April 29, 2011

TRICKY BARRY:

Obama Takes a Page From Nixon's Handbook: Come November 2012, independents will remember the president's earlier appeals to the hard left. (Karl Rove, 4/28/11, WSJ)

[M]r. Obama is making a mistake by following the advice of President Richard Nixon, who argued White House hopefuls must run to their party's flank in the primary and tack back to the center for the general election. While Mr. Obama doesn't face a primary challenge, the White House is worried about the intensity of the Democratic base and feels compelled to feed it red meat now.

This bit of conventional wisdom assumes two things. First, that ordinary voters aren't paying attention now (they are). And second, that veering hard left in 2011 won't limit Mr. Obama's appeal in 2012 (it will). Many swing voters are repelled by the class-warfare rhetoric Mr. Obama uses to fire up the Democratic base. Appealing to envy is usually not a winning formula.

Impressions once created are hard to change. When they do, change is often accompanied by disappointment, as evidenced by what's happened since those hope-filled days of 2008, when independents believed Mr. Obama meant it when he pledged to lead us into new era of post-partisanship.

By 2010, the reality of the Obama presidency—with its spending binges and deficits—had soured voters. The man who promised hope and change was revealed as a calculating politician.


The particular problem for the UR is that the first impressions of him came after he was elected.


Posted by at April 29, 2011 5:46 AM
  

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