President Barack Obama clearly leads Republican challenger Mitt Romney in one category that might come back to bite the Democrat – character attacks and personal insults.
This is ironic given that Obama’s appeal for civility represented a major part of his attractiveness in 2008. But this time around, the Obama camp is spending much of its time trying to denigrate Romney the man.
“To make the case, Obama and his aides have used an arsenal of techniques — personal ridicule, suggestions of ethical misdeeds, and aspersions against Romney’s patriotism — that many voters and commentators claim to abhor, even as the tactics have regularly proved effective,” Politico
Romney has focused on Obama’s weak policies accusing him of a lowball strategy to keep his job. But the former Massachusetts governor hasn’t called Obama a bad person or questioned his personal values.
The disparity in strategy between Romney and Obama hasn’t received much attention, largely because of the race’s negative overall tone. The fact that Obama has endured many personal attacks in the past also plays a role.
Another irony is that in the past it was Democrats who complained that their presidential candidates received unfair personal attacks, including Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton, and John Kerry.
Democratic strategist Paul Begala admits Obama is running a different campaign from four years ago. “[The year] 2008 was hope and change, and the president won on a largely positive message,” he told Politico. “This is much more a choice than a referendum, and a choice is A and not B.”
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