April 23, 2012


Obama's campaign whisperer (Glenn Thrush and Jonathan Martin, April 23, 2012, Politico)

Despite the recent shift, Obama's campaign is likely to pound away on three distinct Romney-cores: No Core, Conservative Core and Bain Core, leveraging Romney's years at Bain Capital to make the case that he's out of touch and deaf to the concerns of working people.

It's not like senior Obama officials haven't been hammering Romney for his increasingly conservative positions on immigration or women's reproductive rights already: Stephanie Cutter, one of the party's most experienced messaging operatives, oversees entire units of Obama's Chicago-based reelection campaign whose sole job is to do just that.

And Axelrod, for one, is still taking to Twitter to gleefully remind his 81,000 followers of Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom's now-infamous claim that the Boston-based campaign would shake the "Etch-a-Sketch" after putting away Rick Santorum.

"Etch-a-Sketch moment?" Axelrod tweeted on April 17. "After telling donors he's "doomed" unless he picks up with Latinos, Mitt puts kibosh on Kobach," a reference to POLITICO story reporting that a Romney spokeswoman had distanced the campaign from controversial immigration adviser Kris Kobach.

That was a day after a top West Winger went the other way during a briefing with national political reporters, unexpectedly rejecting the entire empty-core storyline and arguing that the real Romney was the 2012 conservative, and not the moderate, pro-choice Romney of the 1990s.

The aide's argument -- which can't be recounted here because of the strict no-quotes, no names ground rules the White House imposes on such sessions -- set off alarms among the White House press corps, political cadaver dogs paid to sniff nearly imperceptible changes in tone and language. Reporters, who can be quoted under the rules, harrumphed.

"He has a core now! You said he didn't have a core -- are you saying he has a core now?" asked an incredulous TV network correspondent.

Posted by at April 23, 2012 3:27 PM

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