May 26, 2012

BAIN WON'T BE AT 40% NAME RECOGNITION ON ELECTION DAY:

READY, FIRE, AIM: TEAM OBAMA'S REPUTATION IS VASTLY OVERRATED (Matthew Continetti - May 25, 2012, Washington Free Beacon)

We are rapidly approaching the moment at which Washington reevaluates the Obama campaign's reputation for competence and expertise. Every week, one or several of Obama's surrogates trip over their own words; every day, Jim Messina and David Plouffe and David Axelrod must scratch their heads in wonder at the mess they are creating. One gaffe is an isolated event. Two is an embarrassment. But three or more form a pattern, one that is damaging not only Obama's precarious chances for reelection but also the fortunes of the Democratic Party. [...]

Not even MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell could reconcile the war on Bain with the fact that Obama has taken more than $200,000 from the likes of Bain Capital managing Director Jonathan Lavine, not to mention tens of thousands from Landmark Partners Chairman Francisco Borges. The man would not even be president without the longstanding support of Chicago's Pritzker family, which knows something about, in the words of Rep. James Clyburn (D., S.C.), "raping companies and leaving them in debt."

The hypocrisy runs to the staffing decisions Obama makes. His White House is stuffed with Wall Street types. Two corporate buyout specialists sit on the president's job council. All three of his chiefs of staff have worked for financial houses. His small business administrator worked in private equity. His former chief technology officer left to join a private equity firm. His former communications director Anita Dunn left the White House and promptly offered her services to protect the private equity executives she had attacked while in government. And yet the president is happy to run unseemly ads arguing private equity firms are job-destroying "vampires" that "suck the life" out of other companies and profit from their demise. Indeed, he informed the country Monday that Romney's private sector career "is what this campaign is going to be about."

Really? Obama may spend close to a billion dollars demonizing Bain, only to find that when the national exit poll comes out the night of November 6, "private equity" will not rank at the top of the public's priorities. There is also a larger danger with shifting the focus of the campaign to such ancillary topics as whether private equity is good or bad: When you run a tactical campaign that targets the news cycle, you run the risk of having the attacks backfire. That is exactly what happened in the case of Booker, and what has happened in other cases as well.

Posted by at May 26, 2012 5:50 AM
  

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