As the electoral preseason moves into summer, the opposing campaigns are still trying to hone their message into a coherent battle plan for the fall showdown. The main objective at this point is to stuff their respective warchests with enough benjamins to finance the most expensive campaign in human history.
The once-unflappable President has been stumbling lately, looking like Austin Powers after Doctor Evil stole his mojo. He claims the private sector is doing fine one minute and then has to spend days walking it back, but reminding everyone that it was the Republicans who invited him to a steak dinner and then left him with the tab. The “meatiphor” probably doesn’t resonate with those living on hamburger, and when Obama goes to dinner it’s his rich friends who will pony up more money than most people make in a year to eat a plate of rubber chicken with the Prez.
Worse yet, his natural allies have been contradicting the Chief on policy and publicly criticizing his message. Some idiot is leaking national security info to the press, jeopardizing the lives of our silent partners and their families in hostile territory. Congress is flogging AG Eric Holder on a daily basis. The Supremes’ decision on Obamacare hangs over the White House like the sword of Damacles. Hope and Change has become “it could have been worse.”
Mitt Romney isn’t faring much better, blathering into a microphone about ridding us of teachers, cops and firemen. He has yet to shed his image as a country club Republican, a man of tweeds and fox hunts and car elevators. Even if you don’t buy the argument that Bain was a job killer, you have to wonder why a guy who has been running for president for six years wouldn’t be smart enough to empty his off-shore tax shelters. There are still many conservatives who fear that he’ll morph into Nelson Rockefeller on his first full moon in office.
The wildcard in the GOP gameplan is Ron Paul’s libertarian wing, who still account for 10% of almost every primary vote this year. (Even in Nevada County.) Will they stay the course or jump to former Republican Governor Gary Johnson on the Libertarian ticket? That will depend on how Dr. No is treated at the convention.
The June primary results have been a mixed bag. The unions suffered humiliating defeats in Wisconsin, San Diego and San Jose, but North Dakota rejected a Republican initiative to dump property taxes and Gabby Gifford’s seat is still safely in Democratic hands. Neither party can honestly say they have a clear advantage going forward into a long hot summer.