But I disagree that an attack on Romney's Bain record will be the heart of the Obama campaign. First of all, since when have we seen this President focus a campaign on the short-comings of his opponent? Its an important message to get out there in the early days in order to help frame the narrative on Romney. But its certainly not what President Obama will stake his campaign on.
We've all witnessed the precision with which someone like David Plouffe plans an effective campaign. I've written recently about the fact that they have very successfully controlled the narrative with well-timed roll-outs of what they want to talk about when.
The heart of the battle between Obama and Romney on our economy is yet to come. And it will not focus on the past. It will focus on what each of them plan to do in the future. President Obama has a very strong message there - its why the campaign adopted the word "FORWARD" as a slogan.
The Obama campaign will continue talking about the same things the President has focused on for the last 2 years - the need for investment, infrastructure and education when it comes to spending and fairness/balance when it comes to taxes and regulation.
The message about Romney will be that he wants to take us back to the policies that created this mess in the first place. Here's how Michael Tomasky put it today.
I would guess that somewhere in the big, secret Axelrod playbook on some thumb-drive in Chicago there is a calendar by which they expect to introduce all these topics. But Romney isn’t going to be defeated by Bain or even by the auto bailout. Obama’s going to have to make a strong argument about Romney’s irresponsible economic “plan,” which will cut taxes on people making more than $1 million a year by an average of more than $250,000 (per year!) and will blow the deficit sky high.
And note those two criticisms: The first is about unfairness, the rich getting another handout, an argument that’s good for the base. The second is about the deficit and will work with swing voters. He should certainly make both critiques. Romney would bring back—and indeed intensify—Bush economics. That will work with both groups.When it comes to the all-important message in this campaign about the economy - that's the closer.