The economic news is bad (TNT, 6-1). The sequel is predictable. Brace yourself for a host of Obama attack ads against Mitt Romney’s past.
At the same time that he winds down foreign wars, Barack Obama postures as the “national security” president while running ads claiming that his opponent wouldn’t pursue America’s enemies. Next, he will surely claim that Romney wants to disenfranchise minority voters. The attorney general is raising this trial balloon even now.
A campaign based on fear and smear? How 1972. Yet there are sensible reasons for it. Without peace or prosperity to point to, and with an unpopular ongoing foreign war, Obama has none of issues that, say, Bill Clinton ran on. Obama’s present economic record is no better than George Bush the Elder’s, and his 1992 re-election campaign didn’t go well.
The White House has to run a Nixonian re-election campaign or bust. Luckily, Vice President Joe Biden is ideally suited to mouth the sort of shrill partisanship that Spiro Agnew did in Nixon’s day.