Political Deformity

A Handshake of Carbon Monoxide

I Hope It’s Romney

The Christian Science Monitor asks a question I’ve been mulling over for a bit now: would a VP Romney open the door for the Dems to create ads similar to the McCain campaign spots highlighting how Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden expressed doubts about Obama during the Democratic primary?

Probably. CSM points out some of the juicy criticisms that the Romney leveled against McCain, but it misses the one that, in my mind, is the most harsh:

“If you ask people, ‘Look at the three things Senator McCain has done as a senator,’ [campaign finance, immigration, energy] if you want that kind of a liberal Democratic course as president, then you can vote for him. But those three pieces of legislation, those aren’t conservative, those aren’t Republican, those are not the kind of leadership that we need as we go forward.”

That’s Romney on McCain, January 2008. Clearly, there’s something to work with here. But here’s a strategy that would be more effective than just aping the McCain ads: playing up the fact that the McCain-Romney animosity goes both ways.

In the Democratic primaries, Obama played relatively nice. He defended himself when necessary, but didn’t get much meaner than that. The Republican primaries, on the other hand, were nasty across the board–and one of the biggest cat-fights was between McCain and Romney, who famously couldn’t stand each other, The Huffington Post has a good run down of the tug of war between these two.

The Democrats can easily take some of these quotes–or even just some of the video footage of these two at debates–and make a clear, and not inaccurate, narrative about how the GOP ticket itself is divided. I seem to remember that the GOP debate at the Ronald Reagan Library grew very heated, with McCain and Romney looking like they wanted to sock each other in the face.

At one point Mitt could barely keep a straight face while McCain was pontificating:

Earlier that month, at the New Hampshire debate, McCain called Romney a flip-flopper:

For a Democratic Party stressing unity, there’s no juicier target than a GOP campaign ticket that can so easily be presented as a divided, bitter duo. After all, how can two people who hate each other govern effectively? I think that’s a powerful point, particularly at a time when Americans are so sick and tired of incompetent, rancorous leadership. A McCain/Romney ticket really plays into the Democrats’ hands, at least in terms of stressing their central campaign theme.

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August 28, 2008 - Posted by | Barack Obama, Democrats, John McCain, Republicans, Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

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