the same economic policies that led to the Great Recession, that led to destruction of middle-class security in incomes.” Obama advisers plan to paint the eventual GOP nominee as a dangerous rubber stamp for a Congress controlled all, or in part, by Republicans.

Next, loathing. Obama advisers believe that Romney is the most likely nominee, and they have prepared a two-pronged attack on the former Massachusetts governor — as unprincipled and uncaring.

“He has no core,” Plouffe said in an unusually sharp attack for a White House official. “You get the sense with Mitt Romney that, you know, if he thought . . . it was good to say the sky was green and the grass is blue to win an election, he’d say it.”

Next, although Plouffe didn’t get around to it Sunday, is the planned depiction of Romney as the fat cat from Bain Capital, the heartless management consultant who bought companies, stripped their assets and sent their jobs to China.

via Campaign 2012: Welcome to the slugfest – The Washington Post.

"At least he did not refer to himself as "we" ... so, well, there's that."

The Church of Artificial Intelligence Develops ..."
"Better get your glasses prescription checked. Reg isn't a "Reverend." And your reaction really undermines ..."

The Church of Artificial Intelligence Develops ..."
"I got it from an interview with the director, Stanley Kubrick, so it isn't "my ..."

The Church of Artificial Intelligence Develops ..."
"I don't think Levandowski knows what a God is, which is not surprising in our ..."

The Church of Artificial Intelligence Develops ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • DonS

    First, fear: “This country cannot afford to go back to the same policies,” “. Hmm. And it can afford to keep the current ones???

    “He has no core,” Plouffe said in an unusually sharp attack for a White House official. “You get the sense with Mitt Romney that, you know, if he thought . . . it was good to say the sky was green and the grass is blue to win an election, he’d say it.”

    Wow. This from the guy who works for Barack Obama???

    Pot, meet kettle.

  • DonS

    First, fear: “This country cannot afford to go back to the same policies,” “. Hmm. And it can afford to keep the current ones???

    “He has no core,” Plouffe said in an unusually sharp attack for a White House official. “You get the sense with Mitt Romney that, you know, if he thought . . . it was good to say the sky was green and the grass is blue to win an election, he’d say it.”

    Wow. This from the guy who works for Barack Obama???

    Pot, meet kettle.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    I do wish more on the left could muster a rational argument for their position, rather than just exclaim, “OMG!!! THE RETHUGCLICANS ARE GONNA CUT GRANNY’S SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE BENEFITS!!!”

    The fact they don’t or can’t is why they will lose the next election, I believe. People are tired of hearing the FUD.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    I do wish more on the left could muster a rational argument for their position, rather than just exclaim, “OMG!!! THE RETHUGCLICANS ARE GONNA CUT GRANNY’S SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE BENEFITS!!!”

    The fact they don’t or can’t is why they will lose the next election, I believe. People are tired of hearing the FUD.

  • Apocryphon

    To be fair, the right isn’t offering much, either. Sure the GOP frontrunners and the Tea Party have all of these plans to dismantle government, to cut spending, and so on- but what would be put in its place? Slashing tax rates alone can’t fix everything.

  • Apocryphon

    To be fair, the right isn’t offering much, either. Sure the GOP frontrunners and the Tea Party have all of these plans to dismantle government, to cut spending, and so on- but what would be put in its place? Slashing tax rates alone can’t fix everything.

  • helen

    “Go back to the same policies?”

    What changed!?

  • helen

    “Go back to the same policies?”

    What changed!?

  • Tom Hering

    NBC News, 11/07/2011

    WASHINGTON — One year out before President Barack Obama faces voters in his bid for re-election, he encounters an American public that remains deeply pessimistic about the state of the country and its economy, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

    Nearly three-quarters of respondents believe the nation is headed in the wrong direction; just 25 percent think the U.S. economy will improve in the next 12 months; and a solid majority says the country is experiencing the start of a long-term decline.

    Those attitudes have helped shape their opinions of the president, with majorities disapproving of his overall job performance and his economic handling, and with nearly 75 percent saying that the Obama administration has fallen short of their expectations on the economy and improving oversight of Wall Street and the banks.

