The Strategy and the Perfect Storm that Paved a Winning Path for Obama

By: Michel Ouellette JMD on NOVEMBER 7, 2012

President Obama’s official portrait

Early spring 2012, President Obama’s Chicago veteran campaign staff is confronting the question that would ultimately decide the presidency: how to run against Mitt Romney?

The choice discussed was whether to campaign against Romney as a flip-flopper or to cast him as a protector of the privileged at the expense of the middle class, a man who willingly fires people and is disconnected from how average Americans live their lives. The choice was made: Mitt Romney was to be shown and depicted as a heartless executive. While the Obama campaign decided to set the campaign’s course in the summer of 2012, Romney’s senior staffers put their money on winning a decisive autumn. But, as the attacks mounted from the Obama’s side, many of the Romney’s advisers were really concerned. Instead of addressing the issue then, it was decided to wait for a later time, during the convention and the debates. – First mistake.

The Obama’s campaign decision to focus on Romney helped set an angry tone for the multibillion-dollar campaign that was to come and was the deciding factor of this presidential election. The turnout, yesterday of the African-Americans, Latinos, women, and young voters in swing states proved it. Obama, weighed down by a poor economy and the sudden eruption of violence and conflicts in the Middle East, needed help. Bill Clinton came to the rescue and Mitt Romney himself did the rest. The Republican’s brash condemnation of Americans who do not pay federal income taxes, Romney’s quick criticism of the administration for a spike in Middle East violence, and even his choice of a running mate that brought unexpected tension into the campaign all worked against his mid-fall effort to surmount Obama’s lead.

Obama’s effort to portray Romney as a part of the economic problem resonated in the upper Midwest, where the race in many ways was cemented. In Ohio, Obama’s early decision to bail out the auto industry, and Romney’s opposition to the plan, helped frame the contest in the incumbent’s favor before it even began. In the final stretch, Obama almost squandered his hard-won lead with a bewildering performance in his first debate with Romney. But, for a candidate whose political career has been touched at times by luck, Hurricane Sandy arrived with a week left in the race and disrupted Romney’s effort.

All my money was on Romney but I never could have predicted Sandy.

JMD

jmdlive@live.ca

For full details on how the Obama Campaign was conducted: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/decision2012/the-strategy-that-paved-a-winning-path/2012/11/07/0a1201c8-2769-11e2-b2a0-ae18d6159439_story.html

 

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