The Obama campaign is offering up a narrative that has so little connection to reality, but seems to be working so well, that I am pondering if it is possible for Romney to wage anything resembling a normal campaign at all.
Obama and his operatives smear Romney, accuse Republicans of racist intent, claim that George W. Bush is responsible for the current economy, declare Romney unqualified to be president – when Obama himself had not a single qualification to be president – I simply cannot believe the things I’m hearing and seeing.
I’ve come the conclusion that there is no way to avoid an unmitigated mud fight. This is going to have to be the most vicious campaign since 1828, when Andrew Jackson’s wife was accused of committing adultery with him and John Quincy Adams was said to have pimped out a servant girl to the Russian Czar.
Recognizing reality, I offer my advice to each of the campaigns on how to conduct themselves, or rather, misconduct themselves.
You think this is tongue in cheek? It might be, but I’m not so sure.
My Advice to The Obama Campaign:
What? Me, give you advice? You are utterly brilliant!
You have absolutely no material to work with, and yet here you are making a contest of it, conjuring up a campaign out of nothing!
There’s no record to run on: The economy is in the dumps, unemployment is above eight percent, and the deficit a hurtling up toward the nearest neighboring solar system.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world is in a frightening state of semi-chaos! Iran is getting The Bomb, Israel and the Arabs hate each other as much as ever, Egypt is headed into the clutches of the Mullahs, Dear Little Jerk is running a nuclear arms factory in North Korea, and so on.
What a mess! Obama’s only serious achievement, Obamacare, is hated by the masses, so you can’t even run on that!
And look what you did.
You’ve created a SCANDAL out of Mitt Romney’s sterling success story at Bain Capital – TURNED THE WHOLE SLICE OF APPLE PIE INTO A FESTERING FUNGUS!!
You are brilliant – let me say it again.
Now, my advice is – I mean, you already know this, but – my advice is to make Romney release his tax returns – WHICH HE SHOULD HAVE DONE A YEAR AGO – then pick over the carcasses like vultures and spit out a series of scandals, milking each for a few days to a week. This should get you through the summer.
THEN . . .
Oh, this is so fun . . .
Spend the fall taking all his successes as governor of Massachusetts and TURNING THEM INTO SCANDALS TOO, describing how anyone who might nothave benefited from whatever he did was oppressed by EVIL RICH PEOPLE who fed themselves with porcine abandon at the Governor Romney trough.
Because when all you have is lemons, you have to make CITRIC ACID.
My Advice to The Romney Campaign:
After figuring out who needs to be fired, change YOUR ENTIRE POSTURE.
Get Romney off his quarter horse and get him down in the mud.
Laugh off every charge. Cast a few sprinkles of water on the fire, AND THEN ATTACK.
Face it, Romney, you can’t do the principles thing. You’re not a true believing conservative. You’re a guy who wants to be president and who thinks he has some skills to make the economy better.
And conservatives: STOP WAITING FOR ROMNEY TO BECOME RONALD REAGAN! IT AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN.
So Romney people, take the current theme you’ve started to develop – that Obama is dishonest – and hold onto it like a pit bull. Say he’s lying about your record. Re-brand the Sainted Visionary of 2008 as a corrupt Chicago machine politician who lies about his opponents.
Oh, he’s already done so much of the work for you, it won’t take hardly any effort at all!
Dig up Tony Rezko, and make him a household word. Talk EVERY DAY about the Daley Machine that produced Obama. Why, one of the Daleys even served as Obama’s chief of staff. Get it?
Insinuate terrible things. Create guilt by association. That’s what’s happening to you . . .
Then, once everyone has it drilled into their heads that Obama is just another politician, and a particularly Machiavellian one at that, start linking the challenges he has with integrity to his conduct of the presidency:
He promised to cut the deficit in half: He lied.
He promised to reduce unemployment to six percent: He lied.
He promised to create a new era of bipartisanship: He lied.
He promised to create peace in the Middle East: He lied.
Don’t say he failed; say he lied. You’re in a knife fight. You need to bring a knife.
Let me be clear: I wouldn’t take my own advice. I can’t possibly do these things.
It’s not that I’m a Saint. I just don’t have the guts for it.
But these are the paths to victory this year. Obama will have to stay his gruesome course. And Romney will have to get with the program, or spend the rest of his life whining about how unfair it all was.
Award winning journalist Keith Koffler has 16 years of experience covering Washington. As a reporter for CongressDaily, National Journal magazine, and Roll Call, Keith wrote primarily from the White House, covering three presidents and learning as few have the intricacies of the West Wing and the behavior and motivations of its occupants. While mainly stationed at the White House, he also extensively covered Congress and Washington’s lobbyists.
Keith has also written for a variety of other publications, including Politico, The Daily Caller, and The London Observer. He currently writes regular opinion columns for Politico. He blogs at whitehousedossier.com.