    Yet despite those views, Obama continues to run ahead of the Republican presidential front-runners in hypothetical general-election match ups — leading former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by 6 points and former businessman Herman Cain by 15 points.

    “Is he [Bill] Clinton or [Jimmy] Carter? I don’t think you can answer it right now,” said Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.

    But Hart adds that Obama, right now, is facing an electorate whose hope — which the president famously campaigned on in 2008 — has been replaced by anger and fear.

    “It is sort of the grim reality of keeping your chin above water,” he said. “It is the negative energy of fear and anger and rage.”

    Just how grim and negative is it? The poll asked respondents to give a single word or short phrase to best describe how they feel about where things stand in the country. Some of the answers:

    “We are in the dump.”

    “Very unstable.”

    “We’re in the gutter.”

    “Very challenging.”

    Overall, 58 percent of these responses are negative, 33 percent are neutral and just 9 percent are positive.

    What’s more, a combined 76 percent agree with the statement that the current economic structure of the country is out of balance and favors a small proportion of the rich over the rest of the country, and that America needs to reduce the power of the banks and corporations.

    That number includes 62 percent of Republicans and 61 percent of Tea Party supporters who agree with the statement.

    And 53 percent agree with the statement that the national debt must be cut significantly by reducing spending and the size of government.

    Strikingly, half of all respondents in the poll consider themselves supporters of either the Tea Party or the Occupy Wall Street movement, reflecting the current divisions in the country.

    (Indeed, here was one answer on the open-ended question: “I feel sorry my children and grandchildren. We are headed for a socialistic nation.” And another: “I feel that things are tilted dramatically in favor of wealthy and a select few.”)

  • Tom Hering

    NBC News, 11/07/2011

    WASHINGTON — One year out before President Barack Obama faces voters in his bid for re-election, he encounters an American public that remains deeply pessimistic about the state of the country and its economy, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

    Nearly three-quarters of respondents believe the nation is headed in the wrong direction; just 25 percent think the U.S. economy will improve in the next 12 months; and a solid majority says the country is experiencing the start of a long-term decline.

    Those attitudes have helped shape their opinions of the president, with majorities disapproving of his overall job performance and his economic handling, and with nearly 75 percent saying that the Obama administration has fallen short of their expectations on the economy and improving oversight of Wall Street and the banks.

    Yet despite those views, Obama continues to run ahead of the Republican presidential front-runners in hypothetical general-election match ups — leading former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by 6 points and former businessman Herman Cain by 15 points.

    “Is he [Bill] Clinton or [Jimmy] Carter? I don’t think you can answer it right now,” said Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.

    But Hart adds that Obama, right now, is facing an electorate whose hope — which the president famously campaigned on in 2008 — has been replaced by anger and fear.

    “It is sort of the grim reality of keeping your chin above water,” he said. “It is the negative energy of fear and anger and rage.”

    Just how grim and negative is it? The poll asked respondents to give a single word or short phrase to best describe how they feel about where things stand in the country. Some of the answers:

    “We are in the dump.”

    “Very unstable.”

    “We’re in the gutter.”

    “Very challenging.”

    Overall, 58 percent of these responses are negative, 33 percent are neutral and just 9 percent are positive.

    What’s more, a combined 76 percent agree with the statement that the current economic structure of the country is out of balance and favors a small proportion of the rich over the rest of the country, and that America needs to reduce the power of the banks and corporations.

    That number includes 62 percent of Republicans and 61 percent of Tea Party supporters who agree with the statement.

    And 53 percent agree with the statement that the national debt must be cut significantly by reducing spending and the size of government.

    Strikingly, half of all respondents in the poll consider themselves supporters of either the Tea Party or the Occupy Wall Street movement, reflecting the current divisions in the country.

    (Indeed, here was one answer on the open-ended question: “I feel sorry my children and grandchildren. We are headed for a socialistic nation.” And another: “I feel that things are tilted dramatically in favor of wealthy and a select few.”)