Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The DNC's brilliant anti-Romney campaign

From the DNC...Mitt v. Mitt: the story of two men trapped in one body.

Steve Benen talked about this campaign yesterday and its one of the few times I find myself disagreeing with him. Like me, he applauds the effort. But I think he misses the mark on their aim.

...the DNC’s new videos leave no real doubt that (a) Dems assume Romney will be the Republican nominee; and (b) they also believe they have plenty of material to work with in order to make the former governor look ridiculous in the eyes of mainstream voters.

I suspect the DNC has lots of doubts about who will be the Republican nominee. I know that many pundits assume it will be Romney. But the truth is - no one knows that at this point. The one thing that is looking more probable is that it is likely to come down to a battle between Romney and Gingrich.

Now...who do you think the DNC would prefer to run against in that duo? I'd suggest that at least part of the audience they're targeting is Republican primary voters who have even more reason to be suspicious of Romney.

Then later in the day Benen takes on David Frum's critique of the ads. Here's what Frum said:

How does DNC hope to sell [the] idea BOTH that Romney believes in nothing AND that he’s an extreme right-winger?

What both Frum and Benen miss in all this is the second audience for these ads...the Romney campaign itself. To understand, you have to look forward to a potential general election between Obama and Romney. Most everyone knows that if that happens, Romney will have to soften his rhetoric and move towards the middle to have any chance of winning. And he'll know that when/if he does, right there waiting for him will be the meme that has been created about him being a flip-flopper. Will he risk it? Tough call.

That's the brilliance of this ad campaign by the DNC.

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