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I had figured the anonymous Obama strategist stepped in it by using the words “kill Romney” to describe for Politico the reelection team’s plans for a ferocious assault on the assumed Republican frontrunner (despite unconvincing White House damage control to deny the quote).
Sure enough, Romney’s ad makers wasted no time building a spot around it, ending with their usual tagline, “Obama Isn’t Working.”
The war of words might serve political needs on both sides, but this sneak preview of next year’s general election tactics sure points to a nasty campaign ahead for voters who are already weary of sandlot name-calling in national politics.
Like other GOP hopefuls, Romney is eager to impress party primary voters by showing how rough he would be against Obama as the nominee. I suppose his advisers also think it helps to demonstrate that he finally stands for something – trashing Obama.
The President also wants to give his party base a show of force, partly to assure liberals who worry that he wimps out against Republicans. Sadly for Obama, many of his achievements are hardly inspiring hardcore Democrats, leaving him no choice but to rally them by going negative.
If both sides are playing to their core voters with the ugly stuff, where does that leave Americans in the middle who are sick of it? Pretty much where they usually end up: Trying to pick the lesser of evils.
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