Obama’s approval ratings took their biggest dip among independent voters, who could be crucial to the ultimate outcome of the election in November. Approval for Obama among independents fell from 48 percent to 35 percent. – Reuters (via Reuters/Ipsos survey)
GOP ANGEL SHELDON ADELSON just forked over $10 million to a pro Mitt Romney Super PAC. It comes amid a flurry of fundraisers from both presidential candidates this week and the day before Pres. Obama addresses the economy, in a damage control move in what’s become a brutal June. But from the scuttlebutt making the Washington circuit what he’s likely to say isn’t going to move the independent voter meter, because he’s evidently going back to the warnings of returning to George W. Bush economics.
Instead, he will make the case that he needs four more years to undo the damage left by George W. Bush, his Republican predecessor in the White House, and argue that a President Romney would bring back the weak financial regulation and budget-busting tax cuts of the Bush years.
One very big problem is Mitt Romney doesn’t come off like George W. Bush, so it doesn’t translate beyond the Democratic donor crowd, which is where Pres. Obama is trying out this patter. The problem is also far larger than Bush.
Where Obama needs to begin is with today’s global financial interconnection and where that intersects with austerity measures that have cratered Britain’s economy and put them into a double-dip recession. It sounds something like this: We’ve all seen the tremors in Europe, Britian’s in a double-dip recession due to austerity measures, because they tightened their belts too soon. Obama’s message: This is the Mitt Romney plan. It will come through Paul Ryan’s budget mumbo jumbo in Congress, which is why Obama needs Democrats in charge over there. It places the voter into the unknown, risky world of What Would Romney Do?, then answers it in the context of austerity that is frightening.
This tactic would have the added benefit of elevating Pres. Obama beyond the past Bush era and projecting him into the future, where voters minds are riveted, because they’re uneasy about what lies ahead. Relitigating Bush era economic blunders to get reelected is small politics and not nearly what Pres. Obama needs right now.
Mr. Romney must be seen as a bigger gamble than sticking with Pres. Obama who, whether you approve of his presidency or not, stopped the U.S. from a cratering depression, even if the stimulus was far short of what was required; a larger effort might have actually offered proof that reelection was earned, because better times were being felt by average Americans, instead of them having to be shown the progress in charts.
The reason Democrats are sounding the alarm is there’s a feeling something is setting in. No one can predict how long it will last, which is why the advice is coming in a cascade of web pages, but it’s easy to log the moment it began. When team Obama’s Bain attacks against Mitt Romney were met with a strong defense by Democratic hot shots, including Pres. Bill Clinton no less, but also progressive favorite Cory Booker. It was a tipping point that Pres. Obama and his team haven’t been able to set straight, perhaps because they didn’t have anything but Bain, which was their main attack and primary strategy.
They’ve got no plan B, as stunning as that is to grasp, but to go back to Bush.
As James Carville’s group Democracy Corps has warned, that’s just not enough.
With Wall Street in a swoon over Mitt Romney, which will become more and more obvious as CEO’s start singing his praises this fall, Pres. Obama needs to frame Romney as dangerous by attaching already failed austerity measures tried in Europe to what Republicans want to do in the future. It’s not hard, because Paul Ryan provided an austerity plan, which Mitt Romney has openly embraced, that should scare the hell out of everyone, including those fickle, finger in the air independents that no one can win without.
“Independents are especially susceptible to economic pressures, which is why we see them bouncing all over the place in their approval of the president,” Jackson said. “The finding that he is not doing that well with them this month is something for Obama to worry about.” [Reuters